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New Texas traffic laws come with real consequences
By: Ruben Veloz
EL PASO, Texas--If you happen to be driving in Texas there are some new traffic laws that went into effect Sept 1st.
Drivers who fail to stop for a school bus that's picking up or dropping off kids will be fined between $500-$1,250.
The old range used to be between $200-$1,000, but state legislators found drivers weren't following the law while the lights and stop sign were active.
"At 200 bucks they might do it again, but at a thousand, that's a couple car payments I don't think they will do it again after that," said Lower Valley resident Carlos Aguirre.
"There was an incident at Andress High School where a young lady got killed for somebody not stopping at the bus, so I think it will save lives," said West El Pasoan resident Donald Milner.
People who are also caught talking on their cell phone while driving within school property will also be fined.
Texas lawmakers also re-wrote the cellphone ban this year.
It's now extended to school parking lots and drop off zones.
Drivers who are caught by police violating the law could face a fine of $200.
"You can't concentrate on the road and be on the cellphone. I think that the laws are good and that they should increase the fines so people understand you can't be using the cell phones," said Milner.
Don't forget to move over or slow down for TxDOT workers on the highways.
What applies to police and firefighter vehicles now applies to highway workers.
Under the new law you must move over or drive 20 mph below the speed limit when a TxDOT worker is present.
Not doing so will result in a $2,000 fine if an officer pulls you over.
"Especially if it's on I-10 man, that's pretty bad right there, they might get hit."
In addition to all these new traffic laws, lawmakers are also increased the penalties for hit-and-run accidents especially ones involving pedestrians.
Officers across the state found too many people were leaving the scene of an accident because they were drunk and were able to avoid DWI charges.
In order to stop the trend legislators increased the penalty.
The penalty for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death is now the same as intoxicated manslaughter, with a punishment of 2 -20 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.