New Laws Take Effect Sept. 1

AUSTIN September 2, 2015 - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today highlighted notable traffic and driver license laws that go into effect on Sept. 1, 2015 (unless otherwise indicated).

Traffic
HB 2194 creates an exemption to current statute that allows a vehicle to be left running and unattended if the operator starts the engine of the vehicle by using a remote starter or other similar device. (Effective June 19.)

SB 1918 amends current statute to authorize the use of LED ground-effect lighting equipment on a motorcycle.In accordance with this provision, such lighting is only permissible if it illuminates the body or ground below a motorcycle, and if it emits a non-flashing amber or white light. These limitations are designed to ensure the LED lights are not mistaken as the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle.

Driver License
SB 1934 amends current statute torequire social security numbers or proof that the applicant is not eligible for a social security number for all personal identification card issuances. It also limits the issuance of one Texas driver license or ID card per person and discontinues the issuance of no-expire ID cards for persons age 60 or older.

HB 2246 amends current statute to require a judge to restrict any person whose license has been suspended after the conviction of an intoxication offense to the operation of a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. Once suspended for the intoxication-related offense, a defendant may only operate a motor vehicle during the suspension period if an ignition interlock device is obtained and an occupational driver license is issued with the proper designation. The bill also requires the court to order the ignition interlock device to remain installed for the duration of the suspension, instead of the prior requirement of at least half of the suspension period. The applicable offenses include driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated with a child passenger, flying while intoxicated, boating while intoxicated, assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated, intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter.


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