New Texas Traffic Laws

Jul 09

It’s always important to stay up on the latest traffic laws, and if you’re a diver in the Lone Star State, there were quite a few new ones this last year.  Listed below are some of the new Texas traffic laws that went into effect during the last legislative session.

HB 378:  Tow trucks have now been added to the “slow down or move over” laws.  With the current “move over” laws, drivers are required Texas Signmove over a lane or slow down to 20 mph below the speed limit when there is a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights flashing.

HB 1353:  Sorry truck drivers!  Separate speed limits for trucks have now been eliminated.  In addition, speed limits are now the same for all drivers during day and night driving.

Don’t worry speed freaks!  Those that feel the need for speed can still rejoice because the Texas Transportation Commission recently approved a speed limit increase from 70 to 75 on state highways.  This followed an investigation by the agency which stated that the five mile increase would be reasonable and safe.  However, don’t expect to start traveling at this new speed limit (without getting a ticket) unless you actually see it posted on your highway!

HB 2981:  A child under 18 cannot ride in a watercraft while it’s being towed on a street or highway.  I’m not sure exactly who was violating this law, but if you are, stop it!  Just spend the fifty cents on one of the supermarket kiddie rides (which may not be as exciting, but are quite a bit safer!).

HB 90:  Individuals currently holding a hardship driver license will have it suspended if they are convicted of two or more moving violations within a year period.  The DPS will also no longer waive the driver education requirement in order to issue a 60-day hardship license.

Military Driver WomanHB 1148 & HB 1514:  Veterans that have a 60% or more service-related disability are exempt from a personal identification certificate as long as they can show an honorable discharge.  Under previous laws, veterans were exempted from driver license fees.  Vets can also have a “veteran designation” displayed on their driver license by applying and providing proof of military service and honorable discharge.

HB 2851:  Military personal can now get a deferral for surcharges assessed under the Driver Responsibility Program if they are actively deployed outside the United States.  It’s the least we can do to support our troops!

SB 1330:  Drivers under 25 that are cited for a moving violation may now be required to take a four-hour driving safety course.  (I have a list of a couple good ones at the end of the article).

SB 321: I’m not sure that I’m terribly excited about this one.  With this new law, employers may not prohibit employees with a Texas concealed handgun license from transporting or storing their firearm or ammunition in a locked, privately owned vehicle in the employer’s parking lot.  On an unrelated side note, employees across Texas should expect an increase vacation days, overtime, and doughnuts in the staff room.

That’s about it for the 2011 season, but stay tuned for the new Texas traffic laws that are expected to be announced soon for 2012.  If you do get a ticket and are required to take a defensive driving course, I recommend going the online route.  Online courses are fast and easy and let you take the course in sections that you can start and stop whenever you have the time (instead of those never-ending classroom courses that pretty much destroy your weekend!). Texas Nature

Check out these Texas defensive driving courses:

4 comments

  1. Mike Christophers /

    ” Drivers under 25 that are cited for a moving violation may now be required to take a four-hour driving safety course. ”

    Note that “required” is in there! In some states it’s an option to get points taken off your driving record. If Texas is requiring it you want to make sure you comply quickly.

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