Our State Rolls Out the New Texas Driving Laws

Lewisville VW is proud to be a Texas-based VW dealership. The new Texas driving laws were rolled out starting at midnight on September 1. Now that we have had some time to watch the changes take effect, here’s the lowdown on exactly what changed – and what the changes mean for you.

Speed Limits

A barrage of new speed limit laws went into effect with the new traffic policies. Speed limits on beaches were lowered to 15 mph. School buses with commercial vehicle inspection stickers will now be able to go 60 mph on highways, while school buses without those stickers will be allowed a maximum speed of 50 mph. Large trucks and school activity buses will now be able to travel the same speed as cars on the highways, while lower speeds for large vehicles will continue to be maintained on back roads.

Perhaps the most widely-reported change is the new maximum highway speed limit of 85 mph. TxDOT is in the process of conducting a speed study and will raise the speed limit on appropriate roadways where it is deemed safe. If you’ve got a new (or new-to-you) VW to test, that higher speed limit could be just the ticket. Just be safe out there!

Expect to see changes made over the next few months. Keep a close eye on speed limit signs in your area, as many of them could change from one day to the next. You’ll see minimum speed limit signs changed and nighttime speed limit signs removed across the state. Remember that a higher speed limit does not equal permission for dangerous or unsafe driving practices.

 Seatbelt Laws

Previous seatbelt laws were extended in the new provisions to include every child in the vehicle, no matter where they are seated. Any child younger than the age of 15 must be restrained in a manner suitable to their size and weight. No exceptions! Children over 12 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall may graduate from booster seats to seatbelts as long as that seatbelt fits them securely – across the upper thighs, not across the stomach.

Other Tidbits

Legislation to increase the driving age was introduced but not passed; the legal driving age remains 16 in the state of Texas. The DWI threshold has been dropped from 0.10 to 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration. Vehicle inspection fees have been increased; and new driver’s license and ID cards will include a writeable surface where card holders can fill in an emergency contact number, along with space for physician instructions and/or drug and allergy warnings.

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