September 1st...in East Texas, we know that we still have quite a few hot days ahead, but at least the official start of Fall is just 3 weeks away.  The 1st of September is also traditionally the day that new criminal and highway laws go into effect, and 2013 is no different. 

Most of the changes are usually rather small or don't effect a large portion of the population, however there are a few that you should definitely be aware of.

For instance, and perhaps you've been hearing the ads about this, the state's Move Over/Slow Down law has now been extended to stationary Texas Department of Transportation vehicles with emergency lights flashing.  You are required to slow down considerably or move over just as you would for law enforcement and other emergency vehicles.

Another upgrade on the books beginning today is the fines leveled for those illegally passing a school bus.  Obviously you should know to stop in both lanes of traffic when a school bus has stopped and activated its red flashing lights, however, first time offenders will now be subject to a minimum fine of $500, as opposed to the $200 minimum that it had previously been.

Also, there is a clarification on the books as to what the fine is when not displaying a front and back license plate as the law dictates.  $200 is the minimum fine with that.

For a listing of the most prominent changes, click here.