Understanding Defensive Driving Laws in the State of Texas

Ignorance might be bliss, but it’s definitely not an acceptable excuse when you are pulled over for a traffic ticket in Texas. Here are some basic tips to keep you safe and smart on the road.

What is Defensive Driving?

By practicing safe and courteous driving techniques each time you get behind the wheel, you’re actively engaging in defensive driving. The idea behind driving defensively is to encourage drivers to be more aware of their surroundings, more considerate of their fellow drivers, and to make safe decisions in challenging conditions.

Defensive driving is more than just obeying traffic laws. It’s choosing to create a safer environment on the road —ultimately preventing injuries and death associated with traffic accidents. Drivers looking to broaden their understanding of safe driving techniques can always enroll in a Texas Defensive Driving course.

Fasten Your Seatbelt

One of the easiest ways to prevent injury (or worse) on Texas roads is to buckle your seatbelt. Not only is it a great defensive driving tactic – it’s also the law. Texas is a primary enforcement state, which means a police officer can pull a driver over for a seat belt violation and issue a ticket on the spot — no other violation is required for them to pull you over.

Current Texas law requires drivers and any passenger riding in the front seat to remain buckled in at all times. In addition, any passenger under the age of 15 is required to be belted in or safely fastened into a child safety seat.

It’s Right to Turn Right

Red light laws can vary from state to state. In Texas, it is legal for drivers to turn right on a red light as long as you yield to oncoming traffic. It’s important to remember, though, that a red light always means stop. So before you roll through that turn, come to a complete stop and look in all directions. If you don’t take this important step you could be pulled over and issued a ticket. In addition, pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk, so make sure the road is completely clear of cars or pedestrians before you make your right turn.

Let’s Talk Trash

No one wants garbage in his or her yard, especially the state of Texas. Littering laws are strictly enforced on Texas roadways, and drivers caught littering could face a $500 fine! Repeat offenders are treated severely, with fines climbing up to $2,000 plus 180 days in jail. Not only does a police officer have the ability to enforce these laws, but in Texas a citizen can report your actions to the authorities as well. Even if you aren’t pulled over right away, if you chuck trash out your window, you might find a ticket in your mailbox!