New Texas driving laws have changed the way motorists drive on the highway. Now, drivers are no longer required to display inspection stickers on their windshields. While the new law doesn't ban drivers from checking their oil, brakes, and lights, it does ban texting while driving. However, drivers are still required to have their cars checked at state inspection sites. Those who violate the new law face fines up to $200, and may be subject to legal action if they cause property damage.
The new Texas driving laws will take effect on Sept. 1, 2013. These laws include increased penalties for traffic and moving violations, including leaving the scene of an accident. In addition, drivers are no longer allowed to use their cellphones within one mile of a school. Moreover, drivers are now prohibited from passing a stopped school bus without halting the vehicle. They should also avoid leaving the scene of an accident unless it is their fault, which can result in a fine of up to $5000.
Other changes to the new Texas driving laws are SB 209 and SB 193. These new laws restrict the use of mobile navigation systems and video displays while driving. The new laws also make it illegal to drive while distracted or impaired, even while wearing a safety helmet. Additionally, SB 439 and HB 193 prohibit drivers from adding reflective material to their license plates. These new laws are meant to make it easier for drivers to have proof of their insurance on them at all times. However, drivers should remember that their cell phones still do not give law enforcement officers the power to search your cell phone without a warrant.
Other new Texas driving laws address safety issues. The "Move Over/Slow Down" law requires motorists to slow down or move over when approaching stationary vehicles. In addition to this, HB3990 requires law enforcement officers to file written reports with the TxDOT, performing a traffic study of the intersection and taking reasonable steps to improve safety. Once an intersection is identified as a highway safety corridor, it will be subject to double fines.
SB 275 increases the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident or failure to render aid. Drivers who fail to provide assistance will now face a second-degree felony, resulting in two to twenty years in jail and a fine up to $10,000. HB 1284 updates the penalty for a false alarm. Now, drivers cannot use their motorized scooters on a highway with a speed limit higher than 35 mph.
In addition to the texting ban, Texas has also banned drivers from using handheld cell phones while behind the wheel. While texting while driving is dangerous, the new Texas driving law will make roadways safer for everyone. Most cities allow cell phone use for calling, music, and navigation. It is still illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use a cell phone while driving in school zones. The new laws are in place to reduce distracted driving and prevent future crashes.