New laws to take effect Jan. 1

Updated:

ORLANDO, Fla. —

Florida will see a handful of new laws take effect Tuesday, and among them is a new law aimed at stopping insurance fraud.

  • Beginning Tuesday, people who get in car accidents will no longer be able to file claims to pay for massages or acupuncture therapy. 

            Under the new law, payment for non-emergency treatment will be capped at $2500 -- down from the prior $10,000 limit -- and will only be available when referred by a physician.

  • Another law will make it legal for drivers to flash their headlights to alert oncoming drivers that police are lurking on the roadside.

            A provision legalizing such speed trap warnings is part of a wide-ranging motor vehicle law going into effect Tuesday.

            The law amends one section of Florida's existing traffic code police have relied upon, but Oviedo attorney J. Marcus Jones says officers may still be able to use other provisions to cite headlight flashers.

           Other changes in the new law range from free state identification cards for homeless people to new specialty license plates. It also would let the state issue specialty driver's licenses.

 

  • A law will also go into effect that will provide more protection and shelter for sexually exploited children. 
  • Another law will allow mortgage lenders to give out information about a loan to those not on the property title.
  •  The Florida Safe Harbor Act is a new law that will go into effect and will provide more protection and shelter for sexually exploited children.

            The law will require authorities to place children who are picked up for prostitution in child welfare custody for evaluation and further treatment.

            The law, however, allows law enforcement to decide whether the child should be prosecuted.