Safety Laws in Texas
Compare Insurance Rates in 3 Easy Steps
1. Start Your Quote:
- Any child under 8 years of age must be secured in a federally-approved restraint seat, unless the child is at least four feet and nine inches in height.
- Infants: Birth - 35 pounds should ride in a rear facing restraint system strapping into the back seat.
- All passengers must buckle up regardless of seat.
- Failure to comply with Texas law can result in a fine ranging between $100 and $200.
For more information, see Child Safety Seat requirements.
If you have a motorcycle license you are not required to wear a helmet if:
- You are 21 years of age or older;
- Have a minimum of $10,000 of medical insurance coverage; and
- Have attended and finished either a basic or advanced motorcycle safety course.
Cell phone restrictions:
- You cannot use a cell phone while in a school zone, unless you're stopped or using a hands-free device. Otherwise, all types of cell phone usage are allowed, if you have a driver's license with full privileges.
- Novice drivers in the beginning and intermediate phases of the graduated learning process cannot use cell phones while behind the wheel.
- School bus drivers must avoid cell phone use while passengers are aboard.
- New intermediate license holders are banned from texting while driving during the first 12 months.
- All drivers are banned from texting in school crossing zones.
Texas is one of a handful of states that criminalize the act of knowingly or intentionally leaving your child in a vehicle. However, the law is not going to kick in if you simply pull up to a curb and quickly step out of the car and drop an envelop in a mailbox all while Junior is fast asleep in the backseat.
The Law of Five and Seven
The key numbers to remember are five and seven. That is, if you leave a child age seven or under alone in a vehicle for five minutes or more, the law kicks in. Also, if you leave you child in the vehicle for more than five minutes with another person age 14 or under the law applies.
You can face a Class C misdemeanor, which may translate into two years behind bars and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Daytime use is required, unless your motorcycle was manufactured prior to 1975.
When pedaling at night, your bike must be equipped with a front white light and either a red rear light or reflector.
- Headlights are required between one half-hour after sunset to one half-hour before sunrise.
- Headlights must be turned on when visibility, due to foul weather, is less than 1,000 feet.
Dial 911 if you suspect a driver of being drunk or a road-menace. Try to provide the vehicle's license plate, make, model, location and travel direction.
Other Topics in This Section
- Traffic Alerts
- 511 Traffic Systems
- Tire Recalls
- Safety Laws
- How Emotions Affect Driving
- Driving in Hazardous Conditions
- Teen Drivers: A Beginner's Guide
- Seniors: When To Turn Over The Car Keys
- Packing Your First-Aid Kit
- Seven Senior Safety Suggestions
- Wildlife on the Road
- When to Call Wildlife Rescue
- Taking A Mature Driver Course
- Medications & Driving
- Night Driving
- Hallucinations on the Road
- How To Drive Distraction Free
- Treating Motion Sickness
- Road Rage: How To Deal With It
Your Opinion Matters To Us!Send Feedback
- New Study: Voice Texting and Traditional Texting Equally Distracting
- California Bans Use of Cell Phone GPS While Driving
- Teen Driver Safety: Seat Belt Use
- Headlight Laws Vary Little Throughout the Nation
- Safety Laws On Children, Pets, and Vehicles
- Bicycle Safety Laws: Learn Your State’s Helmet Laws, Traffic Laws, and More
We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.