Fewer SOL tests, hunting on Sundays among new Virginia laws

BRISTOL, Va. - New laws go into effect in Virginia on Tuesday, including stricter regulations for cleaning up after a meth bust, fewer Standards of Learning tests and hunting on Sundays.

Virginia lawmakers have decided the Board of Health and Department of Environmental Quality have to establish a program to show a building has been properly cleaned after methamphetamine is removed.

A person caught making meth, currently, has to pay for clean-up costs.

We talked to Heather Lyall, who runs the clean-up company Albright Recovery and Construction. She's part of the Department of Health's committee revising the cleaning guidelines under this law.

Lyall told us right now there aren't strong regulations for cleaning buildings after a meth bust.

"The only thing you need to do is a sign a piece of paper saying that yeah it was a meth lab once, we cleaned it up per guidelines but you may not have ever stepped inside of it," said Lyall.

She told us this new law requires a home to be tested after it's cleaned to make sure that doesn't happen.

Another piece of legislation going into effect on July 1 will reduce the number of Standards of Learning (SOL) tests for students in third through eighth grade.

The law's summary reads, "the number and type of Standards of Learning assessments shall not exceed 17 specified assessments."

We talked to State Delegate Israel O'Quinn, who said this is about a 25 percent decrease from the number of tests students currently have to take.

The law also requires local school boards to prove an alternative test is given for each subject where there is no SOL assessment.

Lawmakers have also legalized hunting on Sundays. We found out there are restrictions to this law.

You can only hunt on private land and you have to be the landowner or have written permission from the landowner in order to do it.

James Hale, with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, told us the location of the land also matters.

"They can't be within 200 yards of any kind of church or place of worship," said Hale. "They can't use the aid of dogs when hunting for deer or bear, when hunting with any kind of firearm or other weapon."

This law is effective all year long.

Other laws in effect as of the first of July, apply to the roadways.

We found out motorists have to give bikers extra space when passing them. Previously, drivers only had to keep two feet between their car and the bike rider but that's now been raised to three feet.

We talked to the Virginia State Police earlier to see how much of a difference this will make.

"Bicycling on any roadway is dangerous in and of itself and someone that rides quite a bit, you give them an extra foot, I'm sure they're very appreciative of that," said First Sgt. M.R. Willis. "Of course the main thing is for motorists to slow down when they pass one and just take their time when they go around one."

Willis told us you'll also want to slow down on unpaved roads. The speed limit on any unmarked, gravel roads has been reduced from 55 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour.

If you're a moped rider, you now have to have it tagged, registered and insured, said Willis.

Most Popular