Obscure Texas Traffic Offenses | Fort Worth Criminal Attorneys
Many of our criminal cases begin with traffic offenses. Something as simple as failing to signal for a lane change can quickly become a DWI investigation if the officer suspects the driver has been drinking. Often, during a traffic stop an officer will ask for consent to search the vehicle and then, depending on what might be in the car, the traffic stop turns into an arrest for possession of an illegal substance or contraband. (Tip: Never give consent to search. Ever.)
We put our heads together to think about some of the more obscure traffic violations about which drivers may not know. We have listed four of them below. The officers on the road know about them, so you should too.
Sec. 544.010(c) – Stopping before the crosswalk or white line. When you approach a streetlight or stop sign you must stop before the white line (or crosswalk line), regardless of where the stop sign or streetlight is positioned. Many times the actual stop sign will be a few yards in front of the line, just begging you to inch a little closer. Resist the urge to stop at the sign. There’s probably a traffic cop right around the corner just waiting for you to mess this one up. (If you are a person that remembers rhymes better…Stop at the line, not at the sign!)
Sec. 545.104(a) – Signal intent to start from a parked position. This is one that I’ll admit I did not know about. When you are parallel parked on a street and you wish to enter the roadway, you must signal your intent to do so. Put on your turn signal and then begin driving into the roadway. (Signal when parked, before you depart.)
Sec. 545.104(b) – Signal turn/lane change 100 feet prior to turn/lane change. We all know that we must signal when making a turn or changing lanes, but many folks do not know that it must be done 100 feet prior to the movement. If you must make a quick turn, any signal is better than none, but the rule says 100 feet. (Before you change lanes or turn on the street, you must signal for 100 feet.)
Sec. 547.322(f) – Separate lamp must be mounted to rear license plate and be visible from 50 feet. You cannot rely on your taillights to illuminate your license plate in Texas. Your license plate, like a special work of art hanging in the lobby of some fancy building, must have its own light so that everyone can clearly read your vanity plates proclaiming IMCOOL. Further, the license plate must be visible from 50 feet away. (When driving at night, do what’s right. Give your license plate a light.)