11 New Traffic, Criminal Laws Hit the Books Sunday: Using Phones for Good and Bad, Salvia and Rendering Aid
Some new traffic laws will go into effect beginning this Sunday, September 1. That means that they will all be on the books for Labor Day and it's a good idea to know them because of that whole ignorance of the law thing. I found out the hard way when I got a ticket because I hadn't changed the address on my drivers license within 30 days of moving to a new place. Who knew?
You better stay on the straight and narrow, boy.
These new laws and modifications to existing laws include several pertaining to the use of technology in your car, all of which seem pretty reasonable, particularly when you don't have a hard copy of your proof of insurance with you.
Don't use your phone in a school zone.
HB347 expands on the current law prohibiting the use of wireless devices including cell phones in school zones. Now added to the law is any property of a public elementary, middle or junior high school -- you private school ninnies are on your own. This is only during school zone times and doesn't apply if you are stopped, having an emergency (no, changing your tee time does not count as an emergency) or if you are using a hands-free device, which is an interesting exception to the rule.
And while you're at it, don't pass a school bus, dummy.
It never ceases to amaze me when people go sailing through a school zone or flying past a stopped school bus. This is NOT ok. As a result, the state has increased fines to anyone pulling this little stunt. Plus, get a second one of these violations within five years of the first and your fine could double.
No proof of insurance? No problem.
One of the more frustrating limitations in the legal system has been its inability to keep up with technology. For example, if you don't have a copy of your insurance card on you, why shouldn't an image of it from the insurance company website or app suffice? Well, now it does. You can now use an image from your carrier's website of your insurance card as proof you are covered.
Slow down when approaching a police vehicle.
No, this doesn't mean you should slam on your brakes when you are doing 80 in a 55 and see a parked cop on the shoulder. But, it does mean if you see any Texas Department of Transportation vehicle with its lights on, you should slow the hell down, Speed Racer. This is an expansion of the state's existing Move Over/Slow Down law, boosting the consequences if you hurt someone or something in the process.