Virginia will have several new laws that will take effect Saturday. Governor Glenn Youngkin signed hundreds of bills passed by the General Assembly this year.
Among those that will affect many Virginians are as follows:
Drivers will have to move over or slow down when encountering vehicles on the side of a four lane highway if they have their hazard lights on, display caution signs or marked with properly lit flames or torches. This applies to all vehicles and is not limited to police.
Fake 911 calls made to fire departments police or other emergency first responders will become a Class 1 misdemeanor which comes with up to a year in jail and a $2500 fine. If someone is seriously hurt during the emergency response the violator could face a. Class 6 felony with up to five years in prison. If someone is killed because of a fake 911 call, the violator could be charged with a Class 5 felony with up to 10 years in prison,
Vehicles with modified head lights that appear blue will now be in violation. This applies to cars, motorcycles, mopeds, motorized scooters with modified headlights that appear blue.
Another change that could affect the Eastern Shore is an outright ban on foreign adversaries from buying farmland in Virginia. Adversaries such as China and Iran will not be able to purchase any farmland in the state. This caps a Republican led effort in the General Assembly that passed in February on bipartisan votes.
Other laws allow local police to impose curfews for up to 24 hours if there is an “imminent threat of any civil commotion or disturbance in the nature of a riot which constitutes clear and present danger. There is now a firearm safety tax credit of $300 to reimburse those who buy a gun safe or other lockable device to store a firearm.
Finally, as of Saturday, the Chincoteague Pony will become the official “Pony of Virginia”.