New Laws Starting Sunday Will Affect Texas Drivers

Traffic laws are changing that hopefully will make our streets safer and curtail the would be NASCAR drivers all around us. Here they are:

Drunk driving: If a drunk driver causes a collision that results in a traumatic brain injury, he will automatically be charged with a felony. Further, police can get a warrant and force compliance with an alcohol test.

Emergency vehicles: A driver must reduce your speed to 20 mph below the speed limit or move over one lane when passing an emergency vehicle or a police car or tow truck stopped on the side of the road. This also applies to DPS and DMV crews.

Phones around schools: Texabs cannot talk on a cell phone (unless it is hands-free or it is an emergency call) on or near all school property, including parking lots and dropoff lanes. You can be fined up to $200.00 if you do.

Hit and runs: The penalty for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death is the same as that for intoxication manslaughter: 2-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Passing school buses: The fine for passing a school bus with flashing lights has been greatly raised to $500.00 to $1,250.00, and doubles if a person has two or more violations within five years. Some cities already have cameras that film drivers who violate the law and mail tickets.

Drivers licenses: Youths who need a hardship license and people who owe surcharges are affected.

Repayment for vehicle crashes: At fault drivers will have to pay a fee toward the repair of damage they cause to roadways and structures in an accident.

New drivers: Texans who get a hardship driver’s license will have to follow the same restrictions as other new drivers and can’t use a cellphone, drive between midnight and 5 a.m. or transport more than one passenger under 21 who isn’t a relative.

Air bags: A person who makes, sells, installs, or alters counterfeit air bags will serve up to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

I hope you have a wonderful — and safe — Labor Day weekend.

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