STATE LINES

This one’s a little off my usual beaten path, and you’ll have to own an Apple iPhone, iTouch, or iPad to make use of it, but if you travel in the U.S. to any extent, it could be very useful. Created by a pair of Apple developers known as Two Steps Beyond, a nomadic 30-something couple who wander the States living out of a pretty small Oliver trailer, State Lines is a traveler’s guide to highly variable state laws and regulations. Compiled after over 4 years of full-time road-tripping and costing just US$2.99 through iTunes, it could even be called indispensable.

Not a trucker’s guide at all, it’s intended for civilian travellers and RV’ers and the like, but it contains a whack of highly useful information not likely to be found in any truck driver-specific guide. 

Currently State Lines tracks 46 pieces of travel-relevant information for each of the 50 states, including state sales tax, average local tax rates, time zones, towing laws, gas/diesel taxes, rest area overnight parking rules, default speed limits, alcohol sales laws, smoking bans, open container laws, pet leash laws, bicycle and motorcycle helmet laws, cell phone & texting bans, left-hand turn rules, and more.

It’s location-aware, so it can automatically show you information about nearby states. The entire database is integrated into the application, so it works even when you’re out of cellular or wi-fi coverage.

The developers say State Lines is kept current by way of periodic updates to their research but it’s a time-consuming manual research process so they invite user input and feedback by e-mail. Version 1.3 is an update as of Nov. 22, which added cell phone and texting laws, smoking bans, gas/diesel taxes, and state highway emergency phone numbers.

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