NC cottage elevator safety among 19 bills that Cooper signs
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Mandated safety improvements for elevators inside North Carolina vacation cottages following a child’s death last year are among another 19 bills that Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law on Friday.
With another 11 bills signed on Thursday, Cooper cleared from his desk all but a handful of measures that the General Assembly left him last week when it adjourned.
The Democratic governor now has until Monday night to act on the seven remaining bills, which include spending adjustments to the state budget for the coming year and an effort by Republicans to force local sheriffs to assist federal immigration agents interested in picking up defendants. Any bill that he doesn’t sign or veto by then will become law automatically.
Among Friday’s signed legislation is a law named in memory of Weston Androw, a 7-year-old Ohio boy who died in July 2021 at a vacation rental on the Outer Banks when he became trapped between the elevator car and elevator shaft.
Starting Oct. 1, landlords of these cottages or similar short-term rentals must reduce the gap between landing and car doors for elevators to no more than 4 inches (10.2 centimeters), such as by installing a space guard on the landing door.
The bill also sets minimum force requirements on elevator car doors and gates. The landlord must document the improvements with the state Insurance Department.
“While this action sadly can’t reverse the tragedy that killed Weston Androw, it does mean better protection to prevent future injuries and deaths,” Cooper said in a news release,
Other bills that Cooper signed Friday include the legislature’s annual agriculture measure, and one that makes permanent the ability for some qualified notaries to perform duties when the applicant is communicating with them by live video. Such exceptions were permitted initially as the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Another of Friday’s signed bills also prepares for a Sept. 1 statewide shift from paper death certificates to electronic death records filed by medical examiners and funeral directors.