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New NY laws in 2012 range from tax relief to protecting bears


bears Credit: Getty Images

A new year means a new batch of state laws. Here are some that went into effect Jan. 1:

-- A middle-class tax cut will allow most New Yorkers to pay less in state taxes this year. About 4.4 million residents will see a total $690 million in personal income tax relief, the governor's office said.

-- Drivers must now move to the farthest lane to avoid tow trucks and maintenance workers with flashing lights helping other motorists. The "Move Over" law was first implemented last year, requiring drivers to stay away from police and rescue vehicles on roadsides. Violators can be fined up to $275 and get three points on their licenses.

-- Buyers of hookah, shisha and other smoking- and tobacco-related paraphernalia must be at least 18 years old.

-- Obscure laws to know: It's illegal to possess or sell bear gallbladders and bile, which are typically used for ancient medicinal treatments; and anglers can now fish with as many as three rods at a time.

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