Reed & Terry, L.L.P.
1-877-543-3523 toll free
575-208-5300 local

Reminder: Texas move-over law, other traffic changes begin Sunday

Starting on Sunday, Sept. 1, a number of new laws meant to reduce and require more assistance after car accidents will go into effect. The Texas legislature just expanded our “Move Over/Slow Down” law to include Department of Transportation vehicles in addition to police, fire and emergency vehicles and tow trucks, which were already covered.

Under a new law, if you see a stationary DOT vehicle with its lights flashing and it’s not behind a construction barrier, you need to move over at least one lane and slow down. Failure to do so will be a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $200; if there’s damage, the fine goes up to $500.

Several other traffic safety laws are going into effect, too. First, a new item has been added to your legal obligations after a car accident. If the accident is reasonably likely to cause an injury, you must immediately determine whether anyone was involved and, if so, if that person needs aid

Moreover, the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death have gone way up. If you skip out and fail to render aid, you can now be charged with a second-degree, up from a third-degree felony. That means you would be facing up to 20 years in prison, plus a potential fine of up to $10,000.

Texas is also cracking down on distracted driving in school zones. The minimum fine for passing a school bus while it’s loading or unloading kids will rise from $200 to $500, and the maximum fine will be $1,250. Second and subsequent convictions within five years carry a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum of $2,000.

If you’re in a driving near a designated school crossing zone, or on public school property, hang up your cell phone. Enhanced restrictions on the use of wireless communication devices are in place, and apply whenever the speed limit has been reduced for children crossing. If you must talk, you can still use a hands-free device or stop your car. The limit doesn’t apply to drivers making 911 calls.

Finally, you’ll now be able to use your smart phone to provide proof of insurance after a traffic accident or if you’re pulled over.

Working together, we can cut down on car accidents and make our roads safer for everyone. Don’t wait until Sunday to start following the new safety rules.

Sources: 

  • The Houston Chronicle's Highwayman blog, "Reminder: Rules of the road changing Sept. 1," Dug Begley, Aug. 30, 2013
  • Texas Department of Public Safety News Release, "New Traffic, Criminal Laws Take Effect Sept. 1," Aug. 29, 2013

GET THE HELP YOU NEED CONTACT OUR ATTORNEYS

Email Us For A Response

Bold labels are required.

Please note that First AND/OR Last Name, and Email AND/OR Phone are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Sugar Land Office
Reed & Terry, L.L.P.
56 Sugar Creek Center Boulevard
Suite 300
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Phone: 281-201-0988
Toll Free: 877-543-3523
Fax: 281-491-5055
Sugar Land Law Office Map

Katy Office
Reed & Terry, L.L.P.
702 South Mason Road
Katy, TX 77450

Phone: 281-201-0988
Toll Free: 877-543-3523
Fax: 281-491-5055
Katy Law Office Map

Richmond Office
Reed & Terry, L.L.P.
201 South 11th St.
Richmond, TX 77469

Phone: 281-201-0988
Toll Free: 877-543-3523
Fax: 281-491-5055
Richmond Law Office Map

Houston Office
1201 Shepherd Drive
Houston, TX 77007
Phone: 281-201-0988
Toll Free: 877-543-3523
Fax: 281-491-5055
Map and Directions

Austin Office
Reed & Terry, L.L.P.
2312 Western Trails Boulevard
Suite 102-A
Austin, TX 78745

Phone: 281-201-0988
Toll Free: 877-543-3523
Fax: 281-491-5055
Austin Law Office Map

Review Us