Texas Gets Ready For New Round Of Laws

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

In just a few weeks, the way you drive across Texas is changing. However, most of those changes will affect passengers more than it will drivers.

The biggest change has to do with seat belts. We all know here in Texas that drivers have to wear them. And that rule remains the same for the passenger. And now even if you are in the backseat, you have to wear your seat belt. Otherwise starting September 1st, you're going to get a ticket.

"The law requires that everyone seating in the passenger compartment of the vehicle including vans that seat 15 or less passengers be required to be buckled up by a safety belt. And that just gives everybody a little more safety when riding inside of a vehicle in case they're involved in a traffic crash," said Sergeant Charles Booker with the Texas Highway Patrol.

Another law will require children under the age of 8 or shorter than 4'9'' to use a booster seat while riding in car. An initial fine of $25 isn't bad but your second offense will cost you $250. Fortunately, DPS officers will give you a little time to let the law sink in.

"Just trying to get the word out to make folks aware of the new laws so there will be a warning on the seat belt law," said Booker.

If you plan on getting a motorcycle this fall, the state will require you to take an approved motorcycle operator training course. That will be on top of taking a written motorcycle test and going on a test run with DPS Officer.

"It's something that's great that the state is mandating that. It's going to put more experienced, better drivers, and safer drivers out on the road," said Will Welch with Independence Harley Davidson.

Talking on your cell phone while driving in a school zone will no longer be allowed and if you're a teenager looking forward to getting your drivers license, expect a little more drive time before being approved.

The new law requires students drive for 34 hours with an instructor, 20 hours more than the current 14 hours.

We talked to both College Station ISD and Bryan ISD about the communication free school zone law.

Both districts are interested in adopting the change, but of course that decision can only be made by the city and police department.

The item is on College Station's council agenda for discussion on August 27 and although the Bryan council hasn't added it its upcoming agenda, they do plan to explore their options in the near future.

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