Texas is the second-largest state in the US by size, at 695,662 square kilometers, just behind Alaska. It is also the second-largest state by population, coming behind California. In 2020, it had a population of 29,145,505, giving it a population density of 43 people per square kilometer. More people mean more cars on the road and more licenses issued. In 2020, Texas had a total of 17,667,039 registered drivers with licenses. In the same year, it had 8,088,058 registered vehicles.
The higher the number of people on the road, the higher the occurrence of road accidents. To avoid accidents, there are traffic rules, but these rules get broken every day, increasing the number of traffic violators. Most of these driving violations border around drinking and driving - amounting to 46%, and texting and driving account for 27.2%. In 2020, Texas ranked third for the worst drivers in the US.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) handles the laws of driving and calling out offenders. They have a handbook of about 80 pages on driver’s safety covering all current driving and traffic laws. An alternative to the handbook is registering for an online driver’s class. The online course takes only about six hours to complete, and you can access it using any smart device. The online platform is a preferred option for many people, as it gives a large room of versatility for learning the laws of driving in Texas.
In Texas, and the US in general, there are two categories of driving violations - Moving and Non-moving violations. These categories have different fines and punishments, as their severity differs.
Moving violations come up when your car is in motion. Examples are over speeding, drinking and driving, driving under the influence, or running a red light. Non-moving violations are violations that come up without moving your car. It is usually about having faulty or missing equipment. Moving violations are generally more severe than non-moving violations and attract more sanctions from the government.
If you break any of the laws and get pulled over by the police, you will be given a ticket. Dismissing the tickets given to you depends on the violation in question. The DMV can write off some violations by attending a driver’s training class; some can be written off if you pay a fine, and others when you appear in court.
Like other places in the US, Texas has general driving rules that apply, regardless of the place in question, and they have rules peculiar to their locale. Some of the general driving rules include:
These are some of the general traffic laws that apply in Texas. Other traffic laws are peculiar to Texas and may appear strange to other parts of the world. Some of them include:
If you are charged with any traffic offenses, you will be given a ticket, and it stands until you sort it out by paying a fine or appearing in court. The fines and penalties vary according to the court, and a delay in payment can give you additional late fees. If you violate a traffic law and it is added to your record, it stays there for three years. The US runs a point system where traffic violations add points to your license. These points remain in your records for three years and attract surcharges for those three years. Even if you commit a traffic violation in states other than Texas, the points are recorded in your Texas license.
If you are guilty of any moving violation, it adds two points to your record; three points would be added if the violation resulted in an accident. If you accumulate more than six points in your record within three years, you will be faced with surcharges.
Driving with an invalid license and without insurance can lead to a surcharge of $250 each. Driving without a license or an expired license will attract a surcharge of $100. These surcharges will be in your record for three years.
To avoid being pulled over for an expired license, ensure to renew your registration in Texas in due time. You can renew it at your local county or online. You can use service providers like Swift-tags to process your license. Swift-tags send you reminders when your license is about to expire, so you no longer have to drive with an expired license or in fear of being pulled over by the police.
When minor traffic violations are committed, they can be written off if you attend the defensive driving course. However, before applying for the course, you must not have taken a driving course at least one year before your violation. You must not be in possession of a commercial driver’s license, and you must not be currently enrolled in a driving course for other violations.
Cases like no car insurance, illegally passing a school bus, hit and run, driving at 25 mph or more above the speed limit, or violations around construction zones cannot be forgiven even if you attend a defensive driving course.