New Texas Traffic Laws

September 1st was a big day for Texas drivers and law enforcement. A few new texas traffic laws went into effect. And, I hate to be a Debby Downer, but, to my chagrin, we still have no hands free state law in Texas. So, another two years of texting, chatting away and swerving into other lanes. When will we evolve?! Thank you Governor Perry!

Over 600 new Texas laws went into effect. Here are a few of those laws pertaining to drivers…

SB510 Requires drivers to move over or slow down (as required depending on the roadway) when approaching a stationary Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) vehicle with its lights activated and not separated from the roadway by a traffic-control device. This provision expands the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law, which already requires drivers to yield to tow trucks, police, fire and emergency vehicles. Violators would commit a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $200; punishable of $500 if property damage occurs; or a Class B misdemeanor if the violation results in bodily injury.

HB 1174 Amends current statute to increase the minimum fines for the misdemeanor offense of passing a stopped school bus loading or unloading children. The minimum fine increases from $200 to $500, and the maximum fine for such an offense increases from $1,000 to $1,250. The bill also enhances the penalty for a second or subsequent conviction of that offense committed within five years to a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $2,000.
They take child safety pretty seriously these days. Kids weren’t as important when I was a kid. Private schools now have seat belts in their buses. Those kids are super important.

SB 181 Allows a motor vehicle operator the option of using a wireless communication device (such as a cell phone) to display motor vehicle financial responsibility (proof of insurance) information as evidence of financial responsibility. The display does not constitute effective consent for a law enforcement officer, or any other person, to access the contents of the wireless communication device except to view the financial responsibility information.
And don’t pull out your phone and start pulling up the insurance until the officer actually comes to your car window and asks you for it…not in an active school zone, anyway…you don’t need that ticket!

HB 3676
New drivers: Texans who get a hardship driver’s license will have to follow the same restrictions as other new drivers: They can’t use a cell phone, drive between midnight and 5 a.m. or transport more than one passenger under 21 who isn’t a relative.
So, you can only kill one friend at a time…not all of them at once.

HB 625 Clarifies that the penalty for operating a vehicle on a public highway without displaying the two license plates assigned to the vehicle is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.
So, about that new Lamborghini you just bought that has no holes in the front for a license plate to attach to it? Start drilling…

SB 275 Increases the penalty for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death of a person and failing to render aid from a third degree felony to a second degree felony. A second degree felony carries a punishment of two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000, whereas a third degree felony carries a penalty of two to 10 years in prison and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.
In prison, that’s a lot of cigarettes.

Until next week…

Daun T
Writer / Comedienne / Semi Sought-After Artist

New Texas Traffic Laws – Comedy Defensive Driving