ALLOWING A DANGEROUS DRIVER TO BORROW A MOTOR VEHICLE Section 705.1 Transportation Code

A person commits an offense if he:

• Knowingly permits another to operate a motor vehicle owned by him; and
• Knows that at the time permission is given, the other person’s license is suspended as a result of a:

(A) a conviction of an offense for:
i) Driving While Intoxicated; or
ii ) Intoxicated Assault;
(B) failure to give a specimen under the implied consent statute Section 724.011 Transportation code.
This offense is a Class C misdemeanor.

EXAMPLE
Joe Public is best friends with J .F. Joe had his license suspended when he refused to take a breath alcohol test when he was stopped for the suspicion of DWI. J.F. was a passenger in Joe’s car when the guys were stopped and knows about Joe’s suspension. Joe has a big date, but he does not have a car to drive because his parents will not let him drive their car because of his pending DWI charge.J.F. allows Joe to drive his car. Joe is stopped for speeding. When the police check Joe’s driver’s license, the officer sees that Joe’s license is suspended. Joe is arrested for Driving While License Invalid (Section 521.457 Transportation Code). J.F. is issued a ticket through the mail for Allowing a Dangerous Driver to Borrow a Motor Vehicle, a Class C misdemeanor.

Driving Too Close in Texas ( Section 545.062 Transportation Code )

What Are The Rules On Driving Too Close In Texas ?

An operator will, if following another vehicle, maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles so, considering the speed of the vehicles, traffic, and the conditions of the highway, the operator can safely stop without colliding with the preceding vehicle or veering in to another vehicle, object, or person on or near the highway. This is a Class C misdemeanor.

Example:

Joe Public is always in a hurry and gets very frustrated with drivers who go slow but drive in the fast last. Joe is traveling in the left lane when he has to slow down because an old lady is driving five miles below the speed limit in the fast lane. Joe gets right on her bumper and flashes his lights and honks his horn to try to get her to move over. A police officer sees Joe tailgating the lady and pulls Joe over and gives him a traffic ticket for Driving Too Close and for Honking His Horn (Section 547.501 Transportation Code). Honking Your Horn is a traffic violation if it is not for the purpose of insuring safe operation.

Passing a School Bus in Texas

Ticketed for Passing A School Bus

A  stoppedschool busJoe Public is an 18 year old senior in high school. Joe is running late for school and gets caught behind a school bus on his drive to school. The bus is making a lot of stops to pick up children on the way to school. The bus is stopped and the stop sign on the side of the bus is extended. Joe checks both ways to see if any children are getting on the bus. He does not see anyone so he passes the bus. Joe also did not see the officer behind him. Joe is stopped and given a ticket for passing a school bus. Joe could receive a fine of up to $1,000.

Texas Transportation Code 545.066: Passing A School Bus

An operator on a highway, when approaching from either direction a school bus stopped on the highway to receive or discharge a student:

  • will stop before reaching the school bus when the bus is operating a visual signal; and
  • may not proceed until:

(i)        the bus resumes motion;

(ii)        bus operator signals to proceed;

(iii)       no visual sign is activated.

A driver is not required to stop if the driver is on a highway having separate roads which are divided by intervening space on which operation of a vehicle is not permitted. A highway is not considered to have separate roadways if the highway is only separated by a left turn lane.

An offense is a Class C misdemeanor with a fine between $200 to $1,000. If a person has been convicted of this offense before, the court may order his driver’s license suspended for up to 180 days.

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Traffic Laws You Should Know

The rules of the road in Texas are governed primarily by the Texas Transportation Code. This is the law, along with city ordinances, that police officers are trained to enforce. The only review of these laws for most Texas drivers was in their driver’s education course. Below are some of the traffic laws that are violated in very high numbers simply because drivers do not know that they are the law.

1. WIDE RIGHT TURN. In this situation you are approaching an intersection with the intent to make a right turn. The street you are turning onto has several lanes going each direction. Many drivers will swing out and turn into the first or second lane toward the center of the road. This is a legal violation that law enforcement refers to as a “wide right turn” In my estimation a majority of drivers violate this law when making right hand turns as they are simply unaware of the law. The Transportation Code provides:
Sec. 545.101. TURNING AT INTERSECTION. (a) To make a right turn at an intersection, an operator shall make both the approach and the turn as closely as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
As you can see, you are required to turn “as closely as practicable” into the lane nearest to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway. The “practicable” exception could be if you were pulling a trailer and could not make the turn without going into the center or left lane to complete the turn.

2. TURN SIGNALS: In this situation you approach an intersection with the intent to turn right. However, you do not turn on your signal until you are at the intersection. This is a Fail to Signal violation as the Transportation Code requires that you signal your intent to turn at least 100 feet before initiating the turn. The Transportation Codes states:
Sec. 545.104. SIGNALING TURNS; USE OF TURN SIGNALS. (a) An operator shall use the signal authorized by Section 545.106 to indicate an intention to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked position.
(b) An operator intending to turn a vehicle right or left shall signal continuously for not less than the last 100 feet of movement of the vehicle before the turn.
Interestingly, the 100 foot requirement only applies to turns and not lane changes. Although you are required to signal your intent to change lanes, the law is silent on how long before the lane change your signal must be given.

3. FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY: This is one of the most difficult to assess violations in the Texas Transportation Code. The law reads as follows:
Sec. 545.062. FOLLOWING DISTANCE. (a) An operator shall, if following another vehicle, maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles so that, considering the speed of the vehicles, traffic, and the conditions of the highway, the operator can safely stop without colliding with the preceding vehicle or veering into another vehicle, object, or person on or near the highway.

This broadly written law puts law enforcement in the position of making a judgment call on if your vehicle is too close to the one in front of you. The best advice is always keep several car lengths of distance between you and the car in front of you.

4. DRIVING ON SHOULDER: You are approaching a slower vehicle on a two lane road. You want to pass this vehicle but there are cars in the opposite lane of traffic that won’t allow you to pass on the opposite lane of traffic. You then proceed to pass on the shoulder. This is a violation of the law.

Sec. 545.058. DRIVING ON IMPROVED SHOULDER. (a) An operator may drive on an improved shoulder to the right of the main traveled portion of a roadway if that operation is necessary and may be done safely, but only:
(1) to stop, stand, or park;
(2) to accelerate before entering the main traveled lane of traffic;
(3) to decelerate before making a right turn;
(4) to pass another vehicle that is slowing or stopped on the main traveled portion of the highway, disabled, or preparing to make a left turn;
(5) to allow another vehicle traveling faster to pass;
(6) as permitted or required by an official traffic-control device; or
(7) to avoid a collision.
The law does not allow you to pass on the shoulder unless the car you are passing is disabled or slowing in the lane of travel to turn left. However, the slower car is allowed to use the shoulder to allow you to pass in the main lane of travel. You can use the shoulder to slow down before making a right hand turn. Finally, you may use the shoulder when required to avoid a collision.

5. PASSING EMERGENCY VEHICLE. This law was passed in 2003 and has drawn the ire of many motorists. In this scenario you are driving down the highway in the right lane when you notice a police car with his emergency lights on that has another driver stopped on the right hand shoulder. You continue in the same lane at the same speed as you pass the police vehicle. You have violated the law. The law states:
Sec. 545.157. PASSING AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE. (a) On approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle using visual signals that meet the requirements of Sections 547.305 and 547.702, an operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:
(1) vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle when driving on a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle; or
(2) slow to a speed not to exceed:
(A) 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or more; or
(B) five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is less than 25 miles per hour.
This law requires you, when on a road with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle, to put a lane between you and the officer if you are going to maintain your speed. If you are on a two lane road or remain in the lane next to the officer, you must slow to a speed 20 miles per hours less that posted speed if the speed limit is 25 or more.

The above are just a few of the most often violated portions of the Texas Transportation Code. Reviewing the laws periodically will certainly give you the knowledge to better understand what violations law enforcement are looking for.

Traffic Tickets in Texas and Why You Should Not Just Pay the Fine

by John Robinson

Many people consider traffic tickets and their associated fines just part of life. Some people just pay the fine without a second thought. If a person rarely gets a ticket, this may not be that big of a problem. However, as little as two tickets in three years can become a big problem. Not only do traffic violations have an impact on a person’s automobile insurance, they can also get a driver’s license suspended before the person realizes it is going to happen.

The Texas Transportation Code provides for the “Driver Responsibility Program” in Chapter 708. This is essentially a tax and penalty system that applies to a driver upon a certain number of moving violations within a fixed time period via a “point” system. The State of Texas began keeping track of points for all traffic convictions after September 1, 2003.

Basically, the Driver Responsibility Program creates a “point” system that applies to each traffic violation conviction a person receives. Two points are recorded for a moving violation conviction in Texas or from another state. Three points are recorded if the violation involved an accident. Non-moving violations, such as driving without a seat belt, having an expired inspection, having an expired registration and equipment violations, do not accrue points. Once a driver reaches six points within a 36-month period, a surcharge (code word for penalty) is applied. This surcharge is $100 for the first six points and $25 for each additional point. This surcharge must be paid to the Texas Department of Public Safety each year for three years. If you do not pay surcharge, the Department of Public Safety automatically suspends your driver’s license.

Certain offenses are treated more seriously. If you receive a single conviction of Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) or No Financial Responsibility (No Insurance), the point system doesn’t apply — you owe a surcharge of $250 per year for three years. Driving with No Valid Operators License (No DL) will also result in a surcharge of $100 per year for three years.

Points only apply to convictions. This is why it is very important to try to get your ticket dismissed or get deferred adjudication. Even though a deferred sentence involves a fee paid to the city in which the violation occurred, the ticket does not result in a conviction. Only convictions are sent to the Department of Public Safety to be entered into the system for points.

At Bailey & Galyen, we strive to avoid a conviction on each traffic ticket that we represent in court. If you are charged with a traffic offense, call Bailey & Galyen to minimize the damage.

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Traffic Laws You Should Know

The rules of the road in Texas are governed primarily by the Texas Transportation Code. This is the law, along with city ordinances, that police officers are trained to enforce. The only review of these laws for most Texas drivers was in their driver’s education course. Below are some of the traffic laws that are violated in very high numbers simply because drivers do not know that they are the law.

1. WIDE RIGHT TURN. In this situation you are approaching an intersection with the intent to make a right turn. The street you are turning onto has several lanes going each direction. Many drivers will swing out and turn into the first or second lane toward the center of the road. This is a legal violation that law enforcement refers to as a “wide right turn” The Transportation Code provides:

Sec. 545.101. TURNING AT INTERSECTION. (a) To make a right turn at an intersection, an operator shall make both the approach and the turn as closely as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

As you can see, you are required to turn “as closely as practicable” into the lane nearest to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway. The “practicable” exception could be if you were pulling a trailer and could not make the turn without going into the center or left lane to complete the turn.

2. TURN SIGNALS: In this situation you approach an intersection with the intent to turn right. However, you do not turn on your signal until you are at the intersection. This is a Fail to Signal violation as the Transportation Code requires that you signal your intent to turn at least 100 feet before inititiating the turn. The Transportation Codes states:

Sec. 545.104. SIGNALING TURNS; USE OF TURN SIGNALS. (a) An operator shall use the signal authorized by Section 545.106 to indicate an intention to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked position.

(b) An operator intending to turn a vehicle right or left shall signal continuously for not less than the last 100 feet of movement of the vehicle before the turn.

Interestingly, the 100 foot requirement only applies to turns and not lane changes. Although you are required to signal you intent to change lanes, the law is silent on how long before the lane change your signal must be given.

3. FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY: This is one of the most difficult to assess violations in the Texas Transportation Code. The law reads as follows:

Sec. 545.062. FOLLOWING DISTANCE. (a) An operator shall, if following another vehicle, maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles so that, considering the speed of the vehicles, traffic, and the conditions of the highway, the operator can safely stop without colliding with the preceding vehicle or veering into another vehicle, object, or person on or near the highway.

This broadly written law puts law enforcement in the position of making a judgment call on if your vehicle is too close to the one in front of you. The best advice is always keep several car lengths of distance between you and the car in front of you.

4. DRIVING ON SHOULDER: You are approaching a slower vehicle on a two lane road. You want to pass this vehicle but there are cars in the opposite lane of traffic that won’t allow you to pass on the opposite lane of traffic. You then proceed to pass on the shoulder. This is a violation of the law.

Sec. 545.058. DRIVING ON IMPROVED SHOULDER. (a) An operator may drive on an improved shoulder to the right of the main traveled portion of a roadway if that operation is necessary and may be done safely, but only:

(1) to stop, stand, or park;

(2) to accelerate before entering the main traveled lane of traffic;

(3) to decelerate before making a right turn;

(4) to pass another vehicle that is slowing or stopped on the main traveled portion of the highway, disabled, or preparing to make a left turn;

(5) to allow another vehicle traveling faster to pass;

(6) as permitted or required by an official traffic-control device; or

(7) to avoid a collision.

The law does not allow you to pass on the shoulder unless the car you are passing is disabled or slowing in the lane of travel to turn left. However, the slower car is allowed to use the shoulder to allow you to pass in the main lane of travel. You can use the shoulder to slow down before making a right hand turn. Finally, you may use the shoulder when required to avoid a collision.

5. PASSING EMERGENCY VEHICLE. This law was passed in 2003 and has drawn the ire of many motorists. In this scenario you are driving down the highway in the right lane when you notice a police car with his emergency lights on that has another driver stopped on the right hand shoulder. You continue in the same lane at the same speed as you pass the police vehicle. You have violated the law. The law states:

Sec. 545.157. PASSING AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE. (a) On approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle using visual signals that meet the requirements of Sections 547.305 and 547.702, an operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:

(1) vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle when driving on a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle; or

(2) slow to a speed not to exceed:

(A) 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or more; or

(B) five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is less than 25 miles per hour.

This law requires you, when on a road with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency verhicle, to put a lane between you and the officer if you are going to maintain your speed. If you are on a two lane road or remain in the lane next to the officer, you must slow to a speed 20 miles per hours less that posted speed if the speed limit is 25 or more.

• The above are just a few of the most often violated portions of the Texas Transportation Code. Reviewing the laws periodically will certainly give you the knowledge to better understand what violations law enforcement are looking for.