Houston is the largest city in Texas and is located in the southeast portion of the state. Founded in 1836, the city has grown to be an economical and cultural center in the Lone Star State. A population of over 2 million makes road congestion and motor vehicle crashes a major concern for drivers in the Houston area. Houstonians are required to have car insurance on their vehicles so, we compiled the information Houstonians need to understand to make sure they’re properly informed about car insurance, driving and living within Houston.
While congestion is common on freeways surrounding Houston, traffic studies that are conducted using state-of-the-art equipment have helped Houston handle some of the traffic load in the city. Houston TranStar works on traffic management efforts including carpool lanes, timed freeway entrances on Interstate 45 and cameras located along freeways that are used to gather information about lightening the traffic load.
Crimes statistics related to vehicles and driving can have a significant impact on car insurance rates in a particular city. Here is the breakdown for three crime categories in Houston, according to the FBI:
State law mandates that all drivers and passengers buckle up, and that all children under 8 ride in a child safety seat or booster seat (unless that child is at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall), according to the Texas Department of Transportation. For a seat belt violation, you face a fine of $25 to $250, plus court costs.
Under the law, a first-time offense for texting while driving in Texas can result in a fine of $25 to $99, while the fine for a repeat offense ranges from $100 to $200.
All motorcycle riders under 21 must wear helmets. A rider 21 and older doesn’t need to wear helmet if he or she has passed a motorcycle safety course or is covered under an approved insurance plan.
In Texas, a driver faces a DWI charge if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, according to the state Department of Transportation. However, a driver can be considered impaired due to alcohol or other drugs, no matter what the BAC is. A driver or passenger faces a fine of up to $500 for keeping an open alcohol container in a vehicle.
A first-time DWI offender in Texas faces:
If a driver receives at least two DWI convictions within five years, he or she must install a special ignition switch that prevents that person from driving after drinking.
In Texas, you can be accused of child endangerment for driving while intoxicated if any passengers under 16 were passengers in your vehicle. A conviction can lead to a $10,000 fine, a two-year prison sentence and loss of your driver’s license for 180 days.