If you are like me, you are one of the over 100 million Americans who use your smart phone to do everything from texting, to taking pictures, sending Tweets, and, of course, making calls.
Consumer experts predict there will be more and more individuals using technology in the exact same way over the next several years.
Changes in the way we use technology frequently require us to change the way we regulate through laws.
Sometimes that can be for safety, such as laws about texting and driving. The 89th General Assembly passed five laws this year to make the use of your technology more convenient when it comes to providing proof of required documents.
The first such bill to come to the House floor this year was an Act to Permit the Electronic Display of Proof of Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Coverage for Proof of Insurance and Registration Purposes.
The sponsor of the bill explained that a constituent received a ticket for failing to provide proof of insurance, when in fact the individual was insured but did not have the required paperwork on hand.
The officer would not allow the individual to provide proof on his mobile device. An Attorney General’s opinion later confirmed that the way the law was previously written, an electronic copy would not suffice.
Hence, a bill was introduced to allow for electronic proof and it passed with unanimous support on the House floor.
Arkansas was not alone in the need to update its laws to allow for technology in these instances.
This year, similar bills were introduced in at least a dozen other states across the country, with nine states enacting the laws.
We did not stop with only insurance and registration. There were also laws to allow for the electronic display of a concealed handgun license, a boater education certificate, a hunter education certificate, and insurance for boats.
According to the laws an acceptable electronic format means an electronic image produced by the person’s own cellular phone or other portable electronic devices that display all of the needed information as clearly as a paper copy.
But don’t throw away those paper copies just yet, these laws do not take effect until Aug. 16.
I hope each and every one of you gets out to enjoy all that our great state has to offer during the summer months. And I hope some of the laws we’ve recently passed will make your trips just a little more convenient.
District 43 State Representative Davy Carter serves most of Lonoke County, and is Speaker of the House for the 89th General Assembly.