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11/04/03 > Click it or Ticket (Updated 08/31/09)
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Sec. 545.412.  Child Passenger Safety Seat Systems; Offense.  

Text

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a passenger vehicle, transports a child who is younger than five years of age and less than 36 inches in height, 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 $100 or more than $200.

*Updated this year* 545.412 Child Passenger Safety Seat Systems

- Any child younger than 8 who is shorter than 4'9"

 

 

Sec. 545.413. Safety Belts; Offense .

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) is at least 15 years of age

(2) is riding in the front seat of a passenger vehicle  while the vehicle is being operated;

(3) is occupying a seat that is equipped with a safety belt; and

(4) is not secured by a 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.

(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.

*Updated this Year*  545.413 Safety Belts

-   Seatbelts for those 15 and older now applies anywhere in a passenger vehicle, not just the front seat

-   The seatbelt requirement for those under 17 is extended to a passenger van designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver.

-   There is a defense for certain sanitation workers

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11/19/03 > Tobacco Use by Minor

SUBCHAPTER N. TOBACCO USE BY MINORS

 

§ 161.252. Possession, Purchase, Consumption, or Receipt of Cigarettes or Tobacco Products by Minors Prohibited

 

(a) An individual who is younger than 18 years of age commits an offense if the individual:

(1) possesses, purchases, consumes, or accepts a cigarette or tobacco product; or

 

(2) falsely represents himself or herself to be 18 years of age or older by displaying proof of age that is false, fraudulent, or not actually proof of the individual's own age in order to obtain possession of, purchase, or receive a cigarette or tobacco product.

 

(b) It is an exception to the application of this section that the individual younger than 18 years of age possessed the cigarette or tobacco product in the presence of:

 

(1) an adult parent, a guardian, or a spouse of the individual; or

 

(2) an employer of the individual, if possession or receipt of the tobacco product is required in the performance of the employee's duties as an employee.

 

(c) It is an exception to the application of this section that the individual younger than 18 years of age is participating in an inspection or test of compliance in accordance with Section 161.088.

 

(d) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine not to exceed $250.

 

§ 161.253. Tobacco Awareness Program; Community Service

(a) On conviction of an individual for an offense under Section 161.252, the court shall suspend execution of sentence and shall require the defendant to attend a tobacco awareness program approved by the commissioner. The court may require the parent or guardian of the defendant to attend the tobacco awareness program with the defendant.

 

(b) On request, a tobacco awareness program may be taught in languages other than English.

 

(c) If the defendant resides in a rural area of this state or another area of this state in which access to a tobacco awareness program is not readily available, the court shall require the defendant to perform eight to 12 hours of tobacco-related community service instead of attending the tobacco awareness program.

 

(d) The tobacco awareness program and the tobacco-related community service are remedial and are not punishment.

 

(e) Not later than the 90th day after the date of a conviction under Section 161.252, the defendant shall present to the court, in the manner required by the court, evidence of satisfactory completion of the tobacco awareness program or the tobacco-related community service.

 

(f) On receipt of the evidence required under Subsection (e), the court shall:

 

(1) if the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense under Section 161.252, execute the sentence, and at the discretion of the court, reduce the fine imposed to not less than half the fine previously imposed by the court; or

 

(2) if the defendant has not been previously convicted of an offense under Section 161.252, discharge the defendant and dismiss the complaint or information against the defendant.

(g) If the court discharges the defendant under Subsection (f)(2), the defendant is released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense except that the defendant is considered to have been convicted of the offense if the defendant is subsequently convicted of an offense under Section 161.252 committed after the dismissal under Subsection (f)(2).

 

§ 161.254. Driver's License Suspension or Denial

  (a) If the defendant does not provide the evidence required under Section 161.253(e) within the period specified by that subsection, the court shall order the Department of Public Safety to suspend or deny issuance of any driver's license or permit to the defendant. The order must specify the period of the suspension or denial, which may not exceed 180 days after the date of the order.

 

(b) The Department of Public Safety shall send to the defendant notice of court action under Subsection (a) by first class mail. The notice must include the date of the order and the reason for the order and must specify the period of the suspension or denial.

 

161.255. Expungement of Conviction

  An individual convicted of an offense under Section 161.252 may apply to the court to have the conviction expunged. If the court finds that the individual satisfactorily completed the tobacco awareness program or tobacco-related community service ordered by the court, the court shall order the conviction and any complaint, verdict, sentence, or other document relating to the offense to be expunged from the individual's record and the conviction may not be shown or made known for any purpose.

 

 

10/08/04 > Riding in Bed of Pickup Law
  § 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.   (e)  In this section, "household" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.005, Family Code.   Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.  Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 79, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.  
8/23/06 > Slow Down or Change Lanes for Stopped Emergency Vehicles
 SB 193 implements new requirements for motorist approaching stopped 
 emergency vehicles.

SB 193 requires drivers nearing stopped emergency vehicles-with lights activated -to either slow down or change lanes. The law states a driver must either vacate the lane closest to the stopped emergency vehicle if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction or slow down 20 miles per hour below the speed limit. (If the speed limit is below 25 mph the driver must slow down to 5 mph.) Emergency vehicles include police, emergency medical service and fire vehicles. A violation is punishable by a maximum fine of $200. If the violation results in property damage, the maximum fine increases to $500. If the violation results in bodily injury, the offense is enhanced to a Class B misdemeanor. The new law was passed in the last regular session of the Texas Legislature and went into effect Sept. 1, 2003.
10/19/06 > Thoughts, not mine, But Good Honest Reading.
Candid thoughts on school shootings and what needs to be done.

By Paul Markel
Board of Advisors: Police Officers Safety Association

Nobody likes a Monday morning quarterback, I know I don’t. However, sometimes we must examine a tragedy to determine what when wrong. The FAA Investigator at the scene of an airplane crash is not a Monday Morning QB. He is there to try and prevent whatever happened from happening again. If as cops and professional security providers were are truly serious about halting and preventing serious crime we must be like the FFA Investigator and examine “crashes” in our world, our Area of Responsibility. Regarding the latest school shooting in Colorado, we, the professional good guys, can’t afford to simply shake our heads and say “what a senseless shame”. That’s for the talking heads on Cable TV to do. Yes, there are a number of unknowns, but let us start with the known.

1. Armed bad guy enters a school. But, didn’t he realize that schools are “No Gun Zones?!” Didn’t he understand the increased penalties for having a gun within 100 ft., 500 ft., 1000 ft. of a school?! Didn’t he read the school’s policy forbidding the carrying of “any weapon” on property?! Society’s well-meaning, but totally deluded sheep are obsessed with their little white signs and placards declaring this building or that to be a “No Gun Zone” or “No Weapons Permitted”. (Unless of course you are a homicidal maniac and don’t give a **** about the sign, then feel free.) Ask any beat cop how effective a Civil Protection Order or Temporary Protection Order is? It’s a piece of paper, nothing more. Shiny placards, clever little signs, and policy papers don’t stop crime. They might give the prosecutor one more charge to hang on the guy if he’s ever brought to trial, but they don’t stop crime. You can’t sterilize the world. What effect do these signs really have? They tell the bad guy that he has a nearly unlimited pool of totally defenseless victims. It doesn’t have to be a gun. Do I have to remind you that nineteen fanatics killed three thousand people with box cutters? Why do crazed psychos hit schools? Why not police departments? Because at the PD everyone has a gun and the psycho would be dead in the first five seconds.

2. One hostage died. During the siege that ended the standoff at the Colorado school one hostage died. That sucks. The loss of one innocent person, particularly a child, is a tragedy. But it was one, not ten, not twenty, and not more than one hundred. We Americans have short memories and don’t really seem to care when bad stuff happens outside our borders. Everyone can tell you what happened at Columbine. How many could tell you what happened in Beslan? How many American citizens can tell you that it was Islamic terrorists, who tortured, yes tortured, and murdered children in Beslan? Without a doubt, the true “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” are going to take the SWAT team in Colorado to task because one person died, rather than congratulate them for saving the lives of the rest. Talking heads and society’s sheep will opine as to whether a longer negotiation would have been appropriate and you can bet that some spineless weenie will step up and offer that greater gun control would have prevented the crime. Again, to that I would offer that we need greater box cutter control. We, as professional good guys and war fighters have spoiled the American public. We do our job so well that they expect perfection. They think we need to kill all the bad guys, one hundred percent of the time with zero loss of innocent life. That just isn’t reality and we know it. The world is an imperfect place. As professionals, rather than wring our hands and lament, we need to understand that we can win and we do make a difference. Keep training and training hard. Learn from any tactical errors, correct those errors, and hone the edge of your tactical sword.

3. Schools are cherries. If you are a psychopath with a statement to make, whether you are a lone lunatic or a political/religious fanatic, you need a few ingredients to terrorize the nation. First you need a ready supply of helpless victims. It used to be an airplane full of hostages, but that has become too difficult to pull off. Next you need the tools to threaten and kill. Any firearm will do, but again, knives work too. Homemade bombs are easy enough to make with household chemicals. Of course, you need a willing media to broadcast the horror into every living room in the nation, live if possible. I’m not giving away any closely guarded state secrets when I say that every school in America is a potential cherry for the determined bad guy. It doesn’t matter what their motivation is. The truth is that taking out a lone gunman is relatively easy prospect when you consider the alternative. What would you do if a team of four or five terrorists took over a school in your town? If you operate in a small town it’s all too easy to say, “It can’t happen here.” Large metropolitan areas, LA, New York, Chicago, have full-time, highly trained SWAT teams capable of deploying rapidly to deal with threats. How about Middle America? Does your SRT consist of five or six guys who all went to SWAT school a few years ago and train together once a month if the schedule or budget allows? From the terrorists’ view point what is the better bet? A big city or small- to medium- sized one? The longer they can hold out, the more they can prolong the inevitable SWAT takedown, the greater the reward. If they are shut down by SWAT in the first hour, that does not give the Cable TV networks much time to set up and live feed the incident to the world. However, if they can stretch it out for hours, even days, all the better. Don’t delude yourself thinking that your community is too small or out of the way to be a target. In the bad guy’s mind your town may be the best choice of all.

About the author:

Paul Markel is a former U.S. Marine and has been an Ohio Peace Officer since 1991. In addition to his work in law enforcement, Mr. Markel has provided executive protection both in the United States and overseas. His writing is published regularly in firearms and law enforcement periodicals.
8/26/09 > Child Passenger Safety Seat Systems

Sec. 545.412. Child Passenger Safety Seat Systems; Offense. Text (a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a passenger vehicle, transports a child who is younger than five years of age and less than 36 inches in height, 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 $100 or more than $200.

*Updated this year*545.412 Child Passenger Safety Seat Systems - Any child younger than 8 who is shorter than 4'9"

8/26/09 > Use of Wireless Communication Device (School Zone)
545.425 Use of a Wireless Communication Device

- Prohibits any driver from using a wireless communication device while in a school crossing zone unless the driver’s vehicle is stopped or the driver is using a hands-free device. There must be signs posted at school crossing zones informing drivers of the offense. Police are exempted while acting in an official capacity
10/28/10 > Obscene Distribution
Sec. 43.22. OBSCENE DISPLAY OR DISTRIBUTION. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly displays or distributes an obscene photograph, drawing, or similar visual representation or other obscene material and is reckless about whether a person is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display or distribution.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.