Tuesday, November 22, 2011

AAA Digest of Motor Laws Online

Driving to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner? There’s no better time to check out the AAA Digest of Motor Laws, a free compilation of state laws related to motor vehicle ownership and operation. The source is browseable by individual state, as well as by category: Is your window tint too dark for a neighboring state’s comfort? Do you need to put away that radar detector when you cross state lines? And even though you know you shouldn’t, can you legally use a cell phone or send a text message behind the wheel, wherever you may roam?

The American Automobile Association added this long-running 50-state survey of vehicle laws to its website this summer (once upon a time, we received print editions in the libraries), and plans to expand the online service in the future with Canadian law and also comparative search tools. Note that the site links to undated summaries of the relevant state law, rather than the text of the actual statutes: to confirm the accuracy of the information, start at Cornell’s State Legal Links to access primary sources of law for each state (such as North Carolina’s online General Statutes).

For more help with locating 50-state surveys on other research topics, check out the Subject Compilations of State Laws (in print or in HeinOnline) or Ask a Librarian. No matter where your travels take you, the Goodson Blogson wishes all its readers a safe and happy Thanksgiving break.