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Category: Rules and Laws (8)

September 29, 2009

Freedom of Religious Expression in the Home Act

Last September 17, 2008, the Freedom of Religious Expression in the Home
Act
was first introduced to the 110th U.S. Congress House Committee
on the Judiciary. It is H.R. 6932. This bill seeks to amend the Fair Housing Act
relating to the display of religious symbols, and for other purposes.

This bill never became law. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the
end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven't passed
are cleared from the books. Members often reintroduce bills that did not
come up for debate under a new number in the next session.

Recently, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D.-N.Y.), Robert
Wexler (D.-FL),Trent Franks (R-AZ), and Lamar Smith (R-TX) reintroduced
this bill to allow apartment and condo dwellers to display mezuzahs on
their doorposts.

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July 3, 2009

Senate Bill 1840 - Protecting Florida's health Act

A bipartisan Senate Bill 1840 "Protecting Florida's Health Act," by State Senator Deutch (D) and Senator Altman (R), was passed by the Legislature. It imposes a $1.00
surcharge per pack of cigarettes and an increased surcharge on all tobacco
products.
The purposes of this Bill include:
1) generating funds for Medicaid reimbursement rates
2) preventing youth from starting to smoke
3) Florida would no longer have the lowest tobacco tax in the U.S.

More historic anti-smoking legislation hopes to save the lives of thousands of
smokers and hopes to prevent countless new young people from ever starting.
President Barack Obama admits to having a nicotine habit that he is trying to
end, with difficulty.

Finally the FDA will have authority to regulate the ingredients of tobacco
products, including the addition of warning labels to cover 50% of the front
and back of cigarette packs. In addition, this bill give the federal government the authority to regulate the sale and marketing of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The use of words, such as: "light," "low tar," and "mild," will be banned from
cigarette packs and cartons and advertising.

Philip Morris USA is the only cigarette manugacturing company, so far, that
has supported fair tobacco regulations.

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June 5, 2009

Safety Tips - from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Driving Safety Tips: Keep your car in good running condition Be sure to
have enough fuel to get to your destination, round-trip.
Roll up the windows and lock all of your car doors, even if you are only
parking in your driveway.
Always keep your car keys in your hand, when approaching your parked car.
Park in well-lit, busy locations and be especially alert in parking garages and
at covered mall parking lots.
"BUMP and ROB" has become popular in our area, recently. It works like this:
A car, usually a driver and at least one passenger (sometimes children are
inside car) rear-ends or bumps you in traffic. You quickly get out of your
to assess the damage and to exchange information. One of the passengers
or the driver jumps into your car and drives off.
If you have car trouble, raise the hood of your car and turn on the emergency
flashers. Stay inside your car and lock the doors. Call 911 on your cell phone.
ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CELLPHONE!
If you think you are being followed by another car, do NOT go home. Drive
to the nearest police or sheriff's office.

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January 6, 2009

How to protect yourself from ID theft

Here are some good ideas to save and to copy for your files in case
you need to refer to it sometime in the future:
1) Think about writing this on the back of your credit card, INSTEAD of your signature: " "PHOTO ID REQUIRED".
2) Do you pay credit card or department store bills by check? Do you
walk out to your mailbox the night before or early in the morning? Thieves are
looking for your check and signature! DO NOT put the complete account
number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The department
store, electric company, credit card company know the rest.
3) Place the contents of your wallet face down on a copy machine
(your passport, too). Copy both sides of each card/document. In case of loss
or theft, you have a complete record of your card/ID.
4) Keep a record of the phone #s to call to cancel credit cards in case of loss or theft.
5) Never carry your Social Security card in your wallet!
6)Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. Most people have never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that calls to tell you an application for credit was made over the Internet in your name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
.

Now, here are the numbers you need to save:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3.) Trans Union : 1-800-680-7289
4.) Social Security Administration and FTC (fraud line):
1-877-438-4338 website address: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/

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November 19, 2008

Florida Traffic Laws - FYI -from PBSO

Have you ever been stopped by a patrol officer for a traffic infraction?
The excuse, "I didn't know the law," is not acceptable.
So, FYI, Captain Bechtel, PBSO Commander of District 6 would like you to
know these important traffic laws:
· Definition of running a red light is entering an intersection as the light turns
red. You must stop at the stop bar before the pedestrian crosswalk.

· You CANNOT make a U turn when the traffic light is red.

· A person making a right turn has the right of way, regardless of you having
a green left turning arrow.

· At a 4 way stop intersection you need to yield to the vehicle to your right.
When traffic lights are not working at a major intersection, the prudent way
would be to turn right and crossover at the next opportunity, go left and
make a right turn at the major intersection.

· Running a red light at an intersection that has “Red Light Cameras” is
a civil infraction not a traffic infraction. The owner of the car must pay
a fine, but doesn’t accumulate points on his/her license.

· Signaling a turn means the driver would like to make a turn into another
lane and can legally do so providing he/she doesn’t impede traffic.

· When passing another vehicle, the driver must make sure that another
vehicle is not passing his vehicle (at the same time).

· If a driver gets a ticket for a violation that can be fixed (light out, window
tint too dark, etc.) and it is fixed, he/she can ask any police officer to sign off
stating the item has been fixed to code. Then mail in ticket into the court.
That person will receive a reduced fine. ( Also may be done at any substation.)

· Any vehicle coming upon a stopped school bus displaying a flashing stop
signal must stop on both sides of the road. The exception being that if the
road has an unpaved median of 5 feet or more, a raised median or barrier
the vehicle doesn’t have to stop if traveling on the opposite direction of the
school bus. On a 4 or 5 lane highway, traffic must stop in both directions,
when a school bus displays its flashing stop signs.

· It is against the law to use a headset when operating a vehicle or a bike.


The District 6 website is up and running. To reach it type PBSO.ORG into your
browser. When the Sheriff’s website opens click on District 6. There are
new features for the public; you can file many reports on the site. You can also
enter the site through the COBWRA website at: linkingcommunities.com/cobwra

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September 22, 2008

Florida bicycle laws

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office would like all bicycle riders to be safe riders.
Here is a condensed version of Florida Bicycle Law 316.2065:
Any person operating a bicycle upon a one-way highway, with two or more
marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the right-hand curb or edge of such
roadway as practicable. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not
ride more than two abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside
for the exclusive use of bicycles.
Persons two abreast may not impede traffic when traveling at less than the
normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then
existing and shall ride within a single lane.
Any persons operating a bicycle shall keep at least one hand upon the handle-
bars. Every bicycle in use, between sunset and sunrise, shall be equipped with
a lamp on the front, exhibiting a white light, visible from a distance of at least
500 feet to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear - each exhibiting a
red light, visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear. A bicycle or its rider
may be equipped with lights or reflectors, in addition to those required by
this section.
A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk,
or across a roadway, upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties
applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway,
upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-a-way to any pedestrian and
shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake or brakes, which will enable its
rider to stop the bicycle within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour
on dry, level, clean pavement.
To read the bicycle law in its entirety, Google: Florida Bicycle Law 316.2065

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April 28, 2008

Tougher seat belt laws are needed

A Florida State House of Representatives' Committee passed a bill that would
strengthen Florida’s seat belt law, upgrading it to a tougher enforcement policy.
Now it has to be brought to the House floor for passage. However, an identical
bill in the Senate is not making any progress.

Will the Senate transportation committee approve it? This is the committee
that wanted to fine drivers for displaying "ornaments" that resemble
genitalia on or inside their vehicles. Well, they got their wish on April 23, 2008;
The Senate unanimously passed a bill that would ban replicas of male
genitalia on vehicles, commonly known as "truck nutz." The Senate's Highway
Safety Bill (SB 1992), however, conflicts with the House's version, which
doesn't include the amendment banning the vehicle ornaments often seen
hanging off the back of pickup trucks. If made law, the bill would allow officers
to ticket drivers $60 for the displays. Weston Democrat Sen. Nan Rich,
who has tried in vain for her bill allowing officers to stop motorists for
seat-belt violations, criticized the amendment.

Do "Truck Nutz" interest the committee more than passing a tougher
seatbelt law??? Hello? Where are their priorities? A safety belt law with
more "clout" could save 200 lives and prevent more than 2,700 serious
injuries in the first year alone. (experts estimate)

“Despite tremendous bipartisan support in the Senate, as demonstrated by
14 co-sponsors, the Transportation chairman refuses to give the bill a
hearing,” said Kevin Bakewell, senior vice president of AAA Auto Club
south, which supports the bill as its top safety priority. “We aren’t asking
for the Chairman’s vote, just his willingness to allow the bill to be
considered.”

What's in it for Floridians, besides safety? Well, Florida also stands to gain
an additional $35 million in federal grants for safety programs if it adopts the bill.

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January 18, 2008

What are the rules for handicap parking in Florida?

According to the State of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles,
Florida Statute 316.1955, handicapped parking areas can only be used by a driver
eligible for a handicap permit.

Frequently Asked Questions about Disabled Parking Permits

How do I get a disabled parking permit? Who is eligible?

You must obtain "Application for Disabled Person Parking Permit", form HSMV 83039,
through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Division of Motor
Vehicles, 2900 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0620, or at any local
tag office. Submit the application, signed by a physician, to your local tax collector's
office with appropriate payment.
In addition to the completed form, be sure to bring:
* A copy of your Florida driver license or Florida identification card.
* Fees based on the fee chart on the application form.

After you have been issued a parking placard, you will receive a renewal notice before your next expiration date.

If you have any questions concerning the parking permit program, you may call your local county tax collector's office or the Division of Motor Vehicles Customer Service Section at (850) 488-388l.

Will everyone with a disabled parking permit be able to park for free at meters?

Anyone with a disabled parking permit who parks on the street at a turnstile meter will continue to park for free. However, there are new time restrictions; 4 hours maximum. The law also allows local municipalities to exceed the 4 hours maximum by local ordinance.

What are the guidelines for charging a person to park whose vehicle displays a disabled parking permit under the new law?

The law allows municipalities to remove free parking in the following settings: government lots that are used for entertainment, such as convention centers, cruise port terminals, sports stadiums, sports arenas, coliseums and auditoriums along with airports and city or municipal garages.

When free parking is removed as described above, the law requires the free parking be maintained only for those vehicles with ramps, lifts, hand controls or State of Florida toll exemption permits.

What is the limit on the number of days I can park using my disabled parking permit?

The new law allows facilities to restrict the number of days (in a row) a vehicle may be parked with a permit, if the number of days is being restricted for the general public.

What new requirements will assist with enforcement?

Access aisles are now a no parking zone for all vehicles whether the vehicle is displaying a disabled parking permit or not. The fine for parking in an access aisle is the same for the disabled parking space, most commonly $250. The placement of the identification number on the permit will allow the enforcement entity to request the identification card or driver license. They can then match the number on the ID to the number on the permit, and match the picture on the ID to the person using the permit. If anything does not match, a ticket will be written.

What will be done if someone uses a family members' permit or person uses a permit that does not belong to them?

Anyone who obtains or uses a permit that does not belong to them can be charged with a second degree misdemeanor - $500 fine or up to 6 months in jail. Improper use of the permit is now twice the fee of a disabled parking violation. This should deter people from loaning their permits to family members. It does not matter if you are running an errand for the person with a disability. If the person with a disability is not present -- the fine is $500.
Handicapped parking areas are marked by an approved sign on a post or building
at the head of a designated area in blue paint. The vehicle parked in that designated
space must have his/her permit prominently displayed. Out of state vehicles with
handicap license plates are recognized as valid in Florida.

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About This Blog

The Get Local community blogs are written by residents of the community. The Sun-Sentinel does not edit the blogs, nor take responsibility for the contents.

TINA G. KORN
Boynton Beach has been Tina G. Korn's home for 14 years. She and husband, Abe, have been married 45 years and...

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