state laws

Utah lawmakers consider "cash for clunkers" bill that could offer up to $5,500 for jalopies
Utah lawmakers consider "cash for clunkers" bill that could offer up to $5,500 for jalopies

Utah could offer owners of older, higher-mile cars as much as $5,500 to trade in for new cars. The program proposed under State House Bill 295 that advanced with an 8-4 vote Wednesday is known as the the Vehicle Emissions Reduction Program. It isn't unlike the $3 billion federal "cash for clunkers"...Read More»

Joel Feldman holds up a picture of his daughter, Casey
States moving to penalize distracted drivers more, even though the cost is already too great

Casey Feldman planned the summer between her junior and senior years at Fordham University on the New Jersey shore, working the last “non-aggravation” job she wanted as a young adult. The aspiring reporter racked up internships at newspapers, bylines at local papers and Philadelphia...Read More»

California state capitol, Sacramento
California senator aims to remove speed limits to build America's autobahn

California could do away with speed limits in certain situations if a new bill introduced by an Orange County-area senator moves forward. State Sen. John M. W. Moorlach proposed Senate Bill 319 that would not only add two lanes to Interstate 5 and State Route 99, which connect the Los Angeles area...Read More»

Texting while driving
Virginia votes to ban handheld cellphone use while driving

Come Jan. 1, 2020, it will be illegal to use a cellphone while while at the wheel of a car in Virginia. Both houses in the General Assembly voted to pass new legislation to ban cellphone use while driving to curb distracted driving in the state. The Washington Post reported last week that drivers...Read More»

Scott Robinson Honda dealership, Torrance, California
New Jersey, Washington protect consumers with best new car lemon laws

The Center For Auto Safety found that New Jersey and Washington state do a better job protecting consumers with defective cars than other states. New Jersey ranked first and Washington came in a close second place in the findings published last week. The study looked at numerous pieces of every...Read More»

Gas pump
Now that you can pump your own gas in Oregon, New Jersey remains the last holdout

Earlier this year, Oregon enacted legislation that allows most residents to pump their own gas. That only a few weeks ago Oregonians had to sit idle while someone else topped off their tanks may come as a shock to residents of all but one other state: New Jersey. The Garden State is the only state...Read More»

Driving Dogs
Californians can now legally break into cars to rescue animals

By now, everyone knows that it's a terrible idea to leave pets in cars, especially during the warmer months. And yet, we've all seen pets trapped in cars. Sometimes, owners crack their car windows thinking that will help keep interior temperatures low, but in fact, it doesn't do much. Even on a...Read More»

2016 Tesla Model S
Tesla sues Michigan for the right to sell cars: is this the end of franchise laws?

The gloves have been loosening for years, and now, they've finally come off: Tesla Motors is preparing to throw punches in the courtroom as it sues Michigan for the right to sell cars. If the company makes its case successfully, it could have implications far beyond the borders of the Wolverine...Read More»

Breathalyzer
Is Minnesota's alcohol breath test law legal? We're about to find out

At some point in your life, you've probably wondered, "Should I refuse an alcohol breath test?" There are a wide range of opinions on that thorny matter, which vary according to who's giving the advice, their interest in curtailing drunk driving, and, of course, where you're standing when you're...Read More»

Elon Musk
Tesla mulls federal suit to sell in Texas, Michigan, other states (and Hurricane Katrina may help)

This is a very big week for Tesla. Just a few short months after delivering its first Model X crossovers to earlybird customers, the all-electric automaker will begin taking reservations for another new model tomorrow. Priced from $35,000, the Tesla Model 3 could dramatically boost Tesla's sales...Read More»

Texas license plate featuring Confederate flag
Supreme Court Nixes Texas Confederate-Flag License Plates

Specialty license plates have become big business in recent years, but they've brought their share of troubles, too. While some plates feature innocuous school crests or happy, friendly natural landscapes, others court controversy with politically charged slogans. That's made things tough for DMVs...Read More»

Tesla Motors gallery in Houston Galleria, opened October 2011, with Model S on display
Tesla Triumphs In Maryland As New Bill Allows Sales At Four Sites: Which State Is Next?

Another one bites the dust -- and more will surely follow. Auto News reports that the Maryland legislature has passed a bill that would allow Tesla to open up to four retail locations in the state. Governor Larry Hogan hasn't indicated whether he'll sign the bill, but at least one delegate with...Read More»

2014 Tesla Model S
Tesla Wins In Georgia, Loses In West Virginia

For Tesla fans below the Mason-Dixon line, we have good news and bad news, courtesy of Auto News. Since it's Friday, we'll start with the good news: Georgia has passed a bill that (a) increases the number of outlets that Tesla can operate in the state and (b) allows the automaker to sell an...Read More»

Tesla owners & supporters gather in Statehouse in Austin to support company [photo: John Griswell]
Is Tesla Finally Coming To Texas? (And If So, Is It Thanks To The Gigafactory And The Hyperloop?)

Across much of America, it's cold today. Newscasters explain that by pointing to a blast of icy air swooping in from the North Pole, but others might think that the chill is coming from beneath their feet. Those folks know that a bill is being considered by the Texas legislature that could finally...Read More»

Texting while driving
Report: Hand-Held Cell Phone Bans Don't Make Roads Any Safer

As of today, 14 states, plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have passed laws preventing drivers from using hand-held cell phones. A whopping 44 states (plus D.C. and the above territories) prohibit texting behind the wheel -- an act that tends to involve a...Read More»

Railroad map prepared by the Michigan Railroad Commission, circa 1876.
GM Announces Support For Michigan's Anti-Tesla Bill, Governor Then Signs It

Last week, we told you about a hastily amended bill in Michigan that would prevent Tesla from setting up shop in the Wolverine State. It had passed both houses of the legislature and was headed to Governor Rick Snyder's desk. The only question remaining was: would Snyder sign it? Then yesterday...Read More»

Gavel. Image: Brian Turner
Judge Cuts Hyundai's Fine To $73 Million In Montana Wrongful Death Suit

In May of this year, a jury in Montana ruled against Hyundai, siding with the families of two teenage boys who died in a 2005 Hyundai Tiburon. The jury set a massive, $240 million penalty, which Hyundai subsequently appealed. According to Auto News, the judge in the case has now cut that fine by...Read More»

2014 Tesla Model S
Tesla Poised For Triumph In New Jersey, Could Relaunch Sales Next Month

In the not-too-distant future, someone is going to make a documentary about electric automaker Tesla. It'll be weightier than the one National Geographic put together, and hopefully, it'll be long enough to cover the many twists and turns along the company's road to success -- including one that...Read More»

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]
McKinsey Envisions Big Change For Car Buyers: Is Tesla Right?

Americans sure don't research new cars—or even shop for them—in the ways that we used to. Why then should we have to buy them the same way? That has been one of the hot-button issues of the past year for those involved in the auto industry, and it's not going away any time soon. With...Read More»

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