Dana Tyson

 
Dana Tyson

Lots of new STATE laws go into effect Sunday so you'd best check this list out - (remember ignorance is no excuse)

I'm going to save you money and maybe even time in jail!


HB 347 expands the current limitations on wireless communication
device (cell phone) use in an active school crossing zone to include the
property of a public elementary, middle, or junior high school for which a local
authority has designated a school crossing zone. The use will only be restricted
during the time a reduced speed limit is in effect for the school crossing zone.
Further, it will not apply to vehicles that are stopped, or drivers using a
hands-free device or making an emergency call.

HB 1174 amends current statute to increase the minimum fines for the
misdemeanor offense of passing a stopped school bus loading or unloading
children. The minimum fine increases from $200 to $500, and the maximum fine for
such an offense increases from $1,000 to $1,250. The bill also enhances the
penalty for a second or subsequent conviction of that offense committed within
five years to a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum
fine of $2,000.

SB 181 allows a motor vehicle operator the option of using a wireless
communication device (such as a cell phone) to display motor vehicle financial
responsibility (proof of insurance) information as evidence of financial
responsibility. The display does not constitute effective consent for a law
enforcement officer, or any other person, to access the contents of the wireless
communication device except to view the financial responsibility information.
*This bill is effective immediately.

SB 510 requires drivers to move over or slow down (as required
depending on the roadway) when approaching a stationary Texas Department of
Transportation vehicle with its lights activated and not separated from the
roadway by a traffic-control device. This provision expands the state's Move
Over/Slow Down law, which already requires drivers to yield to tow trucks,
police, fire and emergency vehicles. Violators would commit a misdemeanor
offense punishable by a fine of up to $200; punishable by a fine of $500 if
property damage occurs; or a Class B misdemeanor if the violation results in
bodily damage.

HB 2304 lowers the population requirement from 2.2 million to one
million for counties where sheriffs or deputy sheriffs can be certified by DPS
to enforce federal commercial motor vehicle regulations. This will open the
opportunity to Bexar, Tarrant and Travis counties.

HB 625 clarifies that the penalty for operating a vehicle on a public
highway without displaying the two license plates assigned to the vehicle is a
misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

HB 3668 amends current statute to require the operator of a vehicle
involved in an accident that results or is reasonably likely to result in the
injury or death of a person to immediately determine whether a person is
involved in the accident, and if so, whether the person requires aid, in
addition to other existing statutory requirements.

SB 275 increases the penalty for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle
accident resulting in the death of a person and failing to render aid from a
third-degree felony to a second-degree felony. A second degree felony carries a
punishment of two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine not to exceed
$10,000, whereas a third degree felony carries a penalty of two to 10 years in
prison and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.

HB 1284 increases the penalty for the offense of initiating,
communicating or circulating a false report of an emergency (such as a bomb
threat) involving an institution of higher education from a Class A misdemeanor
to a state jail felony. *This bill is effective immediately.

HB 124 adds Salvia divinorum (unless unharvested and growing in its
natural state)  including all parts of the plant, seeds and extracts from a
part of the plant  to Penalty Group 3 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act.

HB 2637 provides that an individual fraudulently using identifying
information to avoid registering as a sex offender to be punished at the next
highest degree felony.


 

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