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Speeding motorists, chatty school bus drivers targeted in new NC laws

RALEIGH (AP) -- School bus drivers using cell phones. Speeding motorists. Both are among several groups targeted by 40 new state laws that take effect Saturday. Drivers who get paid for taking children to public or private school by bus or other vehicles could now face at least a $100 fine and a misdemeanor if police catch them on the phone. That applies to a hands-free set. Motorists caught going more than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit will no longer be able to plead guilty to having a faulty speedometer or have a judge issue a "prayer for judgment" to lessen the punishment. Another laws approved by lawmakers this year increases punishments for carrying a weapon when breaking a domestic violence order. Other laws punish those who intentionally starve an animal or desecrate a grave. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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