271 terms

BPOC Traffic code 2

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544.004. COMPLIANCE WITH TRAFFIC-CONTROL DEVICE
(a) The operator of a vehicle shall comply w/ an official traffic-control device placed unless:
(1) otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer; or
(2) operating an authorized emergency vehicle and is subject to exceptions
(b) A provision of this subtitle requiring an official traffic-control device may not be enforced against an alleged violator if at the time and place of the alleged violation the device is not in proper position and sufficiently legible to an ordinarily observant person. A provision of this subtitle that does not require an official traffic-control device is effective regardless of whether a device is in place.
544.005. INTERFERENCE WITH TRAFFIC-CONTROL DEVICE OR RAILROAD SIGN OR SIGNAL
A person may not, without lawful authority, alter, injure, knock down, or remove or attempt to alter, injure, knock down, or remove:
(1) an official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal;
(2) an inscription, shield, or insignia on an official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal; or
(3) another part of an official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal.
544.0055. TRAFFIC-CONTROL SIGNAL PREEMPTION DEVICE; OFFENSE
(a) "traffic-control signal preemption device" means a device designed, intended, or used to interfere w/ or alter the operation of a traffic-control signal.
(b) a person commits an offense if the person uses, sells, offers for sale, purchases, or possesses for use or sale a traffic-control signal preemption device.
(c) The possession of a traffic-control signal preemption device creates the presumption that the person possessed the device for use or sale.
OFFENSE; CLASS C

(e) Not applicable to:
(1) FD, LE, EMS or other emergency services in the course of providing those services;
(2) a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of traffic-control signal preemption devices in the course of making, selling, or delivering said device.
544.006. DISPLAY OF UNAUTHORIZED SIGNS, SIGNALS, OR MARKINGS
(a) A person may not place, maintain, or display on or in view of a highway an unauthorized sign, signal, marking, or device that:
(1) imitates or resembles an official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal;
(2) attempts to direct the movement of traffic; or
(3) hides from view or hinders the effectiveness of an official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal.
(b) A person may not place or maintain on a highway, and a public authority may not permit on a highway, a traffic sign or signal bearing commercial advertising.
(c) A person may not place or maintain a flashing light or flashing electric sign within 1,000 feet of an intersection except under a permit issued by the Texas Transportation Commission.
(d) This section does not prohibit a person from placing on private property adjacent to a highway a sign that gives useful directional information and that cannot be mistaken for an official sign.
(e) A sign, signal, light, or marking prohibited under this section is a public nuisance. The authority with jurisdiction over the highway may remove that sign, signal, light, or marking without notice.
544.007. TRAFFIC-CONTROL SIGNALS IN GENERAL
(a) A traffic-control signal may display only green, yellow, or red and applies to operators of vehicles
(b) Circular green signal- operator may proceed straight or turn right or left unless there is a sign. Yield the right-of-way to other vehicles & pedestrians lawfully in the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk
(c) Green arrow signal- displayed alone or w/another signal, may cautiously enter the intersection to move in the direction permitted by the arrow or other indication. Yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian lawfully in an adjacent crosswalk and other traffic.(d)Steady red signal- shall stop at a clearly marked stop line or before entering the crosswalk. A vehicle that is not turning shall remain standing. After stopping, standing until the intersection may be entered safely, and yielding right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully in an adjacent crosswalk and other traffic lawfully using the intersection, the operator may:
(1) turn right; or
(2) turn left, if the intersecting streets are both one-way streets and a left turn is permissible.
(e) Steady yellow signal- is warned by that signal that:
(1) movement authorized by a green signal is being terminated; or
(2) a red signal is to be given.
(f) A turn may be prohibited by TTC on a steady red light by posting notice the turn is prohibited
(g) This section applies to an official traffic-control signal placed and maintained at a place other than an intersection,
1. Stop shall be made not the pavement showing where to stop.
2. If there is no sign then the stop shall be made at the signal.
544.007 Freeway entrance ramp control signal
means a traffic-control signal that controls the flow of traffic entering a freeway.
544.007 Pedestrian hybrid beacon
means a pedestrian-controlled traffic-control signal that displays different colored lights successively only when activated by a pedestrian.
544.008. FLASHING SIGNALS
a) The operator of a vehicle facing a flashing red signal shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, crosswalk or on the near side of the intersection. In the absence of a crosswalk, the operator shall stop at the place nearest the intersecting roadway where the operator has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. The right to proceed is subject to the rules applicable after stopping at a stop sign.
(b) The operator of a vehicle facing a flashing yellow signal may proceed through an intersection or past the signal only with caution.
(c) This section does not apply at a railroad crossing.
544.009. LANE-DIRECTION-CONTROL SIGNALS
If a lane-direction-control signal is placed over an individual lane of a highway, a vehicle may travel in a lane over which a green signal is shown but may not enter or travel in a lane over which a red signal is shown.
544.010. STOP SIGNS AND YIELD SIGNS
a) Unless directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic-control signal, the operator of a vehicle approaching an intersection with a stop sign shall stop as provided by Subsection (c).
(b) If safety requires, the operator of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall stop as provided by Subsection (c).
(c) An operator required to stop by this section shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or clearly marked stop line or at the place nearest the intersecting roadway where the operator has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.
544.011. LANE USE SIGNS
If, on a highway having more than one lane with vehicles traveling in the same direction, the Texas Department of Transportation or a local authority places a sign that directs slower traffic to travel in a lane other than the farthest left lane, the sign must read "left lane for passing only."
544.012. NOTIFICATION OF PHOTOGRAPHIC TRAFFIC MONITORING SYSTEM.
(b) This section applies only to a municipality that employs a photographic traffic monitoring system to enforce compliance with the instructions of traffic-control signals in the municipality.
(c) The municipality shall install signs along each roadway that leads to an intersection at which a photographic traffic monitoring system is in active use. The signs must be at least 100 feet from the intersection, be easily readable to any operator approaching the intersection, and clearly indicate the presence of a photographic monitoring system that records violations that may result in the issuance of a notice of violation and the imposition of a monetary penalty.
(d) A municipality that fails to comply with Subsection (c) may not impose or attempt to impose a civil or administrative penalty against a person, for failure to comply with the instructions of a traffic-control signal located at the applicable intersection.
(d) does not prohibit a peace officer from arresting or issuing a citation if the offense happens in his presence.
544.012 Photographic traffic monitoring system
means a system that:
(A) consists of a camera and vehicle sensor installed to work in conjunction with an electrically operated traffic-control signal; and
(B) is capable of producing one or more recorded images that depict the license plate attached to a motor vehicle that is not operated in compliance with the instructions of the traffic-control signal.
544.012 Recorded image
means an image that:
(A) depicts a motor vehicle; and
(B) is automatically recorded on a photograph or digital image.
545.051. DRIVING ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY.
a) An operator on a roadway of sufficient width shall drive on the right half of the roadway, unless:
(1) the operator is passing another vehicle;
(2) an obstruction necessitates moving the vehicle left of the center of the roadway and the operator yields the right-of-way to a vehicle that:
(A) is moving in the proper direction on the unobstructed portion of the roadway; and
(B) is an immediate hazard;
(3) the operator is on a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic; or
(4) the operator is on a roadway restricted to one-way traffic.
(b) An operator of a vehicle on a roadway moving more slowly than the normal speed of other vehicles shall drive in the right-hand lane available for vehicles unless the operator is:
(1) passing another vehicle; or
(2) preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(c) An operator on a roadway having four or more lanes for moving vehicles and providing for two-way movement of vehicles may not drive left of the center line of the roadway except:
(1) as authorized by an official traffic-control device designating a specified lane to the left side of the center of the roadway for use by a vehicle not otherwise permitted to use the lane;
(2) under the conditions described by Subsection (a)(2); or
(3) in crossing the center line to make a left turn into or out of an alley, private road, or driveway.
545.052. DRIVING PAST VEHICLE MOVING IN OPPOSITE DIRECTION
An operator moving in the opposite direction of the movement of another operator shall:
(1) move to or remain to the right; and
(2) on a roadway wide enough for not more than one line of vehicle movement in each direction, give the other operator:
(A) at least one-half of the main traveled portion of the roadway; or
(B) if complying with Paragraph (A) is not possible, as much of the roadway as possible.
545.053. PASSING TO THE LEFT; RETURN; BEING PASSED
(a) An operator passing another vehicle:
(1) shall pass to the left of the other vehicle at a safe distance; and
(2) may not move back to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the passed vehicle.
(b) An operator being passed by another vehicle:
(1) shall, on audible signal, move or remain to the right in favor of the passing vehicle; and
(2) may not accelerate until completely passed by the passing vehicle.
(c) Subsection (b) does not apply when passing to the right is permitted.
545.054. PASSING TO THE LEFT: SAFE DISTANCE
(a) An operator may not drive on the left side of the center of the roadway in passing another vehicle unless:
(1) driving on the left side of the center of the roadway is authorized by this subtitle; and
(2) the left side is clearly visible and free of approaching traffic for a distance sufficient to permit passing without interfering with the operation of the passed vehicle or a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
(b) An operator passing another vehicle shall return to an authorized lane of travel:
(1) before coming within 200 feet of an approaching vehicle, if a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction is used in passing; or otherwise
(2) as soon as practicable.
545.055. PASSING TO THE LEFT: PASSING ZONES
a) An operator shall obey the directions of a sign or marking in Subsection (c) or (d) if the sign or marking is in place and clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person.
(b) An operator may not drive on the left side of the roadway in a no-passing zone or on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark a no-passing zone. This subsection does not prohibit a driver from crossing pavement striping, or the center line in a no-passing zone marked by signs only, to make a left turn into or out of an alley or private road or driveway.
545.056. DRIVING TO LEFT OF CENTER OF ROADWAY: LIMITATIONS OTHER THAN PASSING
(a) An operator may not drive to the left side of the roadway if the operator is:
(1) approaching within 100 feet of an intersection or railroad grade crossing in a municipality;
(2) approaching within 100 feet of an intersection or railroad grade crossing outside a municipality and the intersection or crossing is shown by a sign or marking in accordance with Section 545.055;
(3) approaching within 100 feet of a bridge, viaduct, or tunnel; or
(4) awaiting access to a ferry operated by the Texas Transportation Commission.
(b) The limitations in Subsection (a) do not apply:
(1) on a one-way roadway; or
(2) to an operator turning left into or from an alley or private road or driveway.
(c) The Texas Transportation Commission shall post signs along the approach to a ferry operated
545.057. PASSING TO THE RIGHT
(a) An operator may pass to the right of another vehicle only if conditions permit safely passing to the right and:
(1) the vehicle being passed is making or about to make a left turn; and
(2) the operator is:
(A) on a highway having unobstructed pavement not occupied by parked vehicles and sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles in each direction; or
(B) on a one-way street or on a roadway having traffic restricted to one direction of movement and the roadway is free from obstructions and wide enough for two or more lines of moving vehicles.
(b) An operator may not pass to the right by leaving the main traveled portion of a roadway except as provided by Section 545.058.
545.058. DRIVING ON IMPROVED SHOULDER
a) An operator may drive on an improved shoulder to the right of the main traveled portion of a roadway if that operation is necessary and may be done safely, but only:
(1) to stop, stand, or park;
(2) to accelerate before entering the main traveled lane of traffic;
(3) to decelerate before making a right turn;
(4) to pass another vehicle that is slowing or stopped on the main traveled portion of the highway, disabled, or preparing to make a left turn;
(5) to allow another vehicle traveling faster to pass;
(6) as permitted or required by an official traffic-control device; or
(7) to avoid a collision.
(b) An operator may drive on an improved shoulder to the left of the main traveled portion of a divided or limited-access or controlled-access highway if that operation may be done safely, but only:
(1) to slow or stop when the vehicle is disabled and traffic or other circumstances prohibit the safe movement of the vehicle to the shoulder to the right of the main traveled portion of the roadway;
(2) as permitted or required by an official traffic-control device; or
(3) to avoid a collision.
(c) A limitation in this section on driving on an improved shoulder does not apply to:
(1) an authorized emergency vehicle responding to a call;
(2) a police patrol; or
(3) a bicycle.
545.059. ONE-WAY ROADWAYS AND ROTARY TRAFFIC ISLANDS
(a) The Texas Transportation Commission may designate a highway or separate roadway under the jurisdiction of the commission for one-way traffic and shall erect appropriate signs giving notice of the designation.
(b) On a roadway that is designated and on which signs are erected for one-way traffic, an operator shall drive only in the direction indicated.
(c) An operator moving around a rotary traffic island shall drive only to the right of the island.
545.060. DRIVING ON ROADWAY LANED FOR TRAFFIC
(a) An operator on a roadway divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic:
(1) shall drive as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane; and
(2) may not move from the lane unless that movement can be made safely.
(b) If a roadway is divided into three lanes and provides for two-way movement of traffic, an operator on the roadway may not drive in the center lane except:
(1) if passing another vehicle and the center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance;
(2) in preparing to make a left turn; or
(3) where the center lane is designated by an official traffic-control device for movement in the direction in which the operator is moving.
(c) Without regard to the center of the roadway, an official traffic-control device may be erected directing slow-moving traffic to use a designated lane or designating lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction.
(d) Official traffic-control devices prohibiting the changing of lanes on sections of roadway may be installed.
545.061. DRIVING ON MULTIPLE-LANE ROADWAY
On a roadway divided into three or more lanes and providing for one-way movement of traffic, an operator entering a lane of traffic from a lane to the right shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle entering the same lane of traffic from a lane to the left.
545.062. FOLLOWING DISTANCE
(a) An operator shall, if following another vehicle, maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles so that, considering the speed of the vehicles, traffic, and the conditions of the highway, the operator can safely stop without colliding with the preceding vehicle or veering into another vehicle, object, or person on or near the highway.
(b) An operator of a truck or of a motor vehicle drawing another vehicle who is on a roadway outside a business or residential district and who is following another truck or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle shall, if conditions permit, leave sufficient space between the vehicles so that a vehicle passing the operator can safely enter and occupy the space. This subsection does not prohibit a truck or a motor vehicle drawing another vehicle from passing another vehicle.
(c) An operator on a roadway outside a business or residential district driving in a caravan of other vehicles or a motorcade shall allow sufficient space between the operator and the vehicle preceding the operator so that another vehicle can safely enter and occupy the space. This subsection does not apply to a funeral procession.
545.063. DRIVING ON DIVIDED HIGHWAY
a) On a highway having two or more roadways separated by a space, physical barrier, or clearly indicated dividing section constructed to impede vehicular traffic, an operator shall drive on the right roadway unless directed or permitted to use another roadway by an official traffic-control device or police officer.
(b) An operator may not drive over, across, or in a dividing space, physical barrier, or section constructed to impede vehicular traffic except:
(1) through an opening in the physical barrier or dividing section or space; or
(2) at a crossover or intersection established by a public authority.
545.064. RESTRICTED ACCESS
An operator may not drive on or from a limited-access or controlled-access roadway except at an entrance or exit that is established by a public authority.
545.0651. RESTRICTION ON USE OF HIGHWAY
The commission by order may restrict, by class of vehicle, through traffic to two or more designated lanes of a highway. If the lanes to be restricted by the commission are located within a municipality, the commission shall consult with the municipality before adopting an order under this section. A municipality by ordinance may restrict, by class of vehicle, through traffic to two or more designated lanes of a highway in the municipality.
(c) An order or ordinance under Subsection (b) must allow a restricted vehicle to use any lane of the highway to pass another vehicle and to enter and exit the highway.
(d) Before adopting an ordinance, a municipality shall submit to the department a description of the proposed restriction. The municipality may not enforce the restrictions unless the department's executive director or the executive director's designee has approved the restrictions.
(e) Department approval under Subsection (d) must:
(1) be based on a traffic study performed by the department to evaluate the effect of the proposed restriction; and
(2) to the greatest extent practicable, ensure a systems approach to preclude the designation of inconsistent lane restrictions among adjacent municipalities.
(f) The department's executive director or the executive director's designee may suspend or rescind approval of any restrictions approved under Subsection (d) for one or more of the following reasons:
(1) a change in pavement conditions;
(2) a change in traffic conditions;
(3) a geometric change in roadway configuration;
(4) construction or maintenance activity; or
(5) emergency or incident management.
(g) The department shall erect and maintain official traffic control devices necessary to implement and enforce an order adopted or an ordinance adopted and approved under this section. A restriction approved under this section may not be enforced until the appropriate traffic control devices are in place.
545.0651 Commission
means the Texas Transportation Commission
545.0651 Department
means the Texas Department of Transportation
545.0651 Highway
means a public highway that:
(A) is in the designated state highway system;
(B) is designated a controlled access facility; and
(C) has a minimum of three travel lanes, excluding access or frontage roads, in each direction of traffic that may be part of a single roadway or may be separate roadways that are constructed as an upper and lower deck.
545.066. PASSING A SCHOOL BUS; OFFENSE
(a) An operator on a highway, when approaching from either direction a school bus stopped on the highway to receive or discharge a student:
(1) shall stop before reaching the school bus when the bus is operating a visual signal as required by Section 547.701; and
(2) may not proceed until:
(A) the school bus resumes motion;
(B) the operator is signaled by the bus driver to proceed; or
(C) the visual signal is no longer actuated.
(b) An operator on a highway having separate roadways is not required to stop:
(1) for a school bus that is on a different roadway; or
(2) if on a controlled-access highway, for a school bus that is stopped:
(A) in a loading zone that is a part of or adjacent to the highway; and
(B) where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.
(c) Fine; $500 -$1,250, except that the offense is:
(1) Fine ; $1,000 - $2,000 2nd conviction or subsequent offense w/in five years of the date on which the most recent preceding offense was committed;
(2) a Class A if there is SBI; or
(3) SJF if the person has been previously convicted under Subdivision (2).
(d) The court may order that the DL of a person 2nd conviction or subsequent offense to be suspended for no more than 6 months after conviction
(e) If a person does not pay the previously assessed fine or costs on a conviction under this section, or insufficient income the court may order the person to perform community service.
545.101. TURNING AT INTERSECTION
a) To make a right turn at an intersection, an operator shall make both the approach and the turn as closely as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
(b) To make a left turn at an intersection, an operator shall:
(1) approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to a vehicle moving in the direction of the vehicle; and
(2) after entering the intersection, turn left, leaving the intersection so as to arrive in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of the vehicle on the roadway being entered.
(c) On a street or roadway designated for two-way traffic, the operator turning left shall, to the extent practicable, turn in the portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection.
(d) To turn left, an operator who is approaching an intersection having a roadway designated for one-way traffic and for which signs are posted from a roadway designated for one-way traffic and for which signs are posted shall make the turn as closely as practicable to the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
545.102. TURNING ON CURVE OR CREST OF GRADE
An operator may not turn the vehicle to move in the opposite direction when approaching a curve or the crest of a grade if the vehicle is not visible to the operator of another vehicle approaching from either direction within 500 feet.
545.103. SAFELY TURNING
An operator may not turn the vehicle to enter a private road or driveway, otherwise turn the vehicle from a direct course, or move right or left on a roadway unless movement can be made safely.
545.104. SIGNALING TURNS; USE OF TURN SIGNALS
(a) An operator shall use the signal authorized by Section 545.106 to indicate an intention to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked position.
(b) An operator intending to turn a vehicle right or left shall signal continuously for not less than the last 100 feet of movement of the vehicle before the turn.
(c) An operator may not light the signals on only one side of the vehicle on a parked or disabled vehicle or use the signals as a courtesy or "do pass" signal to the operator of another vehicle approaching from the rear
545.105. SIGNALING STOPS
An operator may not stop or suddenly decrease the speed of the vehicle without first giving a stop signal as provided by this subchapter to the operator of a vehicle immediately to the rear when there is an opportunity to give the signal.
545.106. SIGNALS BY HAND AND ARM OR BY SIGNAL LAMP
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), an operator required to give a stop or turn signal shall do so by:
(1) using the hand and arm; or
(2) lighting signal lamps approved by the department.
(b) A motor vehicle in use on a highway shall be equipped with signal lamps, and the required signal shall be given by lighting the lamps, if:
(1) the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the left outside limit of the body, cab, or load of the motor vehicle is more than two feet; or
(2) the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the rear limit of the body or load, including the body or load of a combination of vehicles, is more than 14 feet.
545.107. METHOD OF GIVING HAND AND ARM SIGNALS
An operator who is permitted to give a hand and arm signal shall give the signal from the left side of the vehicle as follows:
(1) to make a left turn signal, extend hand and arm horizontally;
(2) to make a right turn signal, extend hand and arm upward, except that a bicycle operator may signal from the right side of the vehicle with the hand and arm extended horizontally; and
(3) to stop or decrease speed, extend hand and arm downward.
545.151. VEHICLE APPROACHING OR ENTERING INTERSECTION
(a) An operator approaching an intersection:
(1) shall stop, yield, and grant immediate use of the intersection:
(A) in obedience to an official traffic-control device, including a stop sign or yield right-of-way sign; or
(B) if a traffic-control signal is present but does not display an indication in any of the signal heads; and
(2) after stopping, may proceed when the intersection can be safely entered without interference or collision with traffic using a different street or roadway.
(d) Except as provided in Subsection (e), an operator approaching an intersection of a street or roadway that is not controlled by an official traffic-control device:
(1) shall stop, yield, and grant immediate use of the intersection to a vehicle that has entered the intersection from the operator's right or is approaching the intersection from the operator's right in a proximity that is a hazard; and
(2) after stopping, may proceed when the intersection can be safely entered without interference or collision with traffic using a different street or roadway.
(f) An operator who is required by this section to stop and yield the right-of-way at an intersection to another vehicle and who is involved in a collision or interferes with other traffic at the intersection to whom right-of-way is to be given is presumed not to have yielded the right-of-way.
545.152. VEHICLE TURNING LEFT
To turn left at an intersection or into an alley or private road or driveway, an operator shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle that is approaching from the opposite direction and that is in the intersection or in such proximity to the intersection as to be an immediate hazard.
545.153. VEHICLE ENTERING STOP OR YIELD INTERSECTION
a) Preferential right-of-way at an intersection may be indicated by a stop sign or yield sign as authorized in Section 544.003.
(b) Unless directed to proceed by a police officer or official traffic-control device, an operator approaching an intersection on a roadway controlled by a stop sign, after stopping as required by Section 544.010, shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle that has entered the intersection from another highway or that is approaching so closely as to be an immediate hazard to the operator's movement in or across the intersection.
(c) An operator approaching an intersection on a roadway controlled by a yield sign shall:
(1) slow to a speed that is reasonable under the existing conditions; and
(2) yield the right-of-way to a vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to be an immediate hazard to the operator's movement in or across the intersection.
(d) If an operator is required by Subsection (c) to yield and is involved in a collision with a vehicle in an intersection after the operator drove past a yield sign without stopping, the collision is prima facie evidence that the operator failed to yield the right-of-way.
545.154. VEHICLE ENTERING OR LEAVING LIMITED-ACCESS OR CONTROLLED-ACCESS HIGHWAY
An operator on an access or feeder road of a limited-access or controlled-access highway shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle entering or about to enter the access or feeder road from the highway or leaving or about to leave the access or feeder road to enter the highway.
545.155. VEHICLE ENTERING HIGHWAY FROM PRIVATE ROAD OR DRIVEWAY
An operator about to enter or cross a highway from an alley, building, or private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle approaching on the highway to be entered.
545.156. VEHICLE APPROACHED BY AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE
(a) On the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle using audible and visual signals that meet the requirements of Sections 547.305 and 547.702, or of a police vehicle lawfully using only an audible signal, an operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:
(1) yield the right-of-way;
(2) immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection; and
(3) stop and remain standing until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.
(b) This section does not exempt the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.
545.157. PASSING CERTAIN VEHICLES
(a) This section applies only to the following vehicles:
(1) a stationary authorized emergency vehicle using visual signals
(2) a stationary tow truck using equipment and
(3) a Texas Department of Transportation vehicle not separated from the roadway by a traffic control channelizing device and using visual signals that comply with the standards and specifications adopted under Section 547.105.
(b) On approaching a vehicle described by Subsection (a), an operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:
(1) vacate the lane closest to the vehicle when driving on a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the vehicle; or
(2) slow to a speed not to exceed:
(A) 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or more; or
(B) five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is less than 25 miles per hour.
(c) A violation of this section is:
(1) a misdemeanor punishable under Section 542.401;
or by a fine of $500 if the violation results in property damage; or
(3) a Class B BI
545.157 Tow truck
means a vehicle that:
(A) has been issued a permit under Subchapter C, Chapter 2308, Occupations Code; and
(B) is operated by a person licensed under Subchapter D, Chapter 2308, Occupations Code.
545.157 Traffic control channelizing device
means equipment used to warn and alert drivers of conditions created by work activities in or near the traveled way, to protect workers in a temporary traffic control zone, and to guide drivers and pedestrians safely. The term includes a traffic cone, tubular marker, vertical panel, drum, barricade, temporary raised island, concrete or cable barrier, guardrail, or channelizer.
545.251. OBEDIENCE TO SIGNAL INDICATING APPROACH OF TRAIN
a) An operator approaching a railroad grade crossing shall stop 15 ft- 50 ft from the nearest rail if:
(1) a clearly visible railroad signal warns of the approach of a railroad train;
(2) a crossing gate is lowered, or a flagger warns of the approach or passage of a train;
(3) a railroad engine approaching within approximately 1,500 feet of the highway crossing emits a signal audible from that distance and the engine is an immediate hazard because of its speed or proximity to the crossing;
(4) an approaching railroad train is plainly visible to the operator and is in hazardous proximity to the crossing; or
(5) the operator is required to stop by:
(A) other law;
(b) An operator of a vehicle required by Subsection (a) to stop shall remain stopped until permitted to proceed and it is safe to proceed.
(d) An operator commits an offense if the operator drives around, under, or through a crossing gate or a barrier at a railroad crossing while the gate or barrier is closed, being closed, or being opened.
(e) In a prosecution under this section, proof that at the time of the offense a train was in hazardous proximity to the crossing and that the train was plainly visible to the operator is prima facie evidence that it was not safe for the operator to proceed.
(f) An offense- $50-$200.
545.252. ALL VEHICLES TO STOP AT CERTAIN RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS
(a) The Texas Department of Transportation or a local authority, with respect to a highway in its jurisdiction, may:
(1) designate a railroad grade crossing as particularly dangerous; and
(2) erect a stop sign or other official traffic-control device at the grade crossing.
(b) An operator approaching a stop sign or other official traffic-control device that requires a stop and that is erected under Subsection (a) shall stop not closer than 15 feet or farther than 50 feet from the nearest rail of the railroad and may proceed only with due care.
(c) The costs of installing and maintaining a mechanically operated grade crossing safety device, gate, sign, or signal erected under this section shall be apportioned and paid on the same percentage ratio and in the same proportionate amounts by this state and all participating political subdivisions of this state as costs are apportioned and paid between the state and the United States.
(d) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine of not less than $50- $200.
545.253. BUSES TO STOP AT ALL RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), the operator of a motor bus carrying passengers for hire, before crossing a railroad grade crossing:
(1) shall stop the vehicle 15 feet - 50 feet from the nearest rail of the railroad;
(2) while stopped, shall listen and look in both directions along the track for an approaching train and signals indicating the approach of a train; and
(3) may not proceed until it is safe to do so.
(b) After stopping as required by Subsection (a), an operator described by Subsection (a) shall proceed without manually shifting gears while crossing the track.
(c) A vehicle is not required to stop at the crossing if a police officer or a traffic-control signal directs traffic to proceed.
(d) This section does not apply at a railway grade crossing in a business or residence district.
(e) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine of not less than $50- $200.
545.2535. SCHOOL BUSES TO STOP AT ALL RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS
a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), the operator of a school bus, before crossing a track at a railroad grade crossing:
(1) shall stop the vehicle not closer than 15 feet or farther than 50 feet from the track;
(2) while stopped, shall listen and look in both directions along the track for an approaching train and signals indicating the approach of a train; and
(3) may not proceed until it is safe to do so.
(b) After stopping as required by Subsection (a), the operator may proceed in a gear that permits the vehicle to complete the crossing without a change of gears. The operator may not shift gears while crossing the track.
(c) An operator is not required to stop at:
(1) an abandoned railroad grade crossing that is marked with a sign reading "tracks out of service"; or
(2) an industrial or spur line railroad grade crossing that is marked with a sign reading "exempt."
(d) A sign under Subsection (c) may be erected only by or with the consent of the appropriate state or local governmental official.
545.254. VEHICLES CARRYING EXPLOSIVE SUBSTANCES OR FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS
(a) Before crossing a railroad grade crossing, an operator of a vehicle that has an explosive substance or flammable liquid as the vehicle's principal cargo and that is moving at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour:
(1) shall reduce the speed of the vehicle to 20 MPH before coming w/in 200 feet of the nearest rail.
(2) shall listen and look in both directions along the track for an approaching train and for signals indicating the approach of a train; and
(3) may not proceed until the operator determines that the course is clear.
(b) The operator of a vehicle that has an explosive substance or flammable liquid as the vehicle's principal cargo, before crossing a railroad grade crossing on a highway in a municipality:
(1) shall stop 15ft-50ft from the nearest rail of the railroad; " "
(c) not applicable to;
(1) if a police officer, crossing flagger, or traffic-control signal directs traffic to proceed;
(2) where a railroad flashing signal is installed and does not indicate an approaching train;
(3) to an abandoned or exempted grade crossing that is clearly marked by or with the consent of the state, if the markings can be read from the operator's location;
(4) at a streetcar crossing in a business or residential district of a municipality; or
(5) to a railroad track used exclusively for industrial switching purposes in a business district.
(e) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine of $50-$200.
545.255. MOVING HEAVY EQUIPMENT AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS
(a) This section applies only to:
(1) a crawler-type tractor, steam shovel, derrick, or roller; and
(2) any other equipment or structure with:
(A) a normal operating speed of 10 mph or less; or
(B) a vertical body or load clearance of less than one-half inch per foot of the distance between two adjacent axles or less than nine inches measured above the level surface of a roadway.
(b) An operator of a vehicle or equipment may not move on or across a track at a railroad grade crossing unless the operator has given notice to a station agent of the railroad and given the railroad reasonable time to provide proper protection at the crossing.
(c) To move a vehicle or equipment on or across a track at a railroad grade crossing, the operator:
(1) shall stop the vehicle or equipment 15ft- 50 ft from the nearest rail of the railroad;
(d) An operator of a vehicle or equipment may not cross a railroad grade crossing when warning of the immediate approach of a railroad car or train is given by automatic signal, crossing gates, a flagger, or otherwise. If a flagger is provided by the railroad, the operator shall move the vehicle or equipment over the crossing at the flagger's direction.
(e) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine of not less than $50 or more than $200.
545.256. EMERGING FROM AN ALLEY, DRIVEWAY, OR BUILDING
An operator emerging from an alley, driveway, or building in a business or residence district shall:
(1) stop the vehicle before moving on a sidewalk or the sidewalk area extending across an alley or driveway;
(2) yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian to avoid collision; and
(3) on entering the roadway, yield the right-of-way to an approaching vehicle.
545.2555. REPORT AND INVESTIGATION OF CERTAIN RAILROAD CROSSING VIOLATIONS
(a) A person who on site observes a violation of Section 545.251, 545.252, 545.253, 545.254, or 545.255 may file a report of the violation if the person:
(1) is an on-engine employee of a railroad; and
(2) observes the violation while on a moving engine.
(b) A report under this section must:
(1) be made:
(A) on a form approved by the department; and
(B) not later than 72 hours after the violation;
(2) be filed with:
(A) an office of the department located in the county in which the violation occurred;
(B) the sheriff of the county in which the violation occurred, if the violation occurred in the unincorporated area of the county; or
(C) the police department of a municipality, if the violation occurred in the municipality; and
(3) contain, in addition, to any other required information:
(A) the date, time, and location of the violation;
(B) the license plate number and a description of the vehicle involved in the violation;
(C) a description of the operator of the vehicle involved in the violation; and
(D) the name, address, and telephone number of the person filing the report.
(c) A peace officer may:
(1) before the 7th day after the date a report under this section is filed, initiate an investigation of the alleged violation; and
(2) request the owner of the reported vehicle, as shown by the vehicle registration records of the Texas Department of Transportation, to disclose the name and address of the individual operating that vehicle at the time of the violation alleged in the report.
545.301. STOPPING, STANDING, OR PARKING OUTSIDE A BUSINESS OR RESIDENCE DISTRICT
(a) An operator may not stop, park, or leave standing an attended or unattended vehicle on the main traveled part of a highway outside a business or residence district unless:
(1) stopping, parking, or leaving the vehicle off the main traveled part of the highway is not practicable;
(2) a width of highway beside the vehicle is unobstructed and open for the passage of other vehicles; and
(3) the vehicle is in clear view for at least 200 feet in each direction on the highway.
(b) This section does not apply to an operator of:
(1) a vehicle that is disabled while on the paved or main traveled part of a highway if it is impossible to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving the vehicle on the highway;
(2) a vehicle used exclusively to transport solid, semisolid, or liquid waste operated at the time in connection with the removal or transportation of solid, semisolid, or liquid waste from a location adjacent to the highway; or
(3) a tow truck, that is performing towing duties
545.302. STOPPING, STANDING, OR PARKING PROHIBITED IN CERTAIN PLACES
(a) An operator may not stop, stand, or park a vehicle:
(1) on the roadway side of a vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street;
(2) on a sidewalk;
(3) in an intersection;
(4) on a crosswalk;
(5) between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of a place on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone,
(6) alongside or opposite a street excavation or obstruction if stopping, standing, or parking the vehicle would obstruct traffic;
(7) on a bridge or other elevated structure on a highway or in a highway tunnel;
(8) on a railroad track; or
(9) where an official sign prohibits stopping.
(b) An operator may not, except momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger, stand or park an occupied or unoccupied vehicle:
(1) in front of a public/ private driveway;
(2) within 15 feet of a fire hydrant;
(3) within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection;
(4) within 30 feet on the approach to a flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign, or traffic-control signal located at the side of a roadway;
(5) within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to a fire station and on the side of a street opposite the entrance to a fire station within 75 feet of the entrance, if the entrance is properly marked with a sign; or
(6) where an official sign prohibits standing.
(c) An operator may not, except temporarily to load or unload merchandise or passengers, park an occupied or unoccupied vehicle:
(1) within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing; or
(2) where an official sign prohibits parking.
(d) A person may stop, stand, or park a bicycle on a sidewalk if the bicycle does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of pedestrian or other traffic on the sidewalk.
545.303. ADDITIONAL PARKING REGULATIONS
(a) An operator who stops or parks on a two-way roadway shall do so with the right-hand wheels of the vehicle parallel to and within 18 inches of the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
(b) An operator who stops or parks on a one-way roadway shall stop or park the vehicle parallel to the curb or edge of the roadway in the direction of authorized traffic movement with the right-hand wheels within 18 inches of the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway or the left-hand wheels within 18 inches of the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway. This subsection does not apply where a local ordinance otherwise regulates stopping or parking on the one-way roadway.
545.304. MOVING THE VEHICLE OF ANOTHER; UNLAWFUL PARKING
A person may not move a vehicle that is not lawfully under the person's control:
(1) into an area where a vehicle is prohibited under Section 545.302; or
(2) away from a curb a distance that is unlawful under Section 545.303.
545.305. REMOVAL OF UNLAWFULLY STOPPED VEHICLE
(a) A peace officer or a license and weight inspector of the department may remove or require the operator or a person in charge of a vehicle to move a vehicle from a highway if the vehicle:
(1) is unattended on a bridge, viaduct, or causeway or in a tube or tunnel and the vehicle is obstructing traffic;
(2) is unlawfully parked and blocking the entrance to a private driveway;
(3) has been reported as stolen;
(4) is identified as having been stolen in a warrant issued on the filing of a complaint;
(5) is unattended and the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the vehicle has been abandoned for longer than 48 hours;
(6) is disabled so that normal operation is impossible or impractical and the owner or person in charge of the vehicle is:
(A) incapacitated and unable to provide for the vehicle's removal or custody; or
(B) not in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle;
(7) is disabled so that normal operation is impossible or impractical and the owner or person in charge of the vehicle does not designate a particular towing or storage company;
(8) is operated by a person an officer arrests for an alleged offense and the officer is required by law to take the person into custody; or
(9) is, in the opinion of the officer, a hazard, interferes with a normal function of a governmental agency, or because of a catastrophe, emergency, or unusual circumstance is imperiled.
(b) An officer acting under Subsection (a) may require that the vehicle be taken to:
(1) the nearest garage or other place of safety;
(2) a garage designated or maintained by the governmental agency that employs the officer; or
(3) a position off the paved or main traveled part of the highway.
(c) A law enforcement agency other than the department that removes an abandoned vehicle in an unincorporated area shall notify the sheriff.
(d) The owner of a vehicle that is removed or stored under this section is liable for all reasonable towing and storage fees incurred.
545.305 Towing company
means an individual, corporation, partnership, or other association engaged in the business of towing vehicles on a highway for compensation or with the expectation of compensation for the towing or storage of the vehicles and includes the owner, operator, employee, or agent of a towing company.
545.305 Storage company
means an individual, corporation, partnership, or other association engaged in the business of storing or repairing vehicles for compensation or with the expectation of compensation for the storage or repair of vehicles and includes the owner, operator, employee, or agent of a storage company
545.3051. REMOVAL OF PERSONAL PROPERTY FROM ROADWAY OR RIGHT-OF-WAY
An authority or a law enforcement agency may remove personal property from a roadway or right-of-way if the authority or law enforcement agency determines that the property blocks the roadway or endangers public safety.
(c) Personal property may be removed under this section without the consent of the owner or carrier of the property.
(d) The owner and any carrier of personal property removed under this section shall reimburse the authority or law enforcement agency for any reasonable cost of removal and disposition of the property.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an authority or a law enforcement agency is not liable for:
(1) any damage to personal property removed from a roadway or right-of-way under this section, unless the removal is carried out recklessly or in a grossly negligent manner; or
(2) any damage resulting from the failure to exercise the authority granted by this section.
545.3051 Authority
means:
(A) a metropolitan rapid transit authority operating under Chapter 451; or
(B) a regional transportation authority operating under Chapter 452.
545.3051 Law enforcement agency
means:
(A) the department;
(B) the police department of a municipality;
(C) the sheriff's office of a county; or
(D) a constable's office of a county.
545.3051 Personal property
means:
(A) a vehicle described by Section 545.305;
(B) spilled cargo;
(C) a hazardous material as defined by 49 U.S.C. Section 5102 and its subsequent amendments; or
(D) a hazardous substance as defined by Section 26.263, Water Code.
545.307. OVERNIGHT PARKING OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE IN OR NEAR RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION
Except as provided by Subsection (b-1), after 10 p.m. and before 6 a.m., a person may not park a commercial motor vehicle or leave the vehicle parked on a street that is maintained by a county or municipality and for which signs are posted as provided by Subsection (c) if the street:
(1) is located within a residential subdivision; or
(2) is adjacent to a residential subdivision and within 1,000 feet of the property line of a residence, school, place of worship, or park.
(b-1) A person may park a commercial motor vehicle or leave the vehicle parked on a street for which signs are posted as provided by Subsection (c) if the commercial motor vehicle:
(1) is transporting persons or property to or from the residential subdivision or performing work in the subdivision; and
(2) remains parked in or adjacent to the subdivision only for the period necessary to complete the transportation or work.
(c) Petition by residents may be made to prohibit the overnight parking of a commercial motor vehicle in the subdivision or on a street adjacent to the subdivision and within 1,000 feet of the property line of a residence, school, place of worship, or park. The petition must be signed by at least 25 percent of the owners or tenants. The county or municipality receiving the petition shall post the signs. The signs must:
(1) be posted:
(A) at each entrance of the subdivision through which a commercial motor vehicle may enter the subdivision or within the subdivision if there is not defined entrance to the subdivision; or
(B) on a street adjacent to the subdivision; and
(2) state, in letters at least two inches in height, that overnight parking of a commercial motor vehicle is prohibited
(d) condition the posting of the signs on payment by the residents
(e) A person commits an offense if the person parks a commercial motor vehicle in violation of Subsection (b).
(h) This section does not apply to:
(1) a vehicle owned by a utility that an employee of the utility who is on call 24 hours a day parks at the employee's residence; or
(2) a vehicle owned by a commercial establishment that is parked on the street adjacent to where the establishment is located.
545.307 Commercial motor vehicle
means:
(A) a commercial motor vehicle, as defined by Section 522.003, and includes a vehicle meeting that definition regardless of whether the vehicle is used for a commercial purpose; or
(B) a road tractor, truck tractor, pole trailer, or semitrailer, as those terms are defined by Section 541.201.
545.307 Residential subdivision
means a subdivision in a county with a population greater than 220,000:
(A) for which a plat is recorded in the county real property records; and
(B) in which the majority of lots are subject to deed restrictions limiting the lots to residential use.
545.351. MAXIMUM SPEED REQUIREMENT
(a) An operator may not drive at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances then existing.
(b) An operator:
(1) may not drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for actual and potential hazards then existing; and
(2) shall control the speed of the vehicle as necessary to avoid colliding with another person or vehicle that is on or entering the highway in compliance with law and the duty of each person to use due care.
(c) An operator shall, consistent with Subsections (a) and (b), drive at an appropriate reduced speed if:
(1) the operator is approaching and crossing an intersection or railroad grade crossing;
(2) the operator is approaching and going around a curve;
(3) the operator is approaching a hill crest;
(4) the operator is traveling on a narrow or winding roadway; and
(5) a special hazard exists with regard to traffic, including pedestrians, or weather or highway conditions.
545.352. PRIMA FACIE SPEED LIMITS
(a) A speed in excess of the limits established by Subsection (b) or under another provision of this subchapter is prima facie evidence that the speed is not reasonable and prudent and that the speed is unlawful.
(b) Unless a special hazard exists that requires a slower speed for compliance with Section 545.351(b), the following speeds are lawful:
(1) 30 miles per hour in an urban district on a street other than an alley and 15 miles per hour in an alley;
(2) except as provided by Subdivision (4), 70 miles per hour on a highway numbered by this state or the United States outside an urban district, including a farm-to-market or ranch-to-market road;
(3) except as provided by Subdivision (4), 60 miles per hour on a highway that is outside an urban district and not a highway numbered by this state or the United States;
(4) outside an urban district:
(A) 60 miles per hour if the vehicle is a school bus that has passed a commercial motor vehicle inspection under Section 548.201 and is on a highway numbered by the United States or this state, including a farm-to-market road; or
(B) 50 miles per hour if the vehicle is a school bus that:
(i) has not passed a commercial motor vehicle inspection; or
(ii) is traveling on a highway not numbered by the United States or this state;
(5) on a beach, 15 miles per hour; or
(6) on a county road adjacent to a public beach, 15 miles per hour, if declared by the commissioners court of the county.
545.352 Interstate highway
means a segment of the national system of interstate and defense highways that is:
(A) located in this state;
(B) officially designated by the Texas Transportation Commission; and
(C) approved under Title 23, United States Code.
545.352 Urban district
means the territory adjacent to and including a highway, if the territory is improved with structures that are used for business, industry, or dwelling houses and are located at intervals of less than 100 feet for a distance of at least one-quarter mile on either side of the highway.
545.353. AUTHORITY OF TEXAS TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION TO ALTER SPEED LIMITS
(a) If the Texas Transportation Commission determines from the results of an engineering and traffic investigation that a prima facie speed limit in this subchapter is unreasonable or unsafe on a part of the highway system, the commission, by order recorded in its minutes, and except as provided in Subsection (d), may determine and declare:
(1) a reasonable and safe prima facie speed limit; and
(2) another reasonable and safe speed because of wet or inclement weather.
(b) In determining whether a prima facie speed limit on a part of the highway system is reasonable and safe, the commission shall consider the width and condition of the pavement, the usual traffic at the affected area, and other circumstances.
(c) A prima facie speed limit that is declared by the commission under this section is effective when the commission erects signs giving notice of the new limit. A new limit that is enacted for a highway under this section is effective at all times or at other times as determined.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (h-1), the commission may not:
(1) modify the rules established by Section 545.351(b);
(2) establish a speed limit of more than 75 miles per hour; or
(3) increase the speed limit for a vehicle described by Section 545.352(b)(4).
(h) Notwithstanding Section 545.352(b), the commission may establish a speed limit of 75 mph on a part of the highway system if the commission determines that 75 mph is a reasonable and safe speed for that part of the highway system.
(h-1) Notwithstanding Section 545.352(b), the commission may establish a speed limit of 80 miles per hour on a part of Interstate Highway 10 or Interstate Highway 20
(h-2) Notwithstanding Section 545.352(b), the commission may establish a speed limit not to exceed 85 miles per hour on a part of the state highway system
545.361. SPECIAL SPEED LIMITATIONS
(a) An operator of a motor-driven cycle may not drive at a speed of more than 35 miles per hour during the time specified by Section 547.302(a) unless the cycle is equipped with a headlamp or lamps that reveal a person or vehicle 300 feet ahead.
(b) An operator of a vehicle equipped with solid rubber or cushion tires may not drive at a speed of more than 10 miles per hour.
(c) An operator driving over a bridge or other elevated structure that is a part of a highway may not drive at a speed of more than the maximum speed that can be maintained with safety to the bridge or structure, when signs are posted as provided by this section.
(d) An operator of self-propelled machinery designed or adapted for applying plant food materials or agricultural chemicals and not designed or adapted for the sole purpose of transporting the materials or chemicals may not drive at a speed of more than 30 miles per hour unless the machinery is registered under Chapter 502.
(e) The Texas Transportation Commission, for a state highway, the Texas Turnpike Authority, for any part of a turnpike constructed and maintained by the authority, and a local authority for a highway under the jurisdiction of the local authority, may investigate a bridge or other elevated structure that is a part of a highway. If after conducting the investigation the commission, turnpike authority, or local authority finds that the structure cannot safely withstand vehicles traveling at a speed otherwise permissible under this subtitle, the commission, turnpike authority, or local authority shall:
(1) determine and declare the maximum speed of vehicles that the structure can safely withstand; and
(2) post and maintain signs before each end of the structure stating the maximum speed.
545.363. MINIMUM SPEED REGULATIONS
(a) An operator may not drive so slowly as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
(b) When the Texas Transportation Commission, the Texas Turnpike Authority, the commissioners court of a county, or the governing body of a municipality, within the jurisdiction of each, as applicable, as specified in Sections 545.353 to 545.357, determines from the results of an engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on a part of a highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the commission, authority, county commissioners court, or governing body may determine and declare a minimum speed limit on the highway.
(c) If appropriate signs are erected giving notice of a minimum speed limit adopted under this section, an operator may not drive a vehicle more slowly than that limit except as necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
545.365. SPEED LIMIT EXCEPTION FOR EMERGENCIES; MUNICIPAL REGULATION
(a) The regulation of the speed of a vehicle under this subchapter does not apply to:
(1) an authorized emergency vehicle responding to a call;
(2) a police patrol; or
(3) a physician or ambulance responding to an emergency call.
(b) A municipality by ordinance may regulate the speed of:
(1) an ambulance;
(2) an emergency medical services vehicle; or
(3) an authorized vehicle operated by a blood or tissue bank.
545.401. RECKLESS DRIVING; OFFENSE
(a) A person commits an offense if the person drives a vehicle in wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by:
(1) a fine not to exceed $200;
(2) confinement in county jail for not more than 30 days; or
(3) both the fine and the confinement.
(c) Notwithstanding Section 542.001, this section applies to:
(1) a private access way or parking area provided for a client or patron by a business, other than a private residential property or the property of a garage or parking lot for which a charge is made for the storing or parking of motor vehicles; and
(2) a highway or other public place.
(d) Notwithstanding Section 542.004, this section applies to a person, a team, or motor vehicles and other equipment engaged in work on a highway surface.
545.402. MOVING A PARKED VEHICLE
An operator may not begin movement of a stopped, standing, or parked vehicle unless the movement can be made safely.
545.403. DRIVING THROUGH SAFETY ZONE
An operator may not drive through or in a safety zone.
545.404. UNATTENDED MOTOR VEHICLE
An operator may not leave the vehicle unattended without:
(1) stopping the engine;
(2) locking the ignition;
(3) removing the key from the ignition;
(4) setting the parking brake effectively; and
(5) if standing on a grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.
545.407. FOLLOWING OR OBSTRUCTING FIRE APPARATUS OR AMBULANCE
(a) An operator, unless on official business, may not follow closer than 500 feet a fire apparatus responding to a fire alarm or drive into or park the vehicle in the block where the fire apparatus has stopped to answer a fire alarm.
(b) An operator may not:
(1) follow closer than 500 feet an ambulance that is flashing red lights unless the operator is on official business; or
(2) drive or park the vehicle where an ambulance has been summoned for an emergency call in a manner intended to interfere with the arrival or departure of the ambulance.
545.408. CROSSING FIRE HOSE
An operator may not, without the consent of the fire department official in command, drive over an unprotected hose of a fire department if the hose is on a street or private driveway and is intended for use at a fire or alarm of fire.
545.409. DRAWBARS AND TRAILER HITCHES; SADDLE-MOUNT TOWING
(a) The drawbar or other connection between a vehicle drawing another vehicle and the drawn vehicle:
(1) must be strong enough to pull all weight drawn; and
(2) may not exceed 15 feet between the vehicles except for a connection between two vehicles transporting poles, pipe, machinery, or other objects of structural nature that cannot readily be dismembered.
(b) An operator drawing another vehicle and using a chain, rope, or cable to connect the vehicles shall display on the connection a white flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square.
(c) A motor vehicle may not draw more than three motor vehicles attached to it by the triple saddle-mount method. In this subsection, "triple saddle-mount method" means the mounting of the front wheels of trailing vehicles on the bed of another vehicle while leaving the rear wheels only of the trailing vehicles in contact with the roadway.
545.410. TOWING SAFETY CHAINS
a) An operator of a passenger car or light truck may not draw a trailer, semitrailer, house trailer, or another motor vehicle unless safety chains of a type approved by the department are attached in a manner approved by the department from the trailer, semitrailer, house trailer, or drawn motor vehicle to the drawing vehicle. This subsection does not apply to the drawing of a trailer or semitrailer used for agricultural purposes.
(b) The department shall adopt rules prescribing the type of safety chains required to be used according to the weight of the trailer, semitrailer, house trailer, or motor vehicle being drawn. The rules shall:
(1) require safety chains to be strong enough to maintain the connection between the trailer, semitrailer, house trailer, or drawn motor vehicle and the drawing vehicle; and
(2) show the proper method to attach safety chains between the trailer, semitrailer, house trailer, or drawn motor vehicle and the drawing vehicle.
(c) Subsection (b) does not apply to trailers, semitrailers, or house trailers that are equipped with safety chains installed by the original manufacturer before the effective date of the rules.
(d) This section does not apply to a trailer, semitrailer, house trailer, or drawn motor vehicle that is operated in compliance with the federal motor carrier safety regulations.
545.410 safety chains
means flexible tension members connected from the front of a drawn vehicle to the rear of the drawing vehicle to maintain connection between the vehicles if the primary connecting system fails.
545.411. USE OF REST AREA: OFFENSE
(a) A person commits an offense if the person remains at a rest area for longer than 24 hours or erects a tent, shelter, booth, or structure at the rest area and the person:
(1) has notice while conducting the activity that the activity is prohibited; or
(2) receives notice that the activity is prohibited but does not depart or remove the structure within eight hours after receiving notice.
(b) For purposes of this section, a person:
(1) has notice if a sign stating the prohibited activity and penalty is posted on the premises; or
(2) receives notice if a peace officer orally communicates to the person the prohibited activity and penalty for the offense.
(c) It is an exception to Subsection (a) if a nonprofit organization erects a temporary structure at a rest area to provide food services, food, or beverages to travelers and the Texas Department of Transportation:
(1) finds that the services would constitute a public service for the benefit of the traveling public; and
(2) issues a permit to the organization.
545.411 Rest area
means public real property designated as a rest area, comfort station, picnic area, roadside park, or scenic overlook by the Texas Department of Transportation.
545.412. CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY SEAT SYSTEMS; OFFENSE
(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a passenger vehicle, transports a child who is younger than eight years of age, unless the child is taller than four feet, nine inches, and does not keep the child secured during the operation of the vehicle in a child passenger safety seat system according to the instructions of the manufacturer of the safety seat system.
(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $250.
(b-1) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4, Sec. 69.01(1), eff. September 28, 2011.
(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person was operating the vehicle in an emergency or for a law enforcement purpose.
(d) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 8.01.
(e) This section does not apply to a person:
(1) operating a vehicle transporting passengers for hire, excluding third-party transport service providers when transporting clients pursuant to a contract to provide nonemergency Medicaid transportation; or
(2) transporting a child in a vehicle in which all seating positions equipped with child passenger safety seat systems or safety belts are occupied.
545.412 Child passenger safety seat system
Means an infant or child passenger restraint system that meets the federal standards for crash-tested restraint systems as set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
545.412 Passenger vehicle
means a passenger car, light truck, sport utility vehicle, passenger van designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver, truck, or truck tractor.
545.412 Safety belt
means a lap belt and any shoulder straps included as original equipment on or added to a vehicle.
545.412 Secured
in connection with use of a safety belt, means using the lap belt and any shoulder straps according to the instructions of:
(A) the manufacturer of the vehicle, if the safety belt is original equipment; or
(B) the manufacturer of the safety belt, if the safety belt has been added to the vehicle.
545.413. SAFETY BELTS; OFFENSE
(a) A person commits an offense if:
(1) the person:
(A) is at least 15 years of age;
(B) is riding in a passenger vehicle while the vehicle is being operated;
(C) is occupying a seat that is equipped with a safety belt; and
(D) is not secured by a safety belt; or
(2) as the operator of a school bus equipped with a safety belt for the operator's seat, the person is not secured by the safety belt.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) operates a passenger vehicle that is equipped with safety belts; and
(2) allows a child who is younger than 17 years of age and who is not required to be secured in a child passenger safety seat system under Section 545.412(a) to ride in the vehicle without requiring the child to be secured by a safety belt, provided the child is occupying a seat that is equipped with a safety belt.
(b-1) A person commits an offense if the person allows a child who is younger than 17 years of age and who is not required to be secured in a child passenger safety seat system under Section 545.412(a) to ride in a passenger van designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver, without securing the child individually by a safety belt, if the child is occupying a seat that is equipped with a safety belt.
(c) A passenger vehicle or a seat in a passenger vehicle is considered to be equipped with a safety belt if the vehicle is required under Section 547.601 to be equipped with safety belts.
(d) An offense under Subsection (a) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $50. An offense under Subsection (b) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $200.
(e) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:
(1) the person possesses a written statement from a licensed physician stating that for a medical reason the person should not wear a safety belt;
(2) the person presents to the court, not later than the 10th day after the date of the offense, a statement from a licensed physician stating that for a medical reason the person should not wear a safety belt;
(3) the person is employed by the United States Postal Service
(4) the person is engaged in the actual delivery of newspapers from a vehicle
(5) the person is employed by a public or private utility company and is engaged in the reading of meters or performing a similar duty
(6) the person is operating a commercial vehicle registered as a farm vehicle under the provisions of Section 502.433 that does not have a gross weight, registered weight, or gross weight rating of 48,000 pounds or more; or
(7) the person is the operator of or a passenger in a vehicle used exclusively to transport solid waste
545.414. RIDING IN OPEN BEDS; OFFENSE
(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates an open-bed pickup truck or an open flatbed truck or draws an open flatbed trailer when a child younger than 18 years of age is occupying the bed of the truck or trailer.
(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $200.
(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person was:
(1) operating or towing the vehicle in a parade or in an emergency;
(2) operating the vehicle to transport farmworkers from one field to another field on a farm-to-market road, ranch-to-market road, or county road outside a municipality;
(3) operating the vehicle on a beach;
(4) operating a vehicle that is the only vehicle owned or operated by the members of a household; or
(5) operating the vehicle in a hayride permitted by the governing body of or a law enforcement agency of each county or municipality in which the hayride will occur.
(d) Compliance or noncompliance with Subsection (a) is not admissible evidence in a civil trial.
545.415. BACKING A VEHICLE
(a) An operator may not back the vehicle unless the movement can be made safely and without interference with other traffic.
(b) An operator may not back the vehicle on a shoulder or roadway of a limited-access or controlled-access highway.
545.416. RIDING ON MOTORCYCLE
(a) An operator of a motorcycle shall ride on the permanent and regular seat attached to the motorcycle.
(b) An operator may not carry another person on the motorcycle, and a person who is not operating the motorcycle may not ride on the motorcycle, unless the motorcycle is:
(1) designed to carry more than one person; and
(2) equipped with footrests and handholds for use by the passenger.
(c) If the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, a passenger may ride only on the permanent and regular seat, if designed for two persons, or on another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle behind or to the side of the operator.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an operator may not carry another person on a motorcycle unless the other person is at least five years of age. An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $200. It is a defense to prosecution under this subsection that the operator was operating the motorcycle in an emergency or for a law enforcement purpose.
(e) Subsection (d) does not prohibit an operator from carrying on a motorcycle a person younger than five years of age who is seated in a sidecar attached to the motorcycle.
545.417. OBSTRUCTION OF OPERATOR'S VIEW OR DRIVING MECHANISM
a) An operator may not drive a vehicle when it is loaded so that, or when the front seat has a number of persons, exceeding three, so that:
(1) the view of the operator to the front or sides of the vehicle is obstructed; or
(2) there is interference with the operator's control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.
(b) A passenger in a vehicle may not ride in a position that interferes with the operator's view to the front or sides or control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.
545.418. OPENING VEHICLE DOORS
A person may not:
(1) open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic, unless the door may be opened in reasonable safety without interfering with the movement of other traffic; or
(2) leave a door on the side of a vehicle next to moving traffic open for longer than is necessary to load or unload a passenger.
545.419. RIDING IN HOUSE TRAILER
A person may not occupy a house trailer while it is being moved.
545.4191. PERSON RIDING IN TRAILER OR SEMITRAILER DRAWN BY TRUCK, ROAD TRACTOR, OR TRUCK TRACTOR
(a) A person may not operate a truck, road tractor, or truck tractor when another person occupies a trailer or semitrailer being drawn by the truck, road tractor, or truck tractor.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:
(1) the person was operating or towing the vehicle:
(A) in a parade or in an emergency;
(B) to transport farmworkers from one field to another field on a farm-to-market road, ranch-to-market road, or county road outside a municipality; or
(C) in a hayride permitted by the governing body of or a law enforcement agency of each county or municipality in which the hayride will occur;
(2) the person operating or towing the vehicle did not know that another person occupied the trailer or semitrailer; or
(3) the person occupying the trailer or semitrailer was in a part of the trailer or semitrailer designed for human habitation.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.
545.420. RACING ON HIGHWAY
(a) A person may not participate in any manner in:
(1) a race;
(2) a vehicle speed competition or contest;
(3) a drag race or acceleration contest;
(4) a test of physical endurance of the operator of a vehicle; or
(5) in connection with a drag race, an exhibition of vehicle speed or acceleration or to make a vehicle speed record
Except as provided by Subsections (e)-(h), an offense under Subsection (a) is a Class B misdemeanor.
(e) An offense under Subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that:
(1) the person has previously been convicted one time of an offense under that subsection; or
(2) the person, at the time of the offense:
(A) was operating the vehicle while intoxicated, as defined by Section 49.01, Penal Code; or
(B) was in possession of an open container, as defined by Section 49.031, Penal Code.
(f) An offense under Subsection (a) is a state jail felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person has previously been convicted two times of an offense under that subsection.
(g) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that as a result of the offense, an individual suffered bodily injury.
(h) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the second degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that as a result of the offense, an individual suffered serious bodily injury or death.
(i) This subsection applies only to a motor vehicle used in the commission of an offense under this section that results in an accident with property damage or personal injury.
545.420 Drag race
means the operation of:
(A) two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other; or
(B) one or more vehicles over a common selected course, from the same place to the same place, for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of the vehicle or vehicles in a specified distance or time.
545.420 Race
means the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to:
(A) outgain or outdistance another vehicle or prevent another vehicle from passing;
(B) arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles; or
(C) test the physical stamina or endurance of an operator over a long-distance driving route
545.421. FLEEING OR ATTEMPTING TO ELUDE POLICE OFFICER; OFFENSE
(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a motor vehicle and wilfully fails or refuses to bring the vehicle to a stop or flees, or attempts to elude, a pursuing police vehicle when given a visual or audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop.
(b) A signal under this section that is given by a police officer pursuing a vehicle may be by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren. The officer giving the signal must be in uniform and prominently display the officer's badge of office. The officer's vehicle must bear the insignia of a law enforcement agency, regardless of whether the vehicle displays an emergency light.
(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.
(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor if the person, during the commission of the offense, recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.
(e) A person is presumed to have recklessly engaged in conduct placing another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury under Subsection (d) if the person while intoxicated knowingly operated a motor vehicle during the commission of the offense. In this subsection, "intoxicated" has the meaning assigned by Section 49.01, Penal Code.
545.422. CROSSING SIDEWALK OR HIKE AND BIKE TRAIL
(a) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on a sidewalk, sidewalk area, or hike and bike trail except on a permanent or authorized temporary driveway.
(b) Subsection (a) does not prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle on a hike and bike trail in connection with maintenance of the trail.
(c) In this section, "hike and bike trail" means a trail designed for the exclusive use of pedestrians, bicyclists, or both.
545.423. CROSSING PROPERTY
(a) An operator may not cross a sidewalk or drive through a driveway, parking lot, or business or residential entrance without stopping the vehicle.
(b) An operator may not cross or drive in or on a sidewalk, driveway, parking lot, or business or residential entrance at an intersection to turn right or left from one highway to another highway.
545.424. OPERATION OF VEHICLE BY PERSON UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE
(a) A person under 18 years of age may not operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device, except in case of emergency.
(a-1) A person under 18 years of age may not operate a motor vehicle:
(1) after midnight and before 5 a.m. unless the operation of the vehicle is necessary for the operator to attend or participate in employment or a school-related activity or because of a medical emergency; or
(2) with more than one passenger in the vehicle under 21 years of age who is not a family member.
(b) A person under 17 years of age who holds a restricted motorcycle license or moped license may not operate a motorcycle or moped while using a wireless communications device, except in case of emergency.
(b-1) A person under 17 years of age who holds a restricted motorcycle license or moped license, during the 12-month period following the issuance of an original motorcycle license or moped license to the person, may not operate a motorcycle or moped after midnight and before 5 a.m. unless:
(1) the person is in sight of the person's parent or guardian; or
(2) the operation of the vehicle is necessary for the operator to attend or participate in employment or a school-related activity or because of a medical emergency.
(c) This section does not apply to:
(1) a person operating a motor vehicle while accompanied in the manner required by Section 521.222(d)(2) for the holder of an instruction permit; or
(2) a person licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to operate a wireless communication device or a radio frequency device.
(d) For the purposes of this section, employment includes work on a family farm by a member of the family that owns or operates the farm.
(e) A peace officer may not stop a vehicle or detain the operator of a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether the operator of the vehicle has violated this section.
545.425. USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE IN A SCHOOL CROSSING ZONE OR WHILE OPERATING A SCHOOL BUS WITH A MINOR PASSENGER; OFFENSE
Except as provided by Subsection (c), an operator may not use a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle within a school crossing zone, as defined by Section 541.302, Transportation Code, unless:
(1) the vehicle is stopped; or
(2) the wireless communication device is used with a hands-free device.
(b-1) Except as provided by Subsection (b-2), a municipality, county, or other political subdivision that enforces this section shall post a sign that complies with the standards described by this subsection at the entrance to each school crossing zone in the municipality, county, or other political subdivision. The department shall adopt standards that:
(1) allow for a sign required to be posted under this subsection to be attached to an existing sign at a minimal cost; and
(2) require that a sign required to be posted under this subsection inform an operator that:
(A) the use of a wireless communication device is prohibited in the school crossing zone; and
(B) the operator is subject to a fine if the operator uses a wireless communication device in the school crossing zone.
(b-2) A municipality, county, or other political subdivision that by ordinance or rule prohibits the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle throughout the jurisdiction of the political subdivision is not required to post a sign as required by Subsection (b-1) if the political subdivision:
(1) posts signs that are located at each point at which a state highway, U.S. highway, or interstate highway enters the political subdivision and that state:
(A) that an operator is prohibited from using a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle in the political subdivision; and
(B) that the operator is subject to a fine if the operator uses a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle in the political subdivision; and
(2) subject to all applicable United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration rules, posts a message that complies with Subdivision (1) on any dynamic message sign operated by the political subdivision located on a state highway, U.S. highway, or interstate highway in the political subdivision.
(b-3) A sign posted under Subsection (b-2)(1) must be readable to an operator traveling at the applicable speed limit.
(b-4) The political subdivision shall pay the costs associated with the posting of signs under Subsection (b-2).
(c) An operator may not use a wireless communication device while operating a passenger bus with a minor passenger on the bus unless the passenger bus is stopped.
(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution of an offense under this section that:
(1) the wireless communication device was used to make an emergency call to:
(A) EMS
(B) a hospital;
(C) a fire department;
(D) a health clinic;
(E) a medical doctor's office;
(F) an individual to administer first aid treatment; or
(G) a police department; or
(2) a sign required by Subsection (b-1) was not posted at the entrance to the school crossing zone at the time of an offense committed in the school crossing zone.
(d-1) The affirmative defense available in Subsection (d)(2) is not available for an offense under Subsection (b) committed in a school crossing zone located in a municipality, county, or other political subdivision that is in compliance with Subsection (b-2).
(e) This section does not apply to:
(1) an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle using a wireless communication device while acting in an official capacity; or
(2) an operator who is licensed FCC while operating a radio frequency device other than a wireless communication device.
545.425 Hands free device
means speakerphone capability or a telephone attachment or other piece of equipment, regardless of whether permanently installed in the motor vehicle, that allows use of the wireless communication device without use of either of the operator's hands.
545.425 Wireless communication device
means a device that uses a commercial mobile service, as defined by 47 U.S.C. Section 332.
545.426. OPERATION OF SCHOOL BUS
(a) A person may not operate a school bus if:
(1) the door of the school bus is open; or
(2) the number of passengers on the bus is greater than the manufacturer's design capacity for the bus.
(b) An operator of a school bus, while operating the bus, shall prohibit a passenger from:
(1) standing in the bus; or
(2) sitting:
(A) on the floor of the bus; or
(B) in any location on the bus that is not designed as a seat.
(c) The department may adopt rules necessary to administer and enforce this section.
545.427. OPERATION OF VEHICLE WITH INSUFFICIENT UNDERCARRIAGE CLEARANCE
(a) An operator may not drive on or cross a railroad grade crossing unless the vehicle being operated has sufficient undercarriage clearance.
(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $50 or more than $200.
545.4145. RIDING IN OR ON BOAT OR PERSONAL WATERCRAFT DRAWN BY VEHICLE; OFFENSE
(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a motor vehicle on a highway or street when a child younger than 18 years of age is occupying a boat or personal watercraft being drawn by the motor vehicle.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person was:
(1) operating the motor vehicle in a parade or in an emergency; or
(2) operating the motor vehicle on a beach.
(c) In this section, "boat" and "personal watercraft" have the meanings assigned by Section 31.003, Parks and Wildlife Code.
546.001. PERMISSIBLE CONDUCT
In operating an authorized emergency vehicle the operator may:
(1) park or stand, irrespective of another provision of this subtitle;
(2) proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, after slowing as necessary for safe operation;
(3) exceed a maximum speed limit, except as provided by an ordinance adopted under Section 545.365, as long as the operator does not endanger life or property; and
(4) disregard a regulation governing the direction of movement or turning in specified directions.
546.002. WHEN CONDUCT PERMISSIBLE
(a) In this section, "police escort" means facilitating the movement of a funeral, oversized or hazardous load, or other traffic disruption for public safety purposes by a peace officer described by Articles 2.12(1)-(4), (8), (12), and (22), Code of Criminal Procedure.
(b) Section 546.001 applies only when the operator is:
(1) responding to an emergency call;
(2) pursuing an actual or suspected violator of the law;
(3) responding to but not returning from a fire alarm;
(4) directing or diverting traffic for public safety purposes; or
(5) conducting a police escort.
546.003. AUDIBLE OR VISUAL SIGNALS REQUIRED
Except as provided by Section 546.004, the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle engaging in conduct permitted by Section 546.001 shall use, at the discretion of the operator in accordance with policies of the department or the local government that employs the operator, audible or visual signals that meet the pertinent requirements of Sections 547.305 and 547.702.
546.004. EXCEPTIONS TO SIGNAL REQUIREMENT
(a) A volunteer fire fighter who operates a private vehicle as an authorized emergency vehicle may engage in conduct permitted by Section 546.001 only when the fire fighter is using visual signals meeting the pertinent requirements of Sections 547.305 and 547.702.
(b) An authorized emergency vehicle that is operated as a police vehicle is not required to be equipped with or display a red light visible from the front of the vehicle.
(c) A police officer may operate an authorized emergency vehicle for a law enforcement purpose without using the audible or visual signals required by Section 546.003 if the officer is:
(1) responding to an emergency call or pursuing a suspected violator of the law with probable cause to believe that:
(A) knowledge of the presence of the officer will cause the suspect to:
(i) destroy or lose evidence of a suspected felony;
(ii) end a suspected continuing felony before the officer has obtained sufficient evidence to establish grounds for arrest; or
(iii) evade apprehension or identification of the suspect or the suspect's vehicle; or
(B) because of traffic conditions on a multilaned roadway, vehicles moving in response to the audible or visual signals may:
(i) increase the potential for a collision; or
(ii) unreasonably extend the duration of the pursuit; or
(2) complying with a written regulation relating to the use of audible or visible signals adopted by the local government that employs the officer or by the department.
546.005. DUTY OF CARE
This chapter does not relieve the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle from:
(1) the duty to operate the vehicle with appropriate regard for the safety of all persons; or
(2) the consequences of reckless disregard for the safety of others.
546.006. DESIGNATED EMERGENCY VEHICLE DURING DECLARED DISASTERS
(a) From recommendations made under Section 418.013(c), Government Code, the department shall designate which vehicles may be operated by which designated organizations as emergency vehicles during declared disasters.
(b) A vehicle designated under Subsection (a) may be operated by a designated organization as if the vehicle were an authorized emergency vehicle under this subtitle if:
(1) the governor declares a state of disaster under Section 418.014, Government Code;
(2) the department requests assistance from the designated organization; and
(3) the vehicle is operated by the designated organization or a member of the designated organization in response to the state of disaster.
(c) The department shall adopt rules as necessary to implement this section.
546.007. CLOSURE OF ROAD OR HIGHWAY BY FIREFIGHTER
(a) This section applies only to a firefighter who is employed by or a member of:
(1) a fire department operated by an emergency services district;
(2) a volunteer fire department; or
(3) a fire department of a general-law municipality.
(b) A firefighter, when performing the firefighter's official duties, may close one or more lanes of a road or highway to protect the safety of persons or property.
(c) The closure shall be limited to the affected lane or lanes and one additional lane unless the safety of emergency personnel operating on the road or highway requires more lanes to be closed.
(d) In making a closure under this section, the firefighter shall deploy one or more authorized emergency vehicles with audible and visual signals that meet the requirements of Sections 547.305 and 547.702.
547.002. APPLICABILITY
Unless a provision is specifically made applicable, this chapter and the rules of the department adopted under this chapter do not apply to:
(1) an implement of husbandry;
(2) road machinery;
(3) a road roller;
(4) a farm tractor;
(5) a bicycle, a bicyclist, or bicycle equipment;
(6) an electric bicycle, an electric bicyclist, or electric bicycle equipment; or
(7) a golf cart that is operated only as authorized by Section 551.403.
547.004. GENERAL OFFENSES
(a) A person commits an offense that is a misdemeanor if the person operates or moves or, as an owner, knowingly permits another to operate or move, a vehicle that:
(1) is unsafe so as to endanger a person;
(2) is not equipped in a manner that complies with the vehicle equipment standards and requirements established by this chapter; or
(3) is equipped in a manner prohibited by this chapter.
(b) A person commits an offense that is a misdemeanor if the person operates a vehicle equipped with an item of vehicle equipment that the person knows has been determined in a compliance proceeding under Section 547.206 to not comply with a department standard.
(c) A court may dismiss a charge brought under this section if the defendant:
(1) remedies the defect before the defendant's first court appearance; and
(2) pays an administrative fee not to exceed $10.
(d) Subsection (c) does not apply to an offense involving a commercial motor vehicle.
547.005. OFFENSE RELATING TO VIOLATION OF SPECIAL-USE PROVISIONS
(a) A person may not use a slow-moving-vehicle emblem on a stationary object or a vehicle other than a slow-moving vehicle.
(b) A person may not operate a motor vehicle bearing the words "school bus" unless the vehicle is used primarily to transport persons to or from school or a school-related activity. In this subsection, "school" means a privately or publicly supported elementary or secondary school, day-care center, preschool, or institution of higher education and includes a church if the church is engaged in providing formal education.
547.301. GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO MEASUREMENTS
(a) Unless expressly stated otherwise, a visibility distance requirement imposed by this chapter for a lamp or device applies when a lighted lamp or device is required and is measured as if the vehicle were unloaded and on a straight, level, unlighted highway under normal atmospheric conditions.
(b) A mounted height requirement imposed by this chapter for a lamp or device is measured as if the vehicle were unloaded and on level ground and is measured from the center of the lamp or device to the ground.
547.302. DUTY TO DISPLAY LIGHTS
a) A vehicle shall display each lighted lamp and illuminating device required by this chapter to be on the vehicle:
(1) at nighttime; and
(2) when light is insufficient or atmospheric conditions are unfavorable so that a person or vehicle on the highway is not clearly discernible at a distance of 1,000 feet ahead.
(b) A signaling device, including a stoplamp or a turn signal lamp, shall be lighted as prescribed by this chapter.
(c) At least one lighted lamp shall be displayed on each side of the front of a motor vehicle.
(d) Not more than four of the following may be lighted at one time on the front of a motor vehicle:
(1) a headlamp required by this chapter; or
(2) a lamp, including an auxiliary lamp or spotlamp, that projects a beam with an intensity brighter than 300 candlepower.
547.303. COLOR REQUIREMENTS
Unless expressly provided otherwise, a lighting device or reflector mounted on the rear of a vehicle must be or reflect red.
(b) A signaling device mounted on the rear of a vehicle may be red, amber, or yellow.
547.304. APPLICABILITY
(a) A provision of this chapter that requires a vehicle to be equipped with fixed electric lights does not apply to a farm trailer or fertilizer trailer registered under Section 502.146 or a boat trailer with a gross weight of 3,000 pounds or less if the trailer is not operated at a time or under a condition specified by Section 547.302(a).
(b) Except for Sections 547.323 and 547.324, a provision of this chapter that requires a vehicle to be equipped with fixed electric lights does not apply to a boat trailer with a gross weight of less than 4,500 pounds if the trailer is not operated at a time or under a condition specified by Section 547.302(a).
(c) Except for Sections 547.323 and 547.324, a provision of this chapter that requires a vehicle to be equipped with lamps, reflectors, and lighting equipment does not apply to a mobile home if the mobile home:
(1) is moved under a permit issued by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles under Subchapter D, Chapter 623; and
(2) is not moved at a time or under a condition specified by Section 547.302(a).
(d) A mobile home lighted as provided by this section may be moved only during daytime.
547.305. RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF LIGHTS
(a) A motor vehicle lamp or illuminating device, other than a headlamp, spotlamp, auxiliary lamp, turn signal lamp, or emergency vehicle, tow truck, or school bus warning lamp, that projects a beam with an intensity brighter than 300 candlepower shall be directed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam strikes the roadway at a distance of more than 75 feet from the vehicle.
(b) Except as expressly authorized by law, a person may not operate or move equipment or a vehicle, other than a police vehicle, with a lamp or device that displays a red light visible from directly in front of the center of the equipment or vehicle.
(c) A person may not operate a motor vehicle equipped with a red, white, or blue beacon, flashing, or alternating light unless the equipment is:
(1) used as specifically authorized by this chapter; or
(2) a running lamp, headlamp, taillamp, backup lamp, or turn signal lamp that is used as authorized by law.
(d) A vehicle may be equipped with alternately flashing lighting equipment described by Section 547.701 or 547.702 only if the vehicle is:
(1) a school bus;
(2) an authorized emergency vehicle;
(3) a church bus that has the words "church bus" printed on the front and rear of the bus so as to be clearly discernable to other vehicle operators;
(4) a tow truck while under the direction of a law enforcement officer at the scene of an accident or while hooking up to a disabled vehicle on a roadway; or
(5) a tow truck with a mounted light bar which has turn signals and stop lamps in addition to those required by Sections 547.322, 547.323, and 547.324, Transportation Code.
(e) A person may not operate highway maintenance or service equipment, including snow-removal equipment, that is not equipped with lamps or that does not display lighted lamps as required by the standards and specifications adopted by the Texas Department of Transportation.
547.3215. USE OF FEDERAL STANDARD
Unless specifically prohibited by this chapter, lighting, reflective devices, and associated equipment on a vehicle or motor vehicle must comply with:
(1) the current federal standards in 49 C.F.R. Section 571.108; or
(2) the federal standards in that section in effect, if any, at the time the vehicle or motor vehicle was manufactured.
547.322. TAILLAMPS REQUIRED
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or vehicle that is towed at the end of a combination of vehicles shall be equipped with at least two taillamps.
(b) A passenger car or truck that was manufactured or assembled before the model year 1960 shall be equipped with at least one taillamp.
(c) Taillamps shall be mounted on the rear of the vehicle:
(1) at a height from 15 to 72 inches; and
(2) at the same level and spaced as widely apart as practicable if a vehicle is equipped with more than one lamp.
(d) A taillamp shall emit a red light plainly visible at a distance of 1,000 feet from the rear of the vehicle.
(e) If vehicles are traveling in combination, only the taillamps on the rearmost vehicle are required to emit a light for the distance specified in Subsection (d).
(f) A taillamp or a separate lamp shall be constructed and mounted to emit a white light that:
(1) illuminates the rear license plate; and
(2) makes the plate clearly legible at a distance of 50 feet from the rear.
(g) A taillamp, including a separate lamp used to illuminate a rear license plate, must emit a light when a headlamp or auxiliary driving lamp is lighted.
547.323. STOPLAMPS REQUIRED
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer shall be equipped with at least two stoplamps.
(b) A passenger car manufactured or assembled before the model year 1960 shall be equipped with at least one stoplamp.
(c) A stoplamp shall be mounted on the rear of the vehicle.
(d) A stoplamp shall emit a red or amber light, or a color between red and amber, that is:
(1) visible in normal sunlight at a distance of at least 300 feet from the rear of the vehicle; and
(2) displayed when the vehicle service brake is applied.
(e) If vehicles are traveling in combination, only the stoplamps on the rearmost vehicle are required to emit a light for the distance specified in Subsection (d).
(f) A stoplamp may be included as a part of another rear lamp.
547.324. TURN SIGNAL LAMPS REQUIRED
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer shall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps that indicate the operator's intent to turn by displaying flashing lights to the front and rear of a vehicle or combination of vehicles and on that side of the vehicle or combination toward which the turn is to be made.
(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a passenger car or truck less than 80 inches wide manufactured or assembled before the model year 1960.
(c) Turn signal lamps:
(1) shall be mounted at the same level and spaced as widely apart as practicable on the front and on the rear of the vehicle; and
(2) may be included as a part of another lamp on the vehicle.
(d) A turn signal lamp shall emit:
(1) a white or amber light, or a color between white and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the front of the vehicle; or
(2) a red or amber light, or a color between red and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the rear of the vehicle.
(e) A turn signal lamp must be visible in normal sunlight at a distance of:
(1) at least 500 feet from the front and rear of the vehicle if the vehicle is at least 80 inches wide; and
(2) at least 300 feet from the front and rear of the vehicle if the vehicle is less than 80 inches wide.
547.325. REFLECTORS REQUIRED
(a) Except as provided by Subchapter F, a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer shall be equipped with at least two red reflectors on the rear of the vehicle. A red reflector may be included as a part of a taillamp.
(b) A reflector shall be:
(1) mounted at a height from 15 to 60 inches; and
(2) visible at night at all distances:
(A) from 100 to 600 feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps; or
(B) from 100 to 350 feet when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps if the vehicle was manufactured or assembled before January 1, 1972.
547.326. MINIMUM LIGHTING EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
(a) A vehicle that is not specifically required to be equipped with lamps or other lighting devices shall be equipped at the times specified in Section 547.302(a) with at least one lamp that emits a white light visible at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from the front and:
(1) two lamps that emit a red light visible at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from the rear; or
(2) one lamp that emits a red light visible at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from the rear and two red reflectors visible when illuminated by the lawful lower beams of headlamps at all distances from 100 to 600 feet to the rear.
(b) This section also applies to an animal-drawn vehicle and a vehicle exempted from this chapter by Section 547.002.
547.327. SPOTLAMPS PERMITTED
(a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two spotlamps.
(b) A spotlamp shall be aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam strikes the windshield, window, mirror, or occupant of another vehicle in use.
547.328. FOG LAMPS PERMITTED
(a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two fog lamps.
(b) A fog lamp shall be:
(1) mounted on the front of the vehicle at a height from 12 to 30 inches; and
(2) aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam from a lamp mounted to the left of center on a vehicle projects a beam of light at a distance of 25 feet that is higher than four inches below the level of the center of the lamp.
(c) Lighted fog lamps may be used with lower headlamp beams as specified by Section 547.333.
547.329. AUXILIARY PASSING LAMPS PERMITTED
(a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with no more than two auxiliary passing lamps.
(b) An auxiliary passing lamp shall be mounted on the front of the vehicle at a height from 24 to 42 inches.
(c) An auxiliary passing lamp may be used with headlamps as specified by Section 547.333.
547.330. AUXILIARY DRIVING LAMPS PERMITTED
(a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with no more than two auxiliary driving lamps.
(b) An auxiliary driving lamp shall be mounted on the front of the vehicle at a height from 16 to 42 inches.
(c) Auxiliary driving lamps may be used with headlamps as specified by Section 547.333.
547.331. HAZARD LAMPS PERMITTED
(a) A vehicle may be equipped with lamps to warn other vehicle operators of a vehicular traffic hazard that requires unusual care in approaching, overtaking, or passing.
(b) The lamps shall be:
(1) mounted at the same level and spaced as widely apart as practicable on the front and on the rear of the vehicle; and
(2) visible at a distance of at least 500 feet in normal sunlight.
(c) The lamps shall display simultaneously flashing lights that emit:
(1) a white or amber light, or a color between white and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the front of the vehicle; or
(2) a red or amber light, or a color between red and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the rear of the vehicle.
547.332. OTHER LAMPS PERMITTED
A motor vehicle may be equipped with:
(1) not more than two side cowl or fender lamps that emit an amber or white light without glare;
(2) not more than two running board courtesy lamps, one on each side of the vehicle, that emit an amber or white light without glare; and
(3) one or more backup lamps that:
(A) emit an amber or white light only when the vehicle is not moving forward; and
(B) may be displayed separately or in combination with another lamp.
547.333. MULTIPLE-BEAM LIGHTING EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
(a) Unless provided otherwise, a headlamp, auxiliary driving lamp, auxiliary passing lamp, or combination of those lamps mounted on a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle:
(1) shall be arranged so that the operator can select at will between distributions of light projected at different elevations; and
(2) may be arranged so that the operator can select the distribution automatically.
(b) A lamp identified by Subsection (a) shall produce:
(1) an uppermost distribution of light or composite beam that is aimed and emits light sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 450 feet ahead during all conditions of loading; and
(2) a lowermost distribution of light or composite beam that:
(A) is aimed and emits light sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 150 feet ahead; and
(B) is aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam on a vehicle that is operated on a straight, level road under any condition of loading projects into the eyes of an approaching vehicle operator.
(c) A person who operates a vehicle on a roadway or shoulder shall select a distribution of light or composite beam that is aimed and emits light sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle at a safe distance ahead of the vehicle, except that:
(1) an operator approaching an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet shall select:
(A) the lowermost distribution of light or composite beam, regardless of road contour or condition of loading; or
(B) a distribution aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the lamp projects into the eyes of an approaching vehicle operator; and
(2) an operator approaching a vehicle from the rear within 300 feet may not select the uppermost distribution of light.
(d) A motor vehicle of a model year of 1948 or later, other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, that has multiple-beam lighting equipment shall be equipped with a beam indicator that is:
(1) designed and located so that the lighted indicator is visible without glare to the vehicle operator; and
(2) lighted only when the uppermost distribution of light is in use.
547.351. APPLICABILITY
The color, mounting, and visibility requirements in this subchapter apply only to equipment on a vehicle described by Section 547.352.
547.352. ADDITIONAL LIGHTING EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS
In addition to other equipment required by this chapter:
(1) a bus, truck, trailer, or semitrailer that is at least 80 inches wide shall be equipped with:
(A) two clearance lamps on the front, one at each side;
(B) two clearance lamps on the rear, one at each side;
(C) four side marker lamps, one on each side at or near the front and one on each side at or near the rear;
(D) four reflectors, one on each side at or near the front and one on each side at or near the rear; and
(E) hazard lamps that meet the requirements of Section 547.331;
(2) a bus or truck that is at least 30 feet long shall be equipped with hazard lamps that meet the requirements of Section 547.331;
(3) a trailer or semitrailer that is at least 30 feet long shall be equipped with:
(A) two side marker lamps, one centrally mounted on each side with respect to the length of the vehicle;
(B) two reflectors, one centrally mounted on each side with respect to the length of the vehicle; and
(C) hazard lamps that meet the requirements of Section 547.331;
(4) a pole trailer shall be equipped with:
(A) two side marker lamps, one at each side at or near the front of the load;
(B) one reflector at or near the front of the load;
(C) one combination marker lamp that:
(i) emits an amber light to the front and a red light to the rear and side; and
(ii) is mounted on the rearmost support for the load to indicate the maximum width of the trailer; and
(D) hazard lamps that meet the requirements of Section 547.331, if the pole trailer is at least 30 feet long or at least 80 inches wide;
(5) a truck-tractor shall be equipped with:
(A) two clearance lamps, one at each side on the front of the cab; and
(B) hazard lamps that meet the requirements of Section 547.331, if the truck-tractor is at least 30 feet long or at least 80 inches wide; and
(6) a vehicle at least 80 inches wide may be equipped with:
(A) not more than three front identification lamps without glare; and
(B) not more than three rear identification lamps without glare.
547.353. COLOR REQUIREMENTS
(a) A clearance lamp, identification lamp, side marker lamp, or reflector mounted on the front, on the side near the front, or in the center of the vehicle must be or reflect amber.
(b) A clearance lamp, identification lamp, side marker lamp, or reflector mounted on the rear or the side near the rear of the vehicle must be or reflect red.
547.354. MOUNTING REQUIREMENTS
(a) A reflector shall be mounted:
(1) at a height from 24 to 60 inches; or
(2) as high as practicable on the permanent structure of the vehicle if the highest part of the permanent structure is less than 24 inches.
(b) A rear reflector may be:
(1) included as a part of a taillamp if the reflector meets each other requirement of this subchapter; and
(2) mounted on each side of the bolster or load, if the vehicle is a pole trailer.
(c) A clearance lamp shall be mounted, if practicable, on the permanent structure of the vehicle to indicate the extreme height and width of the vehicle, except that:
(1) a clearance lamp on a truck-tractor shall be mounted to indicate the extreme width of the cab; and
(2) a front clearance lamp may be mounted at a height that indicates, as near as practicable, the extreme width of the trailer if mounting of the lamp as otherwise provided by this section would not indicate the extreme width of the trailer.
(d) A clearance lamp and side marker lamp may be mounted in combination if each lamp complies with the visibility requirements of Section 547.355.
547.355. VISIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
(a) A clearance lamp, identification lamp, or side marker lamp shall be visible and recognizable under normal atmospheric conditions at all distances from 50 to 500 feet from the vehicle on the side, front, or rear where the lamp is mounted.
(b) A reflector required by this chapter mounted on a vehicle subject to this subchapter shall be visible from the rear, if a rear reflector, or from the applicable side, if a side reflector, at nighttime at all distances from 100 to 600 feet from the vehicle when the reflector is directly in front of:
(1) lawful lower beams of headlamps; or
(2) lawful upper beams of headlamps on a vehicle manufactured or assembled before January 1, 1972.
547.371. GENERAL LIGHTING EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a farm tractor, self-propelled unit of farm equipment, or implement of husbandry shall be equipped with:
(1) at least two headlamps that comply with Section 547.333, 547.334, or 547.335;
(2) at least one red lamp visible at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from the rear and mounted as far to the left of the center of the vehicle as practicable;
(3) at least two red reflectors visible at all distances from 100 to 600 feet from the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps; and
(4) hazard lamps as described in Section 547.331, which shall be lighted and visible in normal sunlight at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from the front and rear.
(b) A farm tractor, self-propelled unit of farm equipment, or implement of husbandry manufactured or assembled on or before January 1, 1972, is required to be equipped as provided by Subsection (a) only at the times specified by Section 547.302(a), and hazard lamps are not required.
547.372. LIGHTING REQUIREMENTS FOR COMBINATION VEHICLES
a) If a unit of farm equipment or implement of husbandry is towed by a farm tractor and the towed object or its load extends more than four feet to the rear of the tractor or obscures a light on the tractor, the towed object shall be equipped at the times specified by Section 547.302(a) with at least two rear red reflectors that are:
(1) visible at all distances from 100 to 600 feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps; and
(2) mounted to indicate, as nearly as practicable, the extreme width of the vehicle or combination of vehicles.
(b) If a unit of farm equipment or implement of husbandry is towed by a farm tractor and extends more than four feet to the left of the centerline of the tractor, the towed object shall be equipped at the times specified by Section 547.302(a) with a front amber reflector that is:
(1) visible at all distances from 100 to 600 feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps; and
(2) mounted to indicate, as nearly as practicable, the extreme left projection of the towed object.
(c) Reflective tape or paint may be used as an alternative to the reflectors required by this section
547.381. OBSTRUCTED LIGHTS ON COMBINATION VEHICLES
a) A motor vehicle when operated in combination with another vehicle is not required to display a lighted lamp, other than a taillamp, if the lamp is obscured because of its location by another vehicle in the combination of vehicles.
(b) Subsection (a) is not an exception for the lighting as provided by this chapter of:
(1) front clearance lamps on the frontmost vehicle in the combination; or
(2) rear lamps on the rearmost vehicle in the combination.
547.382. LIGHTING EQUIPMENT ON PROJECTING LOADS
(a) A vehicle transporting a load that extends to the rear at least four feet beyond the bed or body of the vehicle shall display on the extreme end of the load at the times specified in Section 547.302(a):
(1) two red lamps visible at a distance of at least 500 feet from the rear;
(2) two red reflectors that indicate the maximum width and are visible at nighttime at all distances from 100 to 600 feet from the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps; and
(3) two red lamps, one on each side, that indicate the maximum overhang and are visible at a distance of at least 500 feet from the side.
(b) At all other times, a vehicle transporting a load that extends beyond the vehicle's sides or more than four feet beyond the vehicle's rear shall display red flags that:
(1) are at least 12 inches square;
(2) mark the extremities of the load; and
(3) are placed where a lamp is required by this section.
547.383. LIGHTING REQUIREMENTS ON PARKED VEHICLES
(a) A vehicle, other than a motor-driven cycle, shall be equipped with at least one lamp, or a combination of lamps, that:
(1) emits a white or amber light visible at a distance of 1,000 feet from the front and a red light visible at a distance of 1,000 feet from the rear; and
(2) is mounted so that at least one lamp is installed as near as practicable to the side of the vehicle that is closest to passing traffic.
(b) A vehicle, other than a motor-driven cycle, that is parked or stopped on a roadway or shoulder at a time specified in Section 547.302(a) shall display a lamp that complies with Subsection (a).
(c) A vehicle that is lawfully parked on a highway is not required to display lights at night-time if there is sufficient light to reveal a person or vehicle on the highway at a distance of 1,000 feet.
(d) A lighted headlamp on a parked vehicle shall be dimmed.
547.401. BRAKES REQUIRED
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or combination of those vehicles shall be equipped with brakes that comply with this chapter.
(b) A trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer is not required to have brakes if:
(1) its gross weight is 4,500 pounds or less; or
(2) its gross weight is heavier than 4,500 pounds but not heavier than 15,000 pounds, and it is drawn at a speed of not more than 30 miles per hour.
547.402. OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF BRAKES
a) Required brakes shall operate on each wheel of a vehicle except:
(1) special mobile equipment;
(2) a vehicle that is towed as a commodity when at least one set of the towed vehicle's wheels is on the roadway, if the combination of vehicles complies with the performance requirements of this chapter; and
(3) a trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer with a gross weight heavier than 4,500 pounds but not heavier than 15,000 pounds drawn at a speed of more than 30 miles per hour, if the brakes operate on both wheels of the rear axle.
(b) A truck or truck-tractor that has at least three axles is not required to have brakes on the front wheels, but must have brakes that:
(1) operate on the wheels of one steerable axle if the vehicle is equipped with at least two steerable axles; and
(2) comply with the performance requirements of this chapter.
(c) A trailer or semitrailer that has a gross weight of 15,000 pounds or less may use surge or inertia brake systems to satisfy the requirements of Subsection (a).
(d) Brakes shall be maintained in good working order and adjusted to operate on wheels on each side of the vehicle as equally as practicable.
547.501. AUDIBLE WARNING DEVICES
(a) A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a horn in good working condition that emits a sound audible under normal conditions at a distance of at least 200 feet.
(b) A vehicle may not be equipped with and a person may not use on a vehicle a siren, whistle, or bell unless the vehicle is:
(1) a commercial vehicle that is equipped with a theft alarm signal device arranged so that the device cannot be used as an ordinary warning signal; or
(2) an authorized emergency vehicle that is equipped with a siren, whistle, or bell that complies with Section 547.702.
(c) A motor vehicle operator shall use a horn to provide audible warning only when necessary to insure safe operation.
(d) A warning device, including a horn, may not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.
547.503. DISPLAY OF HAZARD LAMPS
a) The operator of a vehicle that is described by Subsection (b) and that is stopped on a roadway or shoulder shall immediately display vehicular hazard warning lamps that comply with Section 547.331, unless the vehicle:
(1) is parked lawfully in an urban district;
(2) is stopped lawfully to receive or discharge a passenger;
(3) is stopped to avoid conflict with other traffic;
(4) is stopped to comply with a direction of a police officer or an official traffic-control device; or
(5) displays other warning devices as required by Sections 547.504-547.507.
(b) This section applies to a truck, bus, truck-tractor, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer at least 80 inches wide or at least 30 feet long.
547.601. SAFETY BELTS REQUIRED
A motor vehicle required by Chapter 548 to be inspected shall be equipped with front safety belts if safety belt anchorages were part of the manufacturer's original equipment on the vehicle.
547.602. MIRRORS REQUIRED
A motor vehicle, including a motor vehicle used to tow another vehicle, shall be equipped with a mirror located to reflect to the operator a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet from the rear of the vehicle.
547.603. WINDSHIELD WIPERS REQUIRED
A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device that is operated or controlled by the operator of the vehicle and that cleans moisture from the windshield. The device shall be maintained in good working condition.
547.604. MUFFLER REQUIRED
(a) A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a muffler in good working condition that continually operates to prevent excessive or unusual noise.
(b) A person may not use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device on a motor vehicle.
547.605. EMISSION SYSTEMS REQUIRED
(a) The engine and power mechanism of a motor vehicle shall be equipped and adjusted to prevent the escape of excessive smoke or fumes.
(b) A motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, of a model year after 1967, shall be equipped to prevent the discharge of crankcase emissions into the ambient atmosphere.
(c) The owner or operator of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, of a model year after 1967, that is equipped with an exhaust emission system:
(1) shall maintain the system in good working condition;
(2) shall use the system when the motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine is operated; and
(3) may not remove the system or a part of the system or intentionally make the system inoperable in this state, unless the owner or operator removes the system or part to install another system or part intended to be equally effective in reducing atmospheric emissions.
(d) Except when travel conditions require the downshifting or use of lower gears to maintain reasonable momentum, a person commits an offense if the person operates, or as an owner knowingly permits another person to operate, a vehicle that emits:
(1) visible smoke for 10 seconds or longer; or
(2) visible smoke that remains suspended in the air for 10 seconds or longer before fully dissipating.
(e) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1 and not more than $350 for each violation. If a person has previously been convicted of an offense under this section, an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 for each violation.
547.606. SAFETY GUARDS OR FLAPS REQUIRED
(a) A road tractor, truck, trailer, truck-tractor in combination with a semitrailer, or semitrailer in combination with a towing vehicle that has at least four tires or at least two super single tires on the rearmost axle of the vehicle or the rearmost vehicle in the combination shall be equipped with safety guards or flaps that:
(1) are of a type prescribed by the department; and
(2) are located and suspended behind the rearmost wheels of the vehicle or the rearmost vehicle in the combination within eight inches of the surface of the highway.
(b) This section does not apply to a truck-tractor operated alone or a pole trailer.
547.609. REQUIRED LABEL FOR SUNSCREENING DEVICES
A sunscreening device must have a label that:
(1) is legible;
(2) contains information required by the department on light transmission and luminous reflectance of the device;
(3) if the device is placed on or attached to a windshield or a side or rear window, states that the light transmission of the device is consistent with Section 547.613(b)(1) or (2), as applicable; and
(4) is permanently installed between the material and the surface to which the material is applied.
547.611. USE OF CERTAIN VIDEO EQUIPMENT AND TELEVISION RECEIVERS
a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with video receiving equipment, including a television, a digital video disc player, a videocassette player, or similar equipment, only if the equipment is located so that the video display is not visible from the operator's seat unless the vehicle's transmission is in park or the vehicle's parking brake is applied.
(b) A motor vehicle specially designed as a mobile unit used by a licensed television station may have video receiving equipment located so that the video display is visible from the operator's side, but the receiver may be used only when the vehicle is stopped.
(c) This section does not prohibit the use of:
(1) equipment used:
(A) exclusively for receiving digital information for commercial purposes;
(B) exclusively for a safety or law enforcement purpose, if each installation is approved by the department;
(C) in a remote television transmission truck; or
(D) exclusively for monitoring the performance of equipment installed on a vehicle used for safety purposes in connection with the operations of a natural gas, water, or electric utility; or
(2) a monitoring device that:
(A) produces an electronic display; and
(B) is used exclusively in conjunction with a mobile navigation system installed in the vehicle.
547.613. RESTRICTIONS ON WINDOWS
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person commits an offense that is a misdemeanor:
(1) if the person operates a motor vehicle that has an object or material that is placed on or attached to the windshield or side or rear window and that obstructs or reduces the operator's clear view; or
(2) if a person, including an installer or manufacturer, places on or attaches to the windshield or side or rear window of a motor vehicle a transparent material that alters the color or reduces the light transmission.
(a-1) A person in the business of placing or attaching transparent material that alters the color or reduces the light transmission to the windshield or side or rear window of a motor vehicle commits a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 if the person:
(1) places or attaches such transparent material to the windshield or side or rear window of a motor vehicle; and
(2) does not install a label that complies with Section 547.609 between the transparent material and the windshield or side or rear window of the vehicle, as applicable.
(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to:
(1) a windshield that has a sunscreening device that:
(A) in combination with the windshield has a light transmission of 25 percent or more;
(B) in combination with the windshield has a luminous reflectance of 25 percent or less;
(C) is not red, blue, or amber; and
(D) does not extend downward beyond the AS-1 line or more than five inches from the top of the windshield, whichever is closer to the top of the windshield;
(2) a wing vent or a window that is to the left or right of the vehicle operator if the vent or window has a sunscreening device that in combination with the vent or window has:
(A) a light transmission of 25 percent or more; and
(B) a luminous reflectance of 25 percent or less;
(2-a) a side window that is to the rear of the vehicle operator;
(3) a rear window, if the motor vehicle is equipped with an outside mirror on each side of the vehicle that reflects to the vehicle operator a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet from the rear;
(4) a rearview mirror;
(5) an adjustable nontransparent sun visor that is mounted in front of a side window and not attached to the glass;
(6) a direction, destination, or termination sign on a passenger common carrier motor vehicle, if the sign does not interfere with the vehicle operator's view of approaching traffic;
(7) a rear window wiper motor;
(8) a rear trunk lid handle or hinge;
(9) a luggage rack attached to the rear trunk;
(10) a side window that is to the rear of the vehicle operator on a multipurpose vehicle;
(11) a window that has a United States, state, or local certificate placed on or attached to it as required by law;
(12) a motor vehicle that is not registered in this state;
(13) a window that complies with federal standards for window materials, including a factory-tinted or a pretinted window installed by the vehicle manufacturer, or a replacement window meeting the specifications required by the vehicle manufacturer;
(14) a vehicle that is:
(A) used regularly to transport passengers for a fee; and
(B) authorized to operate under license or permit by a local authority;
(15) a vehicle that is maintained by a law enforcement agency and used for law enforcement purposes; or
(16) a commercial motor vehicle as defined by Section 644.001
(e) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that the defendant or a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the violation is required for a medical reason to be shielded from direct rays of the sun.
(f) It is not an offense under this section for a person to offer for sale or sell a motor vehicle with a windshield or window that does not comply with this section.
547.613 Installer
means a person who fabricates, laminates, or tempers a safety glazing material to incorporate, during the installation process, the capacity to reflect light or reduce light transmission.
547.613 Manufacturer
means a person who:
(A) manufactures or assembles a sunscreening device; or
(B) fabricates, laminates, or tempers safety glazing material to incorporate, during the manufacturing process, the capacity to reflect light or reduce light transmission.
547.615. RECORDING DEVICES
A manufacturer of a new motor vehicle that is sold or leased in this state and that is equipped with a recording device shall disclose that fact in the owner's manual of the vehicle.
(c) Information recorded or transmitted by a recording device may not be retrieved by a person other than the owner of the motor vehicle in which the recording device is installed except:
(1) on court order;
(2) with the consent of the owner for any purpose, including for the purpose of diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the motor vehicle;
(3) for the purpose of improving motor vehicle safety, including for medical research on the human body's reaction to motor vehicle accidents, if the identity of the owner or driver of the vehicle is not disclosed in connection with the retrieved information; or
(4) for the purpose of determining the need for or facilitating emergency medical response in the event of a motor vehicle accident.
(d) For information recorded or transmitted by a recording device described by Subsection (a)(2)(B), a court order may be obtained only after a showing that:
(1) retrieval of the information is necessary to protect the public safety; or
(2) the information is evidence of an offense or constitutes evidence that a particular person committed an offense.
(e) For the purposes of Subsection (c)(3):
(1) disclosure of a motor vehicle's vehicle identification number with the last six digits deleted or redacted is not disclosure of the identity of the owner or driver; and
(2) retrieved information may be disclosed only:
(A) for the purposes of motor vehicle safety and medical research communities to advance the purposes described in Subsection (c)(3); or
(B) to a data processor solely for the purposes described in Subsection (c)(3).
(f) If a recording device is used as part of a subscription service, the subscription service agreement must disclose that the device may record or transmit information as described by Subsection (a)(2). Subsection (c) does not apply to a subscription service under this subsection.
547.615 Owner
means a person who:
(A) has all the incidents of ownership of a motor vehicle, including legal title, regardless of whether the person lends, rents, or creates a security interest in the vehicle;
(B) is entitled to possession of a motor vehicle as a purchaser under a security agreement; or
(C) is entitled to possession of a motor vehicle as a lessee under a written lease agreement if the agreement is for a period of not less than three months.
547.615 Recording device
means a feature that is installed by the manufacturer in a motor vehicle and that does any of the following for the purpose of retrieving information from the vehicle after an accident in which the vehicle has been involved:
(A) records the speed and direction the vehicle is traveling;
(B) records vehicle location data;
(C) records steering performance;
(D) records brake performance, including information on whether brakes were applied before an accident;
(E) records the driver's safety belt status; or
(F) transmits information concerning the accident to a central communications system when the accident occurs.
547.701. ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL BUSES AND OTHER BUSES USED TO TRANSPORT SCHOOLCHILDREN.
(a) A school bus shall be equipped with:
(1) a convex mirror or other device that reflects to the school bus operator a clear view of the area immediately in front of the vehicle that would otherwise be hidden from view; and
(2) signal lamps that:
(A) are mounted as high and as widely spaced laterally as practicable;
(B) display four alternately flashing red lights, two located on the front at the same level and two located on the rear at the same level; and
(C) emit a light visible at a distance of 500 feet in normal sunlight.
(b) A school bus may be equipped with:
(1) rooftop warning lamps:
(A) that conform to and are placed on the bus in accordance with specifications adopted under Section 34.002, Education Code; and
(B) that are operated under rules adopted by the school district; and
(2) movable stop arms:
(A) that conform to regulations adopted under Section 34.002, Education Code; and
(B) that may be operated only when the bus is stopped to load or unload students.
547.7012. REQUIREMENTS FOR MULTIFUNCTION SCHOOL ACTIVITY BUSES
A multifunction school activity bus may not be painted National School Bus Glossy Yellow.
547.702. ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLES
(a) An authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with a siren, exhaust whistle, or bell:
(1) of a type approved by the department; and
(2) that emits a sound audible under normal conditions at a distance of at least 500 feet.
(b) The operator of an authorized emergency vehicle shall use the siren, whistle, or bell when necessary to warn other vehicle operators or pedestrians of the approach of the emergency vehicle.
(c) Except as provided by this section, an authorized emergency vehicle shall be equipped with signal lamps that:
(1) are mounted as high and as widely spaced laterally as practicable;
(2) display four alternately flashing red lights, two located on the front at the same level and two located on the rear at the same level; and
(3) emit a light visible at a distance of 500 feet in normal sunlight.
(d) A private vehicle operated by a volunteer firefighter responding to a fire alarm or a medical emergency may, but is not required to, be equipped with signal lamps that comply with the requirements of Subsection (c).
(e) A private vehicle operated by a volunteer firefighter responding to a fire alarm or a medical emergency may be equipped with a signal lamp that is temporarily attached to the vehicle roof and flashes a red light visible at a distance of at least 500 feet in normal sunlight.
(f) A police vehicle may, but is not required to, be equipped with signal lamps that comply with Subsection (c).
547.703. ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR SLOW-MOVING VEHICLES
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a slow-moving vehicle shall display a slow-moving-vehicle emblem that:
(1) has a reflective surface designed to be clearly visible in daylight or at night from the light of standard automobile headlamps at a distance of at least 500 feet;
(2) is mounted base down on the rear of the vehicle at a height from three to five feet above the road surface; and
(3) is maintained in a clean, reflective condition.
(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a vehicle that is used in construction or maintenance work and is traveling in a construction area that is marked as required by the Texas Transportation Commission.
(c) If a motor vehicle displaying a slow-moving-vehicle emblem tows machinery, including an implement of husbandry, and the visibility of the emblem is not obstructed, the towed unit is not required to display a slow-moving-vehicle emblem.
(d) A golf cart that is operated at a speed of not more than 25 miles per hour is required to display a slow-moving-vehicle emblem when it is operated on a public highway, as defined by Section 502.001, under Section 551.403 or 551.404.
547.801. LIGHTING EQUIPMENT
(a) A motorcycle, including a motor-driven cycle, shall be equipped with:
(1) not more than two headlamps mounted at a height from 24 to 54 inches;
(2) at least one taillamp mounted at a height from 20 to 72 inches;
(3) a taillamp or separate lamp to illuminate the rear license plate that complies with the requirements of Sections 547.322(f) and (g);
(4) at least one stoplamp that complies with the requirements of Section 547.323(d); and
(5) at least one rear red reflector that complies with the requirements of Section 547.325(b) and may be included as a part of the taillamp.
(b) A motorcycle, other than a motor-driven cycle, shall be equipped with multiple-beam lighting equipment that produces:
(1) an uppermost distribution of light that reveals a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 300 feet ahead; and
(2) a lowermost distribution of light that:
(A) reveals a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 150 feet ahead; and
(B) is aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam on the motorcycle that is on a straight and level road under any condition of loading projects into the eyes of an approaching vehicle operator.
(c) A motor-driven cycle shall be equipped with:
(1) multiple-beam lighting equipment that complies with the requirements of Subsection (b); or
(2) single-beam lighting equipment that:
(A) emits light sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle:
(i) at a distance of at least 100 feet when the cycle is operated at a speed less than 25 miles per hour;
(ii) at a distance of at least 200 feet when the cycle is operated at a speed of 25 miles per hour or more; and
(iii) at a distance of at least 300 feet when the cycle is operated at a speed of 35 miles per hour or more; and
(B) is aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam from the lamp on a loaded cycle projects a beam higher than the level center of the lamp for a distance of 25 feet ahead.
(d) A motorcycle may not be operated at any time unless at least one headlamp on the motorcycle is illuminated. This subsection does not apply to a motorcycle manufactured before the model year 1975.
548.051. VEHICLES AND EQUIPMENT SUBJECT TO INSPECTION
(a) A motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or mobile home, registered in this state, must have the following items inspected at an inspection station or by an inspector:
(1) tires;
(2) wheel assembly;
(3) safety guards or flaps, if required by Section 547.606;
(4) brake system, including power brake unit;
(5) steering system, including power steering;
(6) lighting equipment;
(7) horns and warning devices;
(8) mirrors;
(9) windshield wipers;
(10) sunscreening devices, unless the vehicle is exempt from sunscreen device restrictions under Section 547.613;
(11) front seat belts in vehicles on which seat belt anchorages were part of the manufacturer's original equipment;
(12) tax decal, if required by Section 548.104(d)(1);
(13) exhaust system;
(14) exhaust emission system;
(15) fuel tank cap, using pressurized testing equipment approved by department rule; and
(16) emissions control equipment as designated by department rule.
(b) A moped is subject to inspection in the same manner as a motorcycle, except that the only items of equipment required to be inspected are the brakes, headlamps, rear lamps, and reflectors, which must comply with the standards prescribed by Sections 547.408 and 547.801.
548.001 Commercial motor vehicle
means a self-propelled or towed vehicle, other than a farm vehicle with a gross weight, registered weight, or gross weight rating of less than 48,000 pounds, that is used on a public highway to transport passengers or cargo if:
(A) the vehicle, including a school activity bus as defined in Section 541.201, or combination of vehicles has a gross weight, registered weight, or gross weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds;
(B) the vehicle, including a school activity bus as defined in Section 541.201, is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver; or
(C) the vehicle is used to transport hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding by a regulation issued under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. Section 5101 et seq.).
548.001 Commission
means the Public Safety Commission
548.001 Conservation commission
means the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
548.001 Department
means the Department of Public Safety
548.001 Farm vehicle
has the meaning assigned by the federal motor carrier safety regulations
548.001 Federal motor carrier safety regulation
has the meaning assigned by Section 644.001.
548.001 Inspection station
means a facility certified to conduct inspections of vehicles under this chapter
548.001 Inspector
means an individual certified to conduct inspections of vehicles under this chapter.
548.001 Nonattainment area
means an area so designated within the meaning of Section 107(d) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Section 7407).
548.001 Vehicle inspection report
means a report issued by an inspector or an inspection station for a vehicle that indicates whether the vehicle has passed the safety and, if applicable, emissions inspections required by this chapter.
548.052. VEHICLES NOT SUBJECT TO INSPECTION
This chapter does not apply to:
(1) a trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or mobile home moving under or bearing a current factory-delivery license plate or current in-transit license plate;
(2) a vehicle moving under or bearing a paper dealer in-transit tag, machinery license, disaster license, parade license, prorate tab, one-trip permit, vehicle temporary transit permit, antique license, custom vehicle license, street rod license, temporary 24-hour permit, or permit license;
(3) a trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or mobile home having an actual gross weight or registered gross weight of 4,500 pounds or less;
(4) farm machinery, road-building equipment, a farm trailer, or a vehicle required to display a slow-moving-vehicle emblem under Section 547.703;
(5) a former military vehicle, as defined by Section 504.502;
(6) a vehicle qualified for a tax exemption under Section 152.092, Tax Code; or
(7) a vehicle for which a certificate of title has been issued but that is not required to be registered
547.616. RADAR INTERFERENCE DEVICES; OFFENSE
(a) In this section, "radar interference device" means a device, a mechanism, an instrument, or equipment that is designed, manufactured, used, or intended to be used to interfere with, scramble, disrupt, or otherwise cause to malfunction a radar or laser device used to measure the speed of a motor vehicle by a law enforcement agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state, including a "radar jamming device," "jammer," "scrambler," or "diffuser." The term does not include a ham radio, band radio, or similar electronic device.
(b) A person, other than a law enforcement officer in the discharge of the officer's official duties, may not use, attempt to use, install, operate, or attempt to operate a radar interference device in a motor vehicle operated by the person.
(c) A person may not purchase, sell, or offer for sale a radar interference device to be used in a manner described by Subsection (b).
(d) A person who violates this section commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor
551.001. PERSONS AFFECTED
Except as provided by Subchapter C, this chapter applies only to a person operating a bicycle on:
(1) a highway; or
(2) a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.
551.002. MOPED AND ELECTRIC BICYCLE INCLUDED
A provision of this subtitle applicable to a bicycle also applies to:
(1) a moped, other than a provision that by its nature cannot apply to a moped; and
(2) an electric bicycle, other than a provision that by its nature cannot apply to an electric bicycle
551.101. RIGHTS AND DUTIES
(a) A person operating a bicycle has the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle under this subtitle, unless:
(1) a provision of this chapter alters a right or duty; or
(2) a right or duty applicable to a driver operating a vehicle cannot by its nature apply to a person operating a bicycle.
(b) A parent of a child or a guardian of a ward may not knowingly permit the child or ward to violate this subtitle.
551.102. GENERAL OPERATION
(a) A person operating a bicycle shall ride only on or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.
(b) A person may not use a bicycle to carry more persons than the bicycle is designed or equipped to carry.
(c) A person operating a bicycle may not use the bicycle to carry an object that prevents the person from operating the bicycle with at least one hand on the handlebars of the bicycle.
(d) A person operating a bicycle, coaster, sled, or toy vehicle or using roller skates may not attach either the person or the bicycle, coaster, sled, toy vehicle, or roller skates to a streetcar or vehicle on a roadway.
551.103. OPERATION ON ROADWAY
a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:
(1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction;
(2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway;
(3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway; or
(4) the person is operating a bicycle in an outside lane that is:
(A) less than 14 feet in width and does not have a designated bicycle lane adjacent to that lane; or
(B) too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side.
(b) A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of the roadway.
(c) Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may not ride more than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.
551.104. SAFETY EQUIPMENT
(a) A person may not operate a bicycle unless the bicycle is equipped with a brake capable of making a braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
(b) A person may not operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle is equipped with:
(1) a lamp on the front of the bicycle that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet in front of the bicycle; and
(2) on the rear of the bicycle:
(A) a red reflector that is:
(i) of a type approved by the department; and
(ii) visible when directly in front of lawful upper beams of motor vehicle headlamps from all distances from 50 to 300 feet to the rear of the bicycle; or
(B) a lamp that emits a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the bicycle.
551.105. COMPETITIVE RACING
(a) In this section, "bicycle" means a nonmotorized vehicle propelled by human power.
(b) A sponsoring organization may hold a competitive bicycle race on a public road only with the approval of the appropriate local law enforcement agencies.
(c) The local law enforcement agencies and the sponsoring organization may agree on safety regulations governing the movement of bicycles during a competitive race or during training for a competitive race, including the permission for bicycle operators to ride abreast.
551.201. Electric personal assistive mobility device
means a two non-tandem wheeled device designed for transporting one person that is:
(1) self-balancing; and
(2) propelled by an electric propulsion system with an average power of 750 watts or one horsepower.
551.202. OPERATION ON ROADWAY
(a) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a residential street, roadway, or public highway with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less only:
(1) while making a direct crossing of a highway in a marked or unmarked crosswalk;
(2) where no sidewalk is available; or
(3) when so directed by a traffic control device or by a law enforcement officer.
(b) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.
(c) Any person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device on a residential street, roadway, or public highway shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge.
(d) Except as otherwise provided by this section, provisions of this title applicable to the operation of bicycles apply to the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices.
551.203. SIDEWALKS
A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a sidewalk.
551.301 Neighborhood electric vehicle
means a vehicle that can attain a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour on a paved level surface and otherwise complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (49 C.F.R. Section 571.500).
551.302. REGISTRATION
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles may adopt rules relating to the registration and issuance of license plates to neighborhood electric vehicles.
551.303. OPERATION ON ROADWAYS
(a) A neighborhood electric vehicle may be operated only on a street or highway for which the posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour or less. A neighborhood electric vehicle may cross a road or street at an intersection where the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than 45 miles per hour. A neighborhood electric vehicle may not be operated on a street or highway at a speed that exceeds the lesser of:
(1) the posted speed limit; or
(2) 35 miles per hour.
(b) A county or municipality may prohibit the operation of a neighborhood electric vehicle on a street or highway if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
(c) The Texas Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of a neighborhood electric vehicle on a highway if that department determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
551.353. APPLICATION OF SUBCHAPTER TO POCKET BIKE OR MINIMOTORBIKE
This subchapter may not be construed to authorize the operation of a pocket bike or minimotorbike on any:
(1) highway, road, or street;
(2) path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles; or
(3) sidewalk.
551.351 Motor-assisted scooter
(A) means a self-propelled device with:
(i) at least two wheels in contact with the ground during operation;
(ii) a braking system capable of stopping the device under typical operating conditions;
(iii) a gas or electric motor not exceeding 40 cubic centimeters;
(iv) a deck designed to allow a person to stand or sit while operating the device; and
(v) the ability to be propelled by human power alone; and
(B) does not include a pocket bike or a minimotorbike.
551.351 Pocket bike or minimotorbike
means a self-propelled vehicle that is equipped with an electric motor or internal combustion engine having a piston displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters, is designed to propel itself with not more than two wheels in contact with the ground, has a seat or saddle for the use of the operator, is not designed for use on a highway, and is ineligible for a certificate of title under Chapter 501. The term does not include:
(A) a moped or motorcycle;
(B) an electric bicycle or motor-driven cycle, as defined by Section 541.201;
(C) a motorized mobility device, as defined by Section 542.009;
(D) an electric personal assistive mobility device, as defined by Section 551.201; or
(E) a neighborhood electric vehicle, as defined by Section 551.301.
551.401 "Golf cart" and "public highway"
have the meanings assigned by Section 502.001.
551.401 Utility vehicle
means a motor vehicle that is not a golf cart or lawn mower and is:
(A) equipped with side-by-side seating for the use of the operator and a passenger;
(B) designed to propel itself with at least four tires in contact with the ground;
(C) designed by the manufacturer for off-highway use only; and
(D) designed by the manufacturer primarily for utility work and not for recreational purposes
551.402. REGISTRATION NOT AUTHORIZED
(a) The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles may not register a golf cart for operation on a public highway regardless of whether any alteration has been made to the golf cart.
(b) The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles may issue license plates for a golf cart as authorized by Subsection (c).
(c) The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles shall by rule establish a procedure to issue the license plates to be used for operation in accordance with Sections 551.403 and 551.404.
(d) The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles may charge a fee not to exceed $10 for the cost of the license plate.
551.403. LIMITED OPERATION
(a) An operator may operate a golf cart:
(1) in a master planned community:
(A) that has in place a uniform set of restrictive covenants; and
(B) for which a county or municipality has approved a plat;
(2) on a public or private beach; or
(3) on a public highway for which the posted speed limit is not more than 35 miles per hour, if the golf cart is operated:
(A) during the daytime; and
(B) not more than two miles from the location where the golf cart is usually parked and for transportation to or from a golf course.
(b) The Texas Department of Transportation or a county or municipality may prohibit the operation of a golf cart on a public highway if the department or the governing body of the county or municipality determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
551.404. OPERATION IN MUNICIPALITIES AND CERTAIN COUNTIES
(a) In addition to the operation authorized by Section 551.403, the governing body of a municipality may allow an operator to operate a golf cart on all or part of a public highway that:
(1) is in the corporate boundaries of the municipality; and
(2) has a posted speed limit of not more than 35 miles per hour.
(a-1) In addition to the operation authorized by Section 551.403, the commissioners court of a county described by Subsection (a-2) may allow an operator to operate a golf cart or utility vehicle on all or part of a public highway that:
(1) is located in the unincorporated area of the county; and
(2) has a speed limit of not more than 35 miles per hour.
(a-2) Subsection (a-1) applies only to a county that:
(1) borders or contains a portion of the Red River;
(2) borders or contains a portion of the Guadalupe River and contains a part of a barrier island that borders the Gulf of Mexico; or
(3) is adjacent to a county described by Subdivision (2) and:
(A) has a population of less than 30,000; and
(B) contains a part of a barrier island that borders the Gulf of Mexico.
(b) A golf cart or utility vehicle operated under this section must have the following equipment:
(1) headlamps;
(2) taillamps;
(3) reflectors;
(4) parking brake; and
(5) mirrors.
551.405. CROSSING CERTAIN ROADWAYS
A golf cart may cross intersections, including a road or street that has a posted speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour.
552.001. TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNALS
(a) A traffic control signal displaying green, red, and yellow lights or lighted arrows applies to a pedestrian as provided by this section unless the pedestrian is otherwise directed by a special pedestrian control signal.
(b) A pedestrian facing a green signal may proceed across a roadway within a marked or unmarked crosswalk unless the sole green signal is a turn arrow.
(c) A pedestrian facing a steady red signal alone or a steady yellow signal may not enter a roadway.
552.002. PEDESTRIAN RIGHT-OF-WAY IF CONTROL SIGNAL PRESENT
(a) A pedestrian control signal displaying "Walk," "Don't Walk," or "Wait" applies to a pedestrian as provided by this section.
(b) A pedestrian facing a "Walk" signal may proceed across a roadway in the direction of the signal, and the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.
(c) A pedestrian may not start to cross a roadway in the direction of a "Don't Walk" signal or a "Wait" signal. A pedestrian who has partially crossed while the "Walk" signal is displayed shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the "Don't Walk" signal or "Wait" signal is displayed.
552.003. PEDESTRIAN RIGHT-OF-WAY AT CROSSWALK
(a) The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing a roadway in a crosswalk if:
(1) no traffic control signal is in place or in operation; and
(2) the pedestrian is:
(A) on the half of the roadway in which the vehicle is traveling; or
(B) approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and proceed into a crosswalk in the path of a vehicle so close that it is impossible for the vehicle operator to yield.
(c) The operator of a vehicle approaching from the rear of a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross a roadway may not pass the stopped vehicle.
(d) If it is shown on the trial of an offense under Subsection (a) that as a result of the commission of the offense a collision occurred causing serious bodily injury or death to a visually impaired or disabled person, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by:
(1) a fine of not more than $500; and
(2) 30 hours of community service to an organization or agency that primarily serves visually impaired or disabled persons, to be completed in not less than six months and not more than one year.
(d-1) A portion of the community service required under Subsection (d)(2) shall include sensitivity training.
If conduct constituting an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under another section of this code or the Penal Code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or both sections.
552.003 Visually impaired
means a visual acuity of not more than 20/70 in the better eye with correcting lenses, or visual acuity greater than 20/70 but with a limitation in the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 30 degrees.
552.003 Disabled
means a person who cannot walk without the use or assistance of:
(A) a device, including a brace, cane, crutch, prosthesis, or wheelchair; or
(B) another person.
552.004. PEDESTRIAN TO KEEP TO RIGHT
A pedestrian shall proceed on the right half of a crosswalk if possible
552.005. CROSSING AT POINT OTHER THAN CROSSWALK
(a) A pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle on the highway if crossing a roadway at a place:
(1) other than in a marked crosswalk or in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection; or
(2) where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided.
(b) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, a pedestrian may cross only in a marked crosswalk.
(c) A pedestrian may cross a roadway intersection diagonally only if and in the manner authorized by a traffic control device.
552.006. USE OF SIDEWALK.
a) A pedestrian may not walk along and on a roadway if an adjacent sidewalk is provided and is accessible to the pedestrian.
(b) If a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian walking along and on a highway shall if possible walk on:
(1) the left side of the roadway; or
(2) the shoulder of the highway facing oncoming traffic.
(c) The operator of a vehicle emerging from or entering an alley, building, or private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian approaching on a sidewalk extending across the alley, building entrance or exit, road, or driveway.
552.007. SOLICITATION BY PEDESTRIANS
(a) A person may not stand in a roadway to solicit a ride, contribution, employment, or business from an occupant of a vehicle, except that a person may stand in a roadway to solicit a charitable contribution if authorized to do so by the local authority having jurisdiction over the roadway.
(b) A person may not stand on or near a highway to solicit the watching or guarding of a vehicle parked or to be parked on the highway.
552.007 charitable contribution
means a contribution to an organization defined as charitable by the standards of the United States Internal Revenue Service.
552.008. DRIVERS TO EXERCISE DUE CARE
Notwithstanding another provision of this chapter, the operator of a vehicle shall:
(1) exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian on a roadway;
(2) give warning by sounding the horn when necessary; and
(3) exercise proper precaution on observing a child or an obviously confused or incapacitated person on a roadway.
552.010. BLIND PEDESTRIANS
(a) No person may carry a white cane on a public street or highway unless the person is totally or partially blind.
(b) The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection or crosswalk where a pedestrian guided by an assistance animal or carrying a white cane is crossing or attempting to cross shall take necessary precautions to avoid injuring or endangering the pedestrian. The driver shall bring the vehicle to a full stop if injury or danger can be avoided only by that action.
(c) If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that as a result of the commission of the offense a collision occurred causing serious bodily injury or death to a blind person, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by:
(1) a fine of not more than $500; and
(2) 30 hours of community service to an organization or agency that primarily serves visually impaired or disabled persons, to be completed in not less than six months and not more than one year.
(c-1) A portion of the community service required under Subsection (c)(2) shall include sensitivity training.
543.001. ARREST WITHOUT WARRANT AUTHORIZED
Any peace officer may arrest without warrant a person found committing a violation of this subtitle.
543.002. PERSON ARRESTED TO BE TAKEN BEFORE MAGISTRATE
(a) A person arrested for a violation of this subtitle punishable as a misdemeanor shall be immediately taken before a magistrate if:
(1) the person is arrested on a charge of failure to stop in the event of an accident causing damage to property; or
(2) the person demands an immediate appearance before a magistrate or refuses to make a written promise to appear in court as provided by this subchapter.
(b) The person must be taken before a magistrate who:
(1) has jurisdiction of the offense;
(2) is in the county in which the offense charged is alleged to have been committed; and
(3) is nearest or most accessible to the place of arrest.
543.003. NOTICE TO APPEAR REQUIRED: PERSON NOT TAKEN BEFORE MAGISTRATE
An officer who arrests a person for a violation of this subtitle punishable as a misdemeanor and who does not take the person before a magistrate shall issue a written notice to appear in court showing the time and place the person is to appear, the offense charged, the name and address of the person charged, and, if applicable, the license number of the person's vehicle.
543.004. NOTICE TO APPEAR REQUIRED: CERTAIN OFFENSES
(a) An officer shall issue a written notice to appear if:
(1) the offense charged is speeding or a violation of the open container law, Section 49.03, Penal Code; and
(2) the person makes a written promise to appear in court as provided by Section 543.005.
(b) If the person is a resident of or is operating a vehicle licensed in a state or country other than this state, Subsection (a) applies only as provided by Chapter 703.
(c) The offenses specified by Subsection (a) are the only offenses for which issuance of a written notice to appear is mandatory.
543.005. PROMISE TO APPEAR; RELEASE.
To secure release, the person arrested must make a written promise to appear in court by signing the written notice prepared by the arresting officer. The signature may be obtained on a duplicate form or on an electronic device capable of creating a copy of the signed notice. The arresting officer shall retain the paper or electronic original of the notice and deliver the copy of the notice to the person arrested. The officer shall then promptly release the person from custody.
543.006. TIME AND PLACE OF APPEARANCE
(a) The time specified in the notice to appear must be at least 10 days after the date of arrest unless the person arrested demands an earlier hearing.
(b) The place specified in the notice to appear must be before a magistrate having jurisdiction of the offense who is in the municipality or county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.
543.007. NOTICE TO APPEAR: COMMERCIAL VEHICLE OR LICENSE
A notice to appear issued to the operator of a commercial motor vehicle or holder of a commercial driver's license or commercial driver learner's permit, for the violation of a law regulating the operation of vehicles on highways, must contain the information required by department rule, to comply with Chapter 522 and the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (Title 49, U.S.C. Section 2701 et seq.).
543.008. VIOLATION BY OFFICER
A violation by an officer of a provision of Sections 543.003-543.007 is misconduct in office and the officer is subject to removal from the officer's position.
543.009. COMPLIANCE WITH OR VIOLATION OF PROMISE TO APPEAR
(a) A person may comply with a written promise to appear in court by an appearance by counsel.
(b) A person who wilfully violates a written promise to appear in court, given as provided by this subchapter, commits a misdemeanor regardless of the disposition of the charge on which the person was arrested.
543.010. SPECIFICATIONS OF SPEEDING CHARGE
The complaint and the summons or notice to appear on a charge of speeding under this subtitle must specify:
(1) the maximum or minimum speed limit applicable in the district or at the location; and
(2) the speed at which the defendant is alleged to have driven.
543.011. PERSONS LICENSED BY STATE DEPARTMENT OR CLAIMING DIPLOMATIC OR CONSULAR IMMUNITY
(a) This section applies to a person who:
(1) is stopped or issued a notice to appear by a peace officer in connection with a violation of:
(A) this subtitle;
(B) Section 49.03 or 49.04, Penal Code; or
(C) Section 49.07 or 49.08, Penal Code, involving operation of a motor vehicle; and
(2) presents to the peace officer a driver's license issued by the United States Department of State or claims immunities or privileges under 22 U.S.C. Chapter 6.
(b) A peace officer who stops or issues a notice to appear to a person to whom this section applies shall record all relevant information from any driver's license or identification card presented by the person or any statement made by the person relating to immunities or privileges and promptly deliver the record to the law enforcement agency that employs the peace officer.
(c) The law enforcement agency shall:
(1) as soon as practicable contact the United States Department of State to verify the person's status and immunity, if any; and
(2) not later than the fifth working day after the date of the stop or issuance of the notice to appear, send to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security Office of Foreign Missions of the United States Department of State the following:
(A) a copy of any notice to appear issued to the person and any accident report prepared; or
(B) if a notice to appear was not issued and an accident report was not prepared, a written report of the incident.
(d) This section does not affect application of a law described by Subsection (a)(1) to a person to whom this section applies.
661.003. OFFENSES RELATING TO NOT WEARING PROTECTIVE HEADGEAR
(a) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) operates or rides as a passenger on a motorcycle on a public street or highway; and
(2) is not wearing protective headgear that meets safety standards adopted by the department.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person carries on a motorcycle on a public street or highway a passenger who is not wearing protective headgear that meets safety standards adopted by the department.
(c) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a) or (b) that at the time the offense was committed, the person required to wear protective headgear was at least 21 years old and had successfully completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course under Chapter 662 or was covered by a health insurance plan providing the person with medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of an accident while operating or riding on a motorcycle. A peace officer may not arrest a person or issue a citation to a person for a violation of Subsection (a) or (b) if the person required to wear protective headgear is at least 21 years of age and presents evidence sufficient to show that the person required to wear protective headgear has successfully completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course or is covered by a health insurance plan as described by this subsection.
(c-1) A peace officer may not stop or detain a person who is the operator of or a passenger on a motorcycle for the sole purpose of determining whether the person has successfully completed the motorcycle operator training and safety course or is covered by a health insurance plan.
(c-2) The Texas Department of Insurance shall prescribe a standard proof of health insurance for issuance to persons who are at least 21 years of age and covered by a health insurance plan described by Subsection (c).
(h) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $10 or more than $50.
661.003 Health insurance plan
means an individual, group, blanket, or franchise insurance policy, insurance agreement, evidence of coverage, group hospital services contract, health maintenance organization membership, or employee benefit plan that provides benefits for health care services or for medical or surgical expenses incurred as a result of an accident.
661.004. AUTHORITY OF PEACE OFFICER TO INSPECT PROTECTIVE HEADGEAR
Any peace officer may stop and detain a person who is a motorcycle operator or passenger to inspect the person's protective headgear for compliance with the safety standards prescribed by the department.
9.1.21 Motorcycle Operator Profile Awareness
The popularity of the motorcycle as a primary means of transportation has grown in the past decade. More and more people are buying and riding motorcycles and they represent all facets of society. All races and genders and occupations are represented in this area. There is no such thing as " the typical biker" no more so than trying to describe the "typical criminal type" or "the typical texan". As an officer , remember that, "Violators" are defined by their actions not how they look.
9.1.21 Classes of street motorcycles officers may encounter
1. Sports bikes- factory built motorcycles that resemble professional racing motorcycles. Generally attracts younger riders
2. Street bikes- regular motorcycles that range from 2500 cc to 1100cc engines. Riders of these bikes are in all age groups
3. Cruiser class- "Top End" motorcycles that average 1100 cc- 1800cc in size and usually are equipped w/ windshields, saddlebags, and accessories. Due to price their riders are usually older.
9.1.21 Differences between a motorcycle club and a criminal street gang
1. Motorcycle club- is a group of ppl that ride motorcycles in organized activities. They may wear distinctive clothing to identify their club. Their primary activities involve the sport of motorcycling
2. Criminal street gang- three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or an identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities
9.1.21 Common Misconceptions and beliefs associated w/ the motorcycle operator
1. Sport bike riders are speeder that ride dangerously
2. Bikers- use narcotics, drink, raise hell and probably have outstanding warrants
3. Cruiser class riders are the "station wagon" set of the motorcycle world. These "mom and pop" riders generally pose no threat.
4. Motorcycle clubs that "fly their colors" (wear their club jackets) are outlaw bikers that are showing disrespect for law enforcement and are in effect "claiming new turf" by showing the colors.
5. Any biker not wearing a helmet is breaking the law
6. Bikers are generally lower income to middle class laborers, juvenile delinquents and trouble makers.
9.1.21 Stopping Motorcycle operators
1. Be sure that the reason for the stop is an identified violation of the law and not due to the stereotype
2. Follow the 7 step violator contact protocol but have the operator remain astride his motorcycle with the kickstand up (this keeps the operator occupied w/ balancing the motorcycle and reduces the possibility of attempting anything with the officer).
3. Remain professional and deal with the violation and not the appearance of the operator or perceived prejudices or attitudes.
663.001 All-terrain vehicle
means a motor vehicle that is:
(A) equipped with a seat or seats for the use of:
(i) the rider; and
(ii) a passenger, if the motor vehicle is designed by the manufacturer to transport a passenger;
(B) designed to propel itself with three or four tires in contact with the ground;
(C) designed by the manufacturer for off-highway use by the operator only;
(D) not designed by the manufacturer for farming or lawn care; and
(E) not more than 50 inches wide.
663.001 Beach
means a beach area, publicly or privately owned, that borders the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico
663.001 Public property
means property owned or leased by the state or a political subdivision of the state
663.001 Recreational off-highway vehicle
has the meaning assigned by Section 502.001
663.002. NONAPPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN OTHER LAWS
(a) Except as provided by Sections 663.037 and 663.0371, Chapter 521 does not apply to the operation or ownership of an all-terrain vehicle registered for off-highway operation.
(b) Chapter 332, Acts of the 60th Legislature, Regular Session, 1967 (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), does not apply to instruction in the operation of an all-terrain vehicle provided under the operator education and certification program established by this chapter.
663.003. RECREATIONAL OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLES
This chapter applies to the operator and operation of a recreational off-highway vehicle in the same manner as if the recreational off-highway vehicle were an all-terrain vehicle.
663.031. SAFETY CERTIFICATE REQUIRED
(a) A person may not operate an all-terrain vehicle on public property or a beach unless the person:
(1) holds a safety certificate issued under this chapter or under the authority of another state;
(2) is taking a safety training course under the direct supervision of a certified all-terrain vehicle safety instructor; or
(3) is under the direct supervision of an adult who holds a safety certificate issued under this chapter or under the authority of another state.
(b) A person to whom a safety certificate required by Subsection (a) has been issued shall:
(1) carry the certificate when the person operates an all-terrain vehicle on public property or a beach; and
(2) display the certificate at the request of any law enforcement officer.
663.032. OPERATION BY PERSON YOUNGER THAN 14
A person younger than 14 years of age who is operating an all-terrain vehicle must be accompanied by and be under the direct supervision of:
(1) the person's parent or guardian; or
(2) an adult who is authorized by the person's parent or guardian.
663.033. REQUIRED EQUIPMENT; DISPLAY OF LIGHTS
(a) An all-terrain vehicle that is operated on public property or a beach must be equipped with:
(1) a brake system maintained in good operating condition;
(2) an adequate muffler system in good working condition; and
(3) a United States Forest Service qualified spark arrester.
(b) An all-terrain vehicle that is operated on public property or a beach must display a lighted headlight and taillight:
(1) during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise; and
(2) at any time when visibility is reduced because of insufficient light or atmospheric conditions.
(c) A person may not operate an all-terrain vehicle on public property or a beach if:
(1) the vehicle has an exhaust system that has been modified with a cutout, bypass, or similar device; or
(2) the spark arrester has been removed or modified, unless the vehicle is being operated in a closed-course competition event.
(d) The coordinator may exempt all-terrain vehicles that are participating in certain competitive events from the requirements of this section.
663.034. SAFETY APPAREL REQUIRED
A person may not operate, ride, or be carried on an all-terrain vehicle on public property or a beach unless the person wears:
(1) a safety helmet that complies with United States Department of Transportation standards; and
(2) eye protection.
663.035. RECKLESS OR CARELESS OPERATION PROHIBITED
A person may not operate an all-terrain vehicle on public property or a beach in a careless or reckless manner that endangers, injures, or damages any person or property.
663.036. CARRYING PASSENGERS
A person may not carry a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle operated on public property or a beach unless the all-terrain vehicle is designed by the manufacturer to transport a passenger.
663.037. OPERATION ON PUBLIC ROADWAY PROHIBITED
(a) A person may not operate an all-terrain vehicle on a public street, road, or highway except as provided by this section.
(b) The operator of an all-terrain vehicle may drive the vehicle across a public street, road, or highway that is not an interstate or limited-access highway, if the operator:
(1) brings the vehicle to a complete stop before crossing the shoulder or main traveled way of the roadway;
(2) yields the right-of-way to oncoming traffic that is an immediate hazard; and
(3) makes the crossing:
(A) at an angle of approximately 90 degrees to the roadway;
(B) at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing; and
(C) with the vehicle's headlights and taillights lighted.
(c) The operator of an all-terrain vehicle may drive the vehicle across a divided highway other than an interstate or limited access highway only at an intersection of the highway with another public street, road, or highway.
(d) The operator of an all-terrain vehicle may drive the vehicle on a public street, road, or highway that is not an interstate or limited-access highway if:
(1) the transportation is in connection with:
(A) the production, cultivation, care, harvesting, preserving, drying, processing, canning, storing, handling, shipping, marketing, selling, or use of agricultural products, as defined by Section 52.002, Agriculture Code; or
(B) utility work performed by a utility;
(2) the operator attaches to the back of the vehicle on top of an eight-foot-long pole a triangular orange flag;
(3) the vehicle's headlights and taillights are illuminated;
(4) the operator holds a driver's license, as defined by Section 521.001;
(5) the operation of the all-terrain vehicle occurs in the daytime; and
(6) the operation of the all-terrain vehicle does not exceed a distance of 25 miles from the point of origin to the destination.
(d-1) Provisions of this code regarding helmet and eye protection use, safety certification, and other vehicular restrictions do not apply to Subsection (d).
(e) The director of the Department of Public Safety shall adopt standards and specifications that apply to the color, size, and mounting position of the flag required under Subsections (d)(2) and (g)(2).
(f) Except as provided by Subsection (g), this section does not apply to the operation of an all-terrain vehicle that is owned by the state, a county, or a municipality by a person who is an authorized operator of the vehicle.
(g) A peace officer may operate an all-terrain vehicle on a public street, road, or highway that is not an interstate or limited-access highway only if:
(1) the transportation is in connection with the performance of the officer's official duty;
(2) the officer attaches to the back of the vehicle on top of an eight-foot-long pole a triangular orange flag;
(3) the vehicle's headlights and taillights are illuminated;
(4) the officer holds a driver's license, as defined by Section 521.001; and
(5) the operation of the all-terrain vehicle does not exceed a distance of 25 miles from the point of origin to the destination.
663.038. VIOLATION OF CHAPTER; OFFENSE
(a) A person commits an offense if the person violates a provision of this chapter.
(b) Except as otherwise provided by Title 6 or this title, an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor
681.001 Department
means the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
681.001 Disability
means a condition in which a person has:
(A) mobility problems that substantially impair the person's ability to ambulate;
(B) visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses; or
(C) visual acuity of more than 20/200 but with a limited field of vision in which the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less.
681.001 Disabled parking placard
means a placard issued under Section 681.002.
681.001 International symbol of access
means the symbol adopted by Rehabilitation International in 1969 at its Eleventh World Congress on Rehabilitation of the Disabled.
681.001 Mobility problem that substantially impairs a person's ability to ambulate
means that the person:
(A) cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest;
(B) cannot walk without the use of or assistance from an assistance device, including a brace, a cane, a crutch, another person, or a prosthetic device;
(C) cannot ambulate without a wheelchair or similar device;
(D) is restricted by lung disease to the extent that the person's forced respiratory expiratory volume for one second, measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 millimeters of mercury on room air at rest;
(E) uses portable oxygen;
(F) has a cardiac condition to the extent that the person's functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to standards set by the American Heart Association;
(G) is severely limited in the ability to walk because of an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition;
(H) has a disorder of the foot that, in the opinion of a person licensed to practice podiatry in this state or in a state adjacent to this state, limits or impairs the person's ability to walk; or
(I) has another debilitating condition that, in the opinion of a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state or a state adjacent to this state, or authorized by applicable law to practice medicine in a hospital or other health facility of the Veterans Administration, limits or impairs the person's ability to walk.
681.001 Podiatry
has the meaning assigned by Section 202.001, Occupations Code
681.001 "Stand" or "standing"
means to halt an occupied or unoccupied vehicle, other than temporarily while receiving or discharging passengers.
681.002. DISABLED PARKING PLACARD
(a) The department shall provide for the issuance of a disabled parking placard to a person with a disability.
(b) A disabled parking placard must be two-sided and hooked and include on each side:
(1) the international symbol of access, which must be at least three inches in height, be centered on the placard, and be:
(A) white on a blue shield for a placard issued to a person with a permanent disability; or
(B) white on a red shield for a placard issued to a person with a temporary disability;
(2) an identification number;
(3) an expiration date at least three inches in height; and
(4) the seal or other identification of the department.
(c) The department shall furnish the disabled parking placards to each county assessor-collector.
(d) A disabled parking placard must bear a hologram designed to prevent the reproduction of the placard or the production of a counterfeit placard.
(e) In addition to the expiration date included on a disabled parking placard under Subsection (b), the expiration date must be indicated on the placard by a month and year hole-punch system.
681.006. PARKING PRIVILEGES: PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
(a) Subject to Section 681.009(e), a vehicle may be parked for an unlimited period in a parking space or area that is designated specifically for persons with physical disabilities if:
(1) the vehicle is being operated by or for the transportation of a person with a disability; and
(2) there are:
(A) displayed on the vehicle special license plates issued under Section 504.201; or
(B) placed on the rearview mirror of the vehicle's front windshield a disabled parking placard.
(b) The owner of a vehicle is exempt from the payment of a fee or penalty imposed by a governmental unit for parking at a meter if:
(1) the vehicle is being operated by or for the transportation of a person with a disability; and
(2) there are:
(A) displayed on the vehicle special license plates issued under Section 504.201; or
(B) placed on the rearview mirror of the vehicle's front windshield a disabled parking placard.
(c) The exemption provided by Subsection (b) or (e) does not apply to a fee or penalty:
(1) imposed by a branch of the United States government; or
(2) imposed by a governmental unit for parking at a meter, in a parking garage or lot, or in a space located within the boundaries of a municipal airport.
(d) This section does not permit a vehicle to be parked at a time when or a place where parking is prohibited.
(e) A governmental unit may provide by ordinance or order that the exemption provided by Subsection (b) also applies to payment of a fee or penalty imposed by the governmental unit for parking in a parking garage or lot or in a space with a limitation on the length of time for parking.
681.009. DESIGNATION OF PARKING SPACES BY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OR PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNER
(a) A political subdivision or a person who owns or controls property used for parking may designate one or more parking spaces or a parking area for the exclusive use of vehicles transporting persons with disabilities.
(b) A political subdivision must designate a parking space or area by conforming to the standards and specifications adopted by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation under Section 5(i), Article 9102, Revised Statutes, relating to the identification and dimensions of parking spaces for persons with disabilities. A person who owns or controls private property used for parking may designate a parking space or area without conforming to those standards and specifications, unless required to conform by law.
(c) A political subdivision may require a private property owner or a person who controls property used for parking:
(1) to designate one or more parking spaces or a parking area for the exclusive use of vehicles transporting persons with disabilities; or
(2) to conform to the standards and specifications referred to in Subsection (b) when designating a parking space or area for persons with disabilities.
(d) The department shall provide at cost a design and stencil for use by a political subdivision or person who owns or controls property used for parking to designate spaces as provided by this section.
(e) Parking spaces or areas designated for the exclusive use of vehicles transporting persons with disabilities may be used by vehicles displaying a white on blue shield disabled parking placard, license plates issued under Section 504.201 or 504.202, or a white on red shield disabled parking placard.
681.010. ENFORCEMENT
(a) A peace officer or a person designated by a political subdivision to enforce parking regulations may file a charge against a person who commits an offense under this chapter at a parking space or area designated as provided by Section 681.009.
(b) A security officer commissioned under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, and employed by the owner of private property may file a charge against a person who commits an offense under this chapter at a parking space or area designated by the owner of the property as provided by Section 681.009.
681.011. OFFENSES; PRESUMPTION
(a) A person commits an offense if:
(1) the person stands a vehicle on which are displayed license plates issued under Section 504.201 or 504.202 or a disabled parking placard in a parking space or area designated specifically for persons with disabilities by:
(A) a political subdivision; or
(B) a person who owns or controls private property used for parking as to which a political subdivision has provided for the application of this section under Subsection (f); and
(2) the standing of the vehicle in that parking space or area is not authorized by Section 681.006, 681.007, or 681.008.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person stands a vehicle on which license plates issued under Section 504.201 or 504.202 are not displayed and a disabled parking placard is not displayed in a parking space or area designated specifically for individuals with disabilities by:
(1) a political subdivision; or
(2) a person who owns or controls private property used for parking as to which a political subdivision has provided for the application of this section under Subsection (f).
(c) A person commits an offense if the person stands a vehicle so that the vehicle blocks an architectural improvement designed to aid persons with disabilities, including an access aisle or curb ramp.
(d) A person commits an offense if the person lends a disabled parking placard issued to the person to a person who uses the placard in violation of this section.
(e) In a prosecution under this section, it is presumed that the registered owner of the motor vehicle is the person who left the vehicle standing at the time and place the offense occurred.
(f) A political subdivision may provide that this section applies to a parking space or area for persons with disabilities on private property that is designated in compliance with the identification requirements referred to in Section 681.009(b).
(g) Except as provided by Subsections (h)-(k), an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500 or more than $750.
681.0111. MANUFACTURE, SALE, POSSESSION, OR USE OF COUNTERFEIT OR ALTERED PLACARD
(a) A person commits an offense if, without the department's authorization, the person:
(1) manufactures, sells, or possesses a placard that is deceptively similar to a disabled parking placard; or
(2) alters a genuine disabled parking placard.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly parks a vehicle displaying a counterfeit or altered placard in a parking space or area designated specifically for persons with disabilities.
(c) An offense under Subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor. An offense under Subsection (b) is a Class C misdemeanor.
(d) For purposes of this section, a placard is deceptively similar to a disabled parking placard if the placard is not a genuine disabled parking placard but a reasonable person would presume that it is a genuine disabled parking placard.
681.012. SEIZURE AND REVOCATION OF PLACARD
(a) A law enforcement officer who believes that an offense under Section 681.011(a) or (d) has occurred in the officer's presence shall seize any disabled parking placard involved in the offense. Not later than 48 hours after the seizure, the officer shall determine whether probable cause existed to believe that the offense was committed. If the officer does not find that probable cause existed, the officer shall promptly return each placard to the person from whom it was seized. If the officer finds that probable cause existed, the officer, not later than the fifth day after the date of the seizure, shall destroy the placard and notify the department.
(a-1) A peace officer may seize a disabled parking placard from a person who operates a vehicle on which a disabled parking placard is displayed if the peace officer determines by inspecting the person's driver's license, personal identification certificate, or military identification that the disabled parking placard does not contain the first four digits of the driver's license number, personal identification certificate number, or military identification number and the initials of:
(1) the person operating the vehicle;
(2) the applicant on behalf of a person being transported by the vehicle; or
(3) a person being transported by the vehicle.
(a-2) A peace officer shall destroy a seized placard and notify the department.
(b) On seizure of a placard under Subsection (a) or (a-1), a placard is revoked. On request of the person from whom the placard was seized, the department shall conduct a hearing and determine whether the revocation should continue or the placard should be returned to the person and the revocation rescinded.