Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland
Up to Four Cats Legally:
Strange Laws for the New Year
Translated By Aleksandra J. Chlon
1 January 2013
Edited by Lydia Dallett
Poland - Gazeta Wyborcza - Original Article (Polish)
January 1 in the U.S. does not only determine the beginning of the New Year, but also the beginning of new, sometimes strange-sounding laws. ABC News writes about the warrants and bans which have come to life on the 1st of January in certain states and towns in the States.
An example is the limit concerning the number of cats one can have at home. Such a restriction was introduced in the town of Wellington, Kansas. As of January 1, the inhabitants of Wellington are forbidden to keep more than four meowing pupils. (Until then, such a restriction only concerned the number of dogs; the matter of cats had not been sanctioned by law.) The law was introduced due to the increasing number of cats being thrown out onto the streets. In 2012, local veterinary clinics ended up with 231 cats which — unless somebody takes them in — are put to sleep.
The authorities of the state of Illinois decided to care for the well-being of sharks. As of January 1, it is illegal to sell or distribute their fins, which are considered a medicament in Asian folk medicine.
Run a Red Light, Sure — So Long As It's Not on One Wheel
Another new law passed in Illinois concerns road traffic. Riding a motorcycle on one wheel will be penalized by a fine of $1,000. “In return,” motorcycle lovers have been given official permission to run red lights — of course, as long as the road is empty. This is a consequence of the introduction of magnetic sensors built into the roads. When a car approaches traffic lights, they turn green quicker. The sensors do not, however, register light motorcycles. The new law will not be in force in cities of over 2 million inhabitants.
Other legal changes concerning road traffic came into effect in the state of Florida. Here, as of the 1st of January, it is no longer illegal to blink your lights in order to warn other drivers about the police.
In California, from the start of 2013 the law allows cars without drivers (such as Google's experimental cars with no drivers) to be on the road, on the condition that the passenger's seat be occupied by a human being. As for those who plan on driving their cars themselves, they will no longer need to show the police proof of insurance on paper — confirming it by cell phone will suffice.
To wrap up, something different altogether... frying oil. North Carolina has introduced a fine for stealing unused frying oil or fat if its value exceeds $1,000.
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