New Laws Take Effect

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July 1 brings a wave of new laws to Georgia residents. One of the many new laws requires newspapers to publish photos of released sex offenders moving into their counties.

Chrishunda Higden, who supports the sex offender law, says, "We all need to know where they live, their name, what they look like so we'll know how to [be on] alert of kids and be on alert for ourselves too."

Georgia's statewide smoking ban is probably one of the most talked about new laws. The ban will prohibit smoking in most public areas, with the exception of restaurants and bars that are 18 and up.

Jackie Pohlman says, "I think it's actually a good idea for people that like to go in a restaurant that's not smoky, so I think it's a good idea. I like to smoke, but not while I'm eating."

Thomasville police are taking advantage of another new law that aims to get more drivers to buckle up.

SGT Donna Langston of the Thomasville Police Department says, "The state of Georgia is increasing their fines for safety belts for adults or anybody 18 or older. They're going from $15 to $50.”

Like other new Georgia laws, the state's new seat belt fines go in to effect July 1.

A new Florida law allows Florida Highway Patrol to stop drivers with unbuckled child passengers. FHP is using the Fourth of July holiday to kick off enforcement of the new law.