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How Car Insurance Laws Vary From State To State

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If you are a licensed driver with a registered vehicle in the United States, it is imperative that you have at least the state minimum requirements when it comes to car insurance. This can help to protect you and others in the event of an accident or damage to your car. Each state has the ability to write and enforce its own laws when it comes to vehicle insurance requirements, but full faith and credit ensures that motorists traveling from state to state are covered under their original state's laws.

If you are a licensed driver with a registered vehicle in the United States, it is imperative that you have at least the state minimum requirements when it comes to car insurance. This can help to protect you and others in the event of an accident or damage to your car. Each state has the ability to write and enforce its own laws when it comes to vehicle insurance requirements, but full faith and credit ensures that motorists traveling from state to state are covered under their original state's laws.

If you plan on buying a car in the near future, you will want to make yourself well aware of your state's car insurance laws ahead of time. This way, you will know how much coverage you need to purchase and approximately how much it will cost. In most cases, you will need to provide the seller of your vehicle with proof of insurance before you will be able to drive the car off the lot.

How Insurance Laws Vary There are a number of ways in which insurance laws can vary from state to state. For the most part, every state has laws in place that require drivers to carry at least a minimum amount of bodily injury and personal injury protection coverage. This helps to pay for medical bills and related expenses from injuries caused by an accident and damage to one's property. However, the specific amount of coverage required by each state can vary immensely. There are also some states where ""uninsured motorist"" coverage is a requirement. This type of coverage protects drivers in the event they are involved in an accident with somebody who is illegally driving without insurance.��

More About Driving Owning and operating a vehicle is a huge responsibility, so be sure to study up on your traffic laws and safety regulations to help avoid accidents and unsafe situations while behind the wheel. Consider putting your knowledge to the test by taking a DMV practice test online.��

Distracted Driving Laws in Texas

According to the Texas State Transportation Institute, over two-thirds of teenage drivers admitted to using a cell phone while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving accounts for nearly 20 percent of all traffic fatalities in the nation. The State of Texas enacted two new laws that address distracted driving prohibiting the following:

According to the Texas State Transportation Institute, over two-thirds of teenage drivers admitted to using a cell phone while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving accounts for nearly 20 percent of all traffic fatalities in the nation. The State of Texas enacted two new laws that address distracted driving prohibiting the following:
 
It is illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use any type of wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.
 
Drivers who hold a learners permit are prohibited from using a hand-held cell phone during the first six months.
 
All drivers are prohibited from using a hand-held drive while operating a motor vehicle in a school-crossing zone.
 
School bus drivers cannot use a cell phone while driving when a passenger 17 or younger is present.
 
This is a primary offense that means law enforcement officers do not need anther reason to pull the driver over and issue a citation.
 
Statewide Text Message Ban Coming Soon
House Bill 242 is currently awaiting approval from Texas Governor Rick Perry. This legislation has already been approved by both the House and Senate as of May 29, 2011. The measure seeks to ban reading or sending any type of text message while operating a motor vehicle. If approved, the law would take effect on September 1, 2011 and offenders would be fined $200 and face up to 30 days in jail. Drivers who cause an accident while emailing or texting resulting in serious injury or death would be charged with a Class B misdemeanor offense. The penalty includes a $2,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail. Exceptions to the proposed law include using a device in an emergency or drivers whose primary job involves communicating with a dispatcher.
 
New Laws in Several Cities
Several cities throughout Texas have enacted new laws regarding cell phone usage and texting while driving. These include the following places:
 
Alvin As of March 2011, texting while driving or using a cell phone in a school zone is illegal.
 
Amarillo Using a cell phone in a school zone while driving is prohibited. The new law goes into effect beginning in the 2011/2012 school year.
 
El Paso The City Council approved a ban on texting or talking on a cell phone while driving on March 9, 2010. Fines can range anywhere from $114 to $500 for each violation.
 
Galveston A fine of up to $500 will be issued to anyone caught texting while driving within city limits.
 
McAllen Driving while text messaging or conducting any Internet related activity was banned on January 24, 2011. Violators will be fined up to $200.
 
Missouri City A ban on texting while driving became effective on June 1, 2010 and offenders will be fined up to $500.
 
San Antonio Texting while driving was banned on January 14, 2011 and violators will be fined up to $200.
 
Stephenville Text messaging and using a hand-held cell phone while driving will result in a fine of up to $200.
When to Consult an Attorney in Texas
When cities and states throughout the nation are facing budget shortfalls, officers are more likely to issue citations. In an effort to gain revenue, the police have begun cracking down and handing out more tickets than ever before. If you have recently been cited for a driving offense in Texas, contact an attorney for help.

Windshield Video Event Recorders in California

Vehicle owners in California may now install Windshield Video Event Recorders if they wish to do so. The law was passed over strong concerns about safety and privacy. The law previously prohibited anything from being attached to the windshield or windows of a vehicle, but made exceptions for sun visors, devices used to pay tolls, GPS devices and stickers used for such things as entrance to state parks. The law also forbade the use of recording devices in vehicles, but made exceptions for black boxes - devices designed to record braking, accelerating and steering data prior to a collision.

Vehicle owners in California may now install Windshield Video Event Recorders if they wish to do so. The law was passed over strong concerns about safety and privacy. The law previously prohibited anything from being attached to the windshield or windows of a vehicle, but made exceptions for sun visors, devices used to pay tolls, GPS devices and stickers used for such things as entrance to state parks. The law also forbade the use of recording devices in vehicles, but made exceptions for black boxes - devices designed to record braking, accelerating and steering data prior to a collision.
 
A Windshield Video Event Recorder must be installed in such a way so as not to interfere with the deployment of air bags or the driver's ability to see. It must be installed in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield on the passenger side, a five-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield on the driver's side, or a five-inch square at the top center of the windshield.
 
The new law addresses privacy concerns by defining who owns the recordings made by Windshield Video Event Recorders, and who is entitled to copies of the recordings. Members of the Teamsters Union may receive an unedited copy of a recording within five days of a request at no charge. The ACLU wanted the law to allow only video recordings.
 
Instead, the new California law requires that a vehicle equipped with a Windshield Video Event Recorder have a notice posted in a visible location informing passengers that their conversations may be recorded. One reason that the law was changed to allow Windshield Video Event Recorders is similar to the reason for the exception for black boxes. Studies have shown that the data collected can be used for behavioral coaching to counter aggressive or inattentive driving. The coaching has been most effective among teenaged drivers and commercial drivers.

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