7 Weird Driving Laws in Texas

February 5, 2020


Every State Has Its Fair Share of Weird Laws

All states have different driving laws, many of which you’ve probably never heard of. The Lone Star State is no exception. If you live in Texas, there’s a good chance you’ve broken one of the laws – albeit inadvertently. The good news is that you probably won’t get a ticket for most of these offenses, but it still helps to be aware of the state’s strange laws. As of 2018, there were nearly 17.4 million licensed drivers [1] in Texas and 227.5 million drivers in the entire country. Although every individual with a driver’s license in Texas is required to take a written and physical driving test before being awarded their license, retaining this information is easier said than done.

We know the city streets, highways, and rural roads can be quite dangerous, which is why we’ve spent some time over the last few weeks helping you understand your rights. By taking a proactive approach and doing everything you can to protect yourself from an accident in 2020, you will help keep others safe as well.

In today’s article, we are going to take a closer look at a handful of weird driving laws in Texas. You may be familiar with some, but we guarantee others will come as a shock. If you are left scratching your head wondering why there would ever be such a strange law in place, you’re not alone. By discussing these weird driving laws, we hope to help you stay safe while out on the roads. Plus, the more you know, the higher the chance you will have of avoiding a run-in with the law! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, contact Shamieh Law today. Even if you aren’t sure whether you have a case or not, we can help.

The Lone Star State’s Strange Driving Laws

There are lots of oddball traffic laws that leave drivers scratching their heads. Texas is home to some of the quirkiest laws, most of which you couldn’t possibly anticipate. If you aren’t up to date on the weird traffic laws in Texas, keep reading!

  • Never leave your keys in the ignition – Under Regulation 545.404 [2], Texas drivers cannot leave their car unattended with the keys in the ignition. Not only can this create ample opportunities for theft, but leaving your keys in the ignition can carry other serious repercussions. This law reduces the chance of your car getting stolen and also protects drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists from other risks.
  • Your vehicle must have windshield wipers – This may sound weird, but cars in Texas are required to have windshield wipers, but not a windshield. For example, if you happen to drive an open-air Jeep, double-check your windshield wipers are secured (even if there isn’t a windshield).
  • It’s illegal to make a U-turn in Richardson – In the city of Richardson, drivers are prohibited from making U-turns. Another interesting Richardson factoid: it is illegal to post a “For Sale” sign on a vehicle if it is visible from a public street.
  • You can pass a car on the shoulder – We’ve all been there before: you’re driving along, and the vehicle in front of you slows to make a left-hand turn, stopping all traffic abruptly. Instead of sitting there in frustration like drivers in other states, Texas drivers are permitted to pass that car on the shoulder. It is also OK to drive on the shoulder of the road if you want to let someone pass you or if you need to avoid a run-in with another car.
  • Paying a ticket is an admission of guilt – No one likes getting a ticket, regardless of the offense. But in Texas, paying that ticket (you know, obeying the law) is considered an admission of guilt. To make matters worse, there are typically hefty surcharges on traffic tickets based on several different factors.
  • You cannot open the car door while operating the vehicle – Whether you are at a full stop or slowing down by your house to check the mail, you are not allowed to open your car door while operating a vehicle in Texas. If an officer catches you in the act, you could face a fine of $150 or more.
  • Horses require taillights in Texarkana – If you live in the Texarkana and you have a horse, you better make sure it has taillights at night. That’s right, Texarkana horse owners cannot (legally) ride their horse at night without some illumination! We wouldn’t blame you if you missed that particular law during Driver’s Ed.

These laws may have garnered a laugh or two, but the fact of the matter is that Texans must obey them to avoid an expected ticket or fine. If you find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit or facing an unexpected penalty, give Shamieh Law a call.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

Not every case requires the expertise of a lawyer, but there are certain times when hiring an attorney is in your best interest. A few of the benefits of hiring an experienced lawyer include:

  • They will help you navigate the complex legal system
  • They have specialized knowledge in various legal practice areas, such as personal injury
  • Not hiring a lawyer may cost you more in the end
  • A good lawyer can help challenge, suppress, and introduce evidence to support your case
  • They have access to witnesses and experts that will help your case
  • A lawyer can present your case and make sure it’s strong
  • Lawyers know how to negotiate settlements and plea bargains fairly
  • There’s a good chance the other party involved in your case has legal representation
  • They offer free consultations

If you are involved in an accident or find yourself in the middle of a complicated lawsuit, having a car accident lawyer on your side can make a huge difference. Whether you are confused after getting a ticket for your horse not having taillights or you made a U-turn in Richardson, not realizing it was illegal, we may be able to help your case. Give Shamieh Law a call today and schedule a free consultation to get started.