New traffic laws may force you to put the brakes on your old habits

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - New traffic laws could force you to make some changes behind the wheel.

Starting September 1, 2009 several new laws will go into effect and you could be ticketed if you don't follow them.

The rules of the road have changed.

"The law now is going to require everybody that's sitting in their vehicle to wear their seatbelts," said Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Greg Sanches.

"I really do think they ought to be buckled up because...these kids and things, I've seen more of them in these cars...and they're not buckled up just jumping around like crazy," said driver Hugh McGowan.

You will also have to put away your cell phone as you drive through school zones.

"Hopefully this will get the attention of folks and make them realize that these school zones are very important because we [have] cars that are crossing the road, kids crossing the road, a lot of activity that's going on in these school zones," said Sanches.

"People run through [the] school zones and...they got their head in [their] cell phones and they're not paying attention and they've been having wrecks and things in these school zones because of it," said McGowan.

Sanches hopes the new law will cause drivers to shift their attention from the cell phone to the roadway.

"Times are changing, we have a lot more traffic, we a lot more electronic devices in vehicles," Sanches said.

However, McGowan worries the cell phone law will be hard to enforce.

"That's going to be kind of a tough one on there because they're going to have to catch them doing it," McGowan said.  "You know if they know about it, they're going to put them down in school zones and pick them right back up when they go out."

"Parents, they got so many things to do now and talking on the phone and trying to get their kids to be quiet," said driver Billy Jackson.  "They're going to run into somebody. It's going to happen."

However, law enforcement hopes the new laws will be a signal to drivers to be more cautious on the roads.

The seatbelt and cell phone laws go into effect September 1, and if you get a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt you could have to shell out as much as $250 and up to $500 for using your cell phone.

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