According to DallasNews, Texas drivers will need to be careful out on the road starting next week as a new list of driving laws are introduced. The measures will take place on September 1st, Labor Day, and cover cell phone use around schools, passing stopped school buses, and protecting the Texas Department of Transportation work crews.
The Texas Department of Transportation will also be introducing a new law which increases the penalties for serious hit-and-run accidents in the area. The Texas government believes that making penalties harsher for hit-and-run accidents will reduce the amount of hit-and-runs in the state and therefore improve the safety of the roadways.
The Dallas Deputy Police Chief says that these new driving laws may be able to save lives. Police observed last year that drivers involved in deadly accidents were often fleeing before the officers arrived. This is because many of the drivers in hit-and-run accidents had been drinking, and didn't want to get caught. The penalty for leaving the scene of a hit-and-run accident previously used to be less than the penalty for DUI manslaughter. Therefore, those that were involved in deadly accidents would opt to run and hope that they would receive a hit-and-run charge rather than a manslaughter charge.
Lawmakers say that this previous organization of the laws gave offenders the incentive to leave the scene of an accident. This is not helpful for authorities, so instead the government heightened the penalties. Effective Sunday, the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death will be the same as the penalty for intoxication manslaughter. Those that leave the scene of an accident can spend between two and twenty years in prison and have a fine up to $10,000. If you are arrested for a
hit-and-run offense, contact a
Plano criminal defense attorney at our firm today to get assistance with your case!