Whether you know it or not, 600 new laws went into effect in Texas on June 1, covering a whole gamut of issues including rape crimes, tanning beds, and farmers markets.
Several of the laws introduced affect all motorists, so I thought it was important to bring them to your attention to help keep our roads as safe as possible:
Distracted Driving Near Schools
It was already illegal to use a cellphone in a school zone, but now motorists can’t use a cellphone anywhere on school property unless using a 100 percent hands-free device or their vehicle is stopped and parked.
Stop For School Buses
Hopefully every driver in DFW already knows the law concerning safe driving near school buses. For those who violate these laws, fines have been increased from $100-$1,000 to $$500-$1,250 for a first offense, and from $1,000 to $2,000 for a second offense within five years.
Certain teens qualify for a Texas hardship driver’s license. Now, these young drivers will have to abide by the same restrictions as other novice motorists including being banned from driving between midnight and 5:00 am, banned from using a cellphone while driving under any circumstances, and banned from transporting more than one passenger younger than 21 who isn’t a relative.
Move Over or Slow Down
The law already requires all driver to either move over one lane or slow down to 20mph beneath the posted speed limit when approaching an law enforcement or other emergency vehicle on the side of the road. From yesterday, this law also applies to tow trucks and TxDOT vehicles.
Designed to discourage drunk hit and run drivers from fleeing a crash in the hope of getting off on lesser charges, the law has been amended to increase the criminal penalties faced by convicted hit and run motorists. The offence has been changed to a second-degree penalty, which means a up to 20 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.
Tampering With Air Bags
Anyone who modifies a legal air bag in a motor vehicle so that it no longer meets federal safety regulations now a state jail felony charge. This means up to two years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. These penalties also apply to anyone who makes, sells or installs counterfeit air bags.
Consider yourself informed – and please share these updates with your friends and family members using the social media share buttons on the left side of your screen.