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New Texas Driving Laws in 2023
Texas will be ushering in a wave of legislative changes aiming to ensure the roads remain safe for its citizens. By September 1st, almost 800 new laws will be in effect, and if you’re a driver in Texas, there are several among these that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. From adaptable speed limits to stricter penalties for ignoring emergency vehicles, the Lone Star State is taking definitive steps to enhance on-road safety.
What These Laws Mean for You
Flexible Speed Limits in Changing Conditions
In light of the horrifying 133-vehicle pileup on Interstate 35 in Fort Worth in February 2021, House Bill 1885 has been passed. It grants engineers of the Texas Department of Transportation the authority to modify speed limits on specific road segments during construction work or in the presence of inclement weather.
Heavier Consequences for Not Yielding to Emergency Vehicles
Should you choose not to slow down or move aside for halted emergency vehicles, be prepared to face stiffer fines. House Bill 898 has made it clear: endangering emergency responders will not be taken lightly. If your actions lead to someone getting hurt, you might even end up behind bars.
Supporting the Next of Kin – Bentley’s Law
Named after legislation passed in other states that originated from a pivotal case in Missouri, House Bill 393 or ‘Bentley’s Law’ stipulates that individuals convicted of intoxication manslaughter must now offer restitution for children deprived of a parent or guardian due to such incidents.
Mandatory Identification at Stops
With the introduction of Senate Bill 1551, the act of failing to identify oneself becomes a criminal offense. If a motorist doesn’t present their driver’s license or refrains from providing essential details like their name, birth date, and address to an enforcer, they could be facing charges under Class B or C misdemeanor.
A Hard Stance Against Illegal Street Racing
Texas is clamping down on illegal street racers. While Senate Bill 1442 enhances the punitive measures for those involved in unauthorized street races, House Bill 2899 has provision for the impounding of vehicles used in such races. Notably, the car can be impounded even if no property damage or bodily injury results from the race, removing previous stipulations.
Texas continues its commitment to maintaining safety on its roads with this slew of new legislative changes. These laws, while strict, are aimed at cultivating an environment of responsibility and caution among the state’s drivers. As they come into effect, all Texans should strive to stay updated and act in the spirit of these regulations, ensuring a safer driving experience for everyone on the road.