More than 650 new state laws go into effect September 1


by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalist J.P. HARRINGTON

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

Posted on September 1, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 3:35 PM

AUSTIN -- Hundreds of laws passed by the Texas Legislature in its 83rd session go into effect Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.

Many of those affect Texas drivers.

Drivers will want to think twice before trying to pass a school bus loading or unloading children. A first time offense now carries a maximum fine of $1,250.

There are new rules about when drivers can talk on cell phones. Most people are already familiar with the state's existing ban of cell phones in school zones.

"When a school zone's activated in the mornings and in the afternoons, it's a violation of law to be talking on your cell phone unless you're hands free, you're dialing 911 for an emergency or you're stopped," said Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Robbie Barrera. 

Now, that law is expanding.

"It's also going to include school property. So you can no longer talk on your cell phone while you're on school property during those activated hours," said Barrera.

But your cell phone could be used to drivers' advantage if they are pulled over or in an accident.  Texans can now use smart phones to show proof of insurance.

The "move over law" that drivers must follow when they see police, emergency or tow truck vehicles pulled over on the road has also expanded to included roadside workers.

"If a driver sees a blue or amber flashing light from one of our vehicles on the side of the road, they're asking to either slow down to 20 miles below the speed limit or move over one lane," said Chris Bishop with the Texas Department of Transportation.

The new laws are aimed at ensuring everyone is safe on Texas roads.

Click here to see a full list of the new Texas laws