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New vehicle safety laws

The seat belt law is one of several driving that take effect Sept. 1. Others include:

Practical Tip

One important thing to understand right now is that the jury never finds out that the person who hit you has insurance.  Like terrorists hide behind civilians, so too do insurance companies hide behind their customer.  So if you have to go to trial, the jury doesn’t know that a multi-billion dollar company is paying any award.

Andrew Traub
  • Children under 8 have to be in a child safety seat or a booster seat unless they are 4 feet 9 inches tall. Under the current law, only children under 5 and shorter than 36 inches have to he in a child safety seat.   Though the law becomes effective Septempber 1, tickets cannot be issued until June 2010.
  • Children under 5 may not ride on a motorcycle, though they may ride in a sidecar.
  • People riding in 15-passenger vans must use seat belts and child safety seats as required in other vehicles.  Before, only drivers of the vans were required to wear seat belts.
  • Drivers may not use cell phones in school zones unless they use a hands-free device. (There is some debate as to whether local governments can get around this law by not installing warning signs. The City of Austin plans to install signs).

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