Traveling this summer? Read this to avoid tickets, fines or jail

travel tips to avoid tickets, fines & jail

Did you know that you could get a ticket in California for making or answering calls on a handheld cell phone when you’re in the driver’s seat? Even at a stoplight?

Or that you could be charged with distracted driving offenses in Arizona, Connecticut or Maine if you’re driving with a pet on your lap?

If you don’t live in these states, you might not care because their laws don’t apply to you, but summer travel could quickly change all that. Over the summer, vacation travel can often take us on the road and out of state. If you aren’t familiar with the laws of the states through which you’ll be driving or in which you might rent a car (or drive the car of a relative), you could find yourself in an unfortunate legal mess uncomfortably far from home.

To help you prepare for a summer of ticket-free fun, I’ve compiled a short list of some links that can help you learn more about state laws concerning issues that might come up in your travels. If your summer plans include out of state travel, take a few minutes to explore them so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. (Most of the links offer a disclaimer for their content, and I’ll repeat it here: While the information on these sites does appear to be current, you’ll get the most accurate answers by contacting each state directly.)

Cellphone and Texting Laws
http://www.iihs.org/laws/cellphonelaws.aspx

Child Passenger Safety Laws
http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/child-passenger-safety/

Concealed Carry Permit & Reciprocity Laws
http://www.usacarry.com/concealed_carry_permit_information.html

Drunk Driving Laws
http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/impaired_laws.html

Motorcycle & Helmet Laws
http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/State-Laws.aspx

Pet Restraint Laws for Motorists
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/06/n-j-other-states-turn-focus-to-pets-in-fight-against-distracted-driving/

Radar Detector Laws
http://www.radarbusters.com/radar-detectors/stateradardetectorlawsarticle.cfm

Should you find yourself in legal trouble while on your travels, consider touching base with an attorney in that jurisdiction before you head home. It may be easier to discuss your options face to face rather than over the phone. If you can’t obtain any references from friends or family, the best way to find an attorney is to contact the local Bar for that jurisdiction. You can also use online attorney search sites such as Avvo.com or Lawyers.com to make your search a little easier.

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