Delivery Robot

Amazon Scout is a six-wheeled robot used to deliver packages for Amazon.com. Image by Kldalley6 via Wikimedia Commons. NorthcentralPA.com logo added. License.

As time passes, old laws change and new ones are made. This year, a number of new laws go into effect that will affect residents across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Here's a look at a just few:

Senate Bill 1199 - Authorizes autonomous Personal Delivery Devices

Pennsylvania became the 12th U.S. state to legalize delivery robots, essentially classifying them as pedestrians, Interesting Engineering reports. Senate Bill 1199 authorizes personal delivery devices up to 550 pounds without cargo and speeds up to 12 miles per hour – including on sidewalks, much to some pedestrians' chagrin, according to Pittsburgh City Paper.

House Bill 1984 - Protects victims of rape who become pregnant

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, closes an "antiquated and harmful loophole" in the Pa. Adoption Act. Previously, victims of rape or sexual abuse who became pregnant had to have an adoptive parent lined up before terminating the perpetrator's parental rights. This bill closes that loophole by doing away with the adoption requirement. More information from Rep. Benninghoff.

The Move Over Law - Expands protections for EMS personnel

Also known as Act 105 of 2020, it was signed on Oct. 29, 2020, and goes into effect on April 27, 2021. The law expands protections for emergency responders by requiring drivers who are unable to safely merge into another lane to slow down to at least 20 mph below the posted speed limit. It also increases fines for offenders and subjects violators to points and license suspensions. More information from the Pa. Dept. of Transportation.

New Overtime Rules

The Dept. of Labor and Industry submitted a new regulation to expand overtime eligibility for 143,000 people and strengthen overtime protections for 251,000 more. The regulation updates the state's overtime rules, which hadn't been revised in over four decades. On Jan. 1, 2021, the salary threshold for OT eligibility was raised to $780 per week, $40,560 annually. 

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.