As a resident of Kentucky, it’s important to stay current on state laws and any proposed bills that could be coming into law in the coming year. That way, you understand what you need to do to continue being a law-abiding citizen. When you don’t stay up-to-date on new legislature, you could end up breaking the law without even knowing.
Ignorance isn’t an excuse—you need to know what’s happening in our state regarding new laws. Here is a list of some of the most important new laws in Kentucky coming in 2022, or that could be coming into law in 2022.
Proposed Bill Surrounding Distracted Driving
It’s well-known how dangerous cell phone use is behind the wheel. Any distraction can cause a serious, if not fatal, car accident. A cell phone is one of the most dangerous distractions because it takes your eyes off the road for an extended period of time. Even when you’re making a call, holding the phone to your head can limit your movements and keep your mental attention off the task at hand.
All of those reasons and more are why Kentucky State Representatives proposed a bill for the 2022 legislative session that restricts the use of a cell phone more than the texting and driving laws already in existence. This proposed bill would mean the only time a device can be used behind the wheel is when it’s hands-free.
If adopted, there would be a grace period in the state until October 1, 2022, which means that drivers who violate the new law would only receive a warning. After that date, though, fines would begin. Here are the rates proposed for fines:
- First or second offense – between $50 and $100
- For a first offense, traffic school would be allowed
- Third offense or when resulting in an accident – between $100 and $199
- Offense in an active school zone or construction zone – between $200 and $250
If passed, Kentucky would join the 24 other states that have passed similar legislature.
Bill Request 430 for COVID-19 First Responders
The COVID-19 pandemic affected people in the country in many different ways. One of the groups most affected, however, was first responders. In their professions, first responders were directly exposed to the virus, which meant that many fell ill and ultimately died from their illness.
At first, the families of the deceased first responders were not receiving death benefits, which is where Bill Request 430 comes in. BR 430 would ensure that the families of first responders who passed from COVID-19 receive death benefits by adding COVID-19 to the list of illnesses that qualify for death benefits.
This bill would be retroactive. This means that any first responders who died from COVID-19 or related complications since March 6, 2020 would be eligible for these benefits. Between that date and the time this bill was introduced, there were 11 deaths of first responders from COVID-19 or COVID-19 complications, and likely there have been more since.
Under Kentucky law, these are the professions considered first responders:
- Police officers
- Emergency medical services personnel
- Correctional officers
- Active duty Kentucky National Guard members
There are other first responders that lawmakers are considering adding to this list, like medical personnel in correctional facilities. If the bill is passed, qualifying families would receive $80,000.
Proposed Electric Vehicle Tax
Another proposed law change for 2022 is introducing an electric vehicle tax or fee. As times progress, many people are choosing electric-fueled vehicles, which means they’re not paying for gasoline like traditional cars might. In turn, this means that drivers of electric vehicles are not contributing to the taxes involved in gas prices.
These taxes from gasoline actually benefit the county the gas station is in. Counties use gasoline tax revenue to repair roads and other maintenance to maintain driving conditions in the area. While at this point in time electric vehicles only account for about one percent of vehicles in Kentucky, that number is expected to keep rising.
According to projections, it’s estimated that about 30 percent of vehicles manufactured and sold will be electricity-based by 2030. This is why lawmakers are pushing to introduce a tax or fee for electric vehicles because they foresee a bigger drop in gasoline sales, and therefore less tax revenue for counties to repair roads.
There haven’t been any decisions regarding if this will be a one-time fee for buying an electric vehicle, or if this will be a recurring fee, like a usage tax, that drivers incur regularly. There also hasn’t been a bill proposal filled out by lawmakers, but we expect to see this discussed in the 2022 sessions.
Golden Law Office Is Here for the People of Kentucky
Laws can be hard to keep up with. That’s why you can trust the lawyers at Golden Law Office in Kentucky—we stay up to date on all the new legislation being passed. When you’ve suffered from a personal injury that requires a legal claim, you’ll want a personal injury lawyer who knows local, state, and federal law.
Our attorneys have experience representing victims and know which laws will apply to your claim. When you have questions, we can answer them. Reach out to our office so we can help you and your family.