New safety mandates for elevators inside North Carolina beach and vacation cottages took effect on Saturday along with all or portions of another dozen or so enacted state laws.
Other laws approved this year and starting in October address sexual assault kits, magistrates and some sales tax exemptions.
The elevator law is named in memory of 7-year-old Weston Androw, a boy from Canton, Ohio, who died last year at an Outer Banks vacation rental when he became trapped between the elevator car and elevator shaft.
The law says landlords of these short-term rentals must reduce the gap between elevator landing and car doors and tell the state Insurance Department about the improvements.
On Thursday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the manufacturer of the elevator installed in the Outer Banks home announced a voluntary recall of some residential elevators, citing the entrapment threat for children. Space guards would be provided, according to the announcement.
Another new law makes clear that hospitals or medical offices can’t attempt to bill victims of sexual assault or their insurance companies for forensic medical examinations, leaving it to a special state fund. The law also raises the maximum amounts that the fund will pay for the exams.
Local magistrates also now can live in a county contiguous adjoining the one where they serve. Previous law had required them to live in the county where they work.
And certain purchases by wildlife managers for land management activities will now be exempt from sales tax.