New state laws take effect

Higher fees for school zone, bus violations

By Courtney Gilmore - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - It's a new month, and with that, new laws are on the books.

With school back in session, school buses are back on the roads, transporting students to and from school. If you get stuck behind one and decide to pass a stopped school bus, loading or unloading kids, it could cost you.

House bill 1174 changes the minimum fine to $500 dollars and the maximum now sits at $1,200 dollars. In the event you get a second violation within five years, you could pay a $2,000 dollar fine.

School zones are now considered cell phone free zones during the time a reduced speed limit is in effect. However, it does not apply to vehicles that are stopped or drivers using a hands-free device or making an emergency call.

The move over or slow down law has expanded to stationary Texas Department of Transportation vehicles with lights on. The law already requires drivers to yield to tow trucks, police, fire and emergency vehicles.

Another new law also allows drivers to display and store proof of insurance information on their cell phone.

For a full list of the new laws which take effect, click here.

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