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New Traffic Laws Go Into Effect in Texas

“In case you were unaware, some new traffic laws went into effect in Texas as of September 1st. Hopefully, these modifications will not increase automobile accidents and give personal injury lawyers more business. Here are the new changes:

Texas Speed Limit Law Changes

“There are two main changes to the speed limit laws. The first one keeps the speed limits the same during the day and night. We have all driven the roads that have two different posted speeds, that is no longer. Although the law has officially gone into effect, the signs that list two different speed limits could stay up for months. TxDOT says that drivers should adhere to posted speeds until the changes can be made. State Representative Larry Phillip said, “Texas is the last state that has a nighttime difference. No other state does. So, we need to be consistent.“

“The second part to the uniform speed has to do with truck drivers. There are no longer separate speed limits for truck drivers. They can now travel at the same speed as everyone else on all Texas roadways. This change has drawn some negative feedback from those who are worried that the increased speed for trucks will cause more fatal accidents.

“The other big change is the maximum speed limit now allowed on a Texas highway is 85 miles per hour, the highest in the country. Although no road has a speed limit greater than 80 mph.

“State Trooper Mark Tackett says, “Increased speeds will lead to more accidents whenever you have heavy traffic volume. That’s why the engineers are going to go out and they’re going to survey the particular areas to see if it is safe to do so.”

“David Selman, engineer for TxDOT, said, “It will be based on the speed study. The speed limit may stay at 70 mph.” TxDOT is hiring a consultant to conduct a speed study. This process takes several months. Selman said, “They (hired consultant) will take the 85th percentile and based on that, and the terrain, and the profile of the roadway, they’ll determine if the speed limit needs to be raised.” The deadline for the speed study to be completed is December 31st.

“State Rep. Phillips said that the new laws were very popular in the House and Senate (there were only two “no” votes in the House). “We’ve raised the speed limits out in West Texas on some of the interstates and there have been no adverse conditions. Our vehicles can handle faster speeds so now there will be roads that can accept those faster speeds,” Phillips stated.

Tow Trucks

“A few years ago, a law was passed that required drivers to move over a lane or reduce their speed by at least twenty miles per hour below the posted speed limit when passing an emergency vehicle that is pulled over on the side of the road with its lights blinking. That law now applies when encountering a tow truck, as well. This change will protect tow truck drivers as they execute their job as well as safeguard the drivers that are passing.

Hardship Licenses

“Hardship licenses will now be suspended if the possessor is convicted of two or more moving violations within a twelve month period.

“The increase in the speed limit on highways will be popular among most Texans. Let’s hope that these increased speeds for cars and trucks will not mean more work and new clients for our well-qualified Texas personal injury lawyers.

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