Laws are similar across the US, with several major differences. You need to know your state and its laws to stay out of trouble. Texas is one of the biggest states in the US, and you are bound to visit it someday.
Whether you live there or it is a visit, you need to know the rules. Traffic rules are particularly important since you might have to drive every day.
Understanding traffic rules will keep people safe and you out of jail. Let us take a closer look at Texas traffic laws;
Can You Go To Jail For Not Paying Tolls In Texas?
However, failure to pay your tolls in the State of Texas is a criminal misdemeanor. This will not lead to an arrest, but you will go to court.
If the court convicts you, you will need to pay some court fees and additional fines. If you fail to make the court date, you could end up in jail, so you should try your best to get there.
Understanding Tolls And Toll Road Systems
There are numerous toll systems across the US, and you might be wondering why you need to pay them.
We need to understand such systems and their role in the government. Let us break down the details of the toll system to see its importance;
You must have noticed that you don’t pay the toll fees on all roads. This structure means some roads are free to use while others will cost the toll fee. A toll road or tollway is a public or private road that you have to pay a fee to use.
Tolls are a method of road pricing for users. Normally it collects money to use for road construction and maintenance. Such systems have existed for hundreds of years, and they collected fees from users on foot.
Even when people used horses and carriages, some roads imposed these toll fees. When humans invented automobiles, the toll system increased.
Automobiles increased the demand for higher-quality roads. The increase meant the governments needed more money for these projects.
The roads have more traffic which makes them more prone to damage. All these factors made tolls an important addition to most roads. The toll amount varies depending on vehicle weight, the number of axles, or size.
This system is why freight trucks pay a higher toll than regular cars. They are heavier and damage the road more in the long run.
Motorists pay the toll fees at toll booths along the road. Some toll collection points are automatic.
The user drops money into the machine, and it opens the gate. Traditional toll systems were inefficient, and they wasted a lot of time.
Many modern toll systems use automatic or electronic toll equipment that saves time and money.
These systems communicate with the toll payer’s transponder to know the cars that pay. Some toll booths maintain traditional booths. This diversity is so that those without transponders can also pay the toll.
Most modern roads have automatic number plate recognition systems. These record data and use it to bill drivers without transponders. Older systems have this upgrade to help make the process faster.
While toll systems are important, they have not been without some criticism. Most people are concerned about the time it takes to pay the toll.
It might cause traffic jams on busy highways. It also costs a lot to keep the system running and pay its employees.
Automated toll systems help minimize both of these problems. Others feel like they shouldn’t have to pay twice for the same road.
Motorists pay for roads in fuel taxes. Public authorities also use toll tunnels and bridges to build funds to recover construction costs.
Some tolls are to pay for enhancement or future maintenance of the structures. Toll systems might create a few problems along the way, but they are important. The money governments collect ensures road operations proceed smoothly.
Misdemeanor Ranges And Punishments In Texas
If you ever travel to Texas, you need to know their rules. The laws are similar, but there are some specifics you need to get your finger on. Most likely, you might get a misdemeanor charge without realizing it is a crime.
You must know these charges and the possible punishments for them in Texas. Missing a court date over toll payment is a misdemeanor, so this is important information for motorists.
Texas has 3 types of misdemeanors, ranging from class C to Class A. Let us look at the Texas law and understand this;
1. Class C Misdemeanors
This is the lowest class misdemeanor, and it has the lightest punishment. Class C misdemeanors are generally harmless crimes that don’t put other citizens in danger. They could include vandalizing public property, traffic tickets, and missing tolls.
They can also add assault by contact or public intoxication. These crimes are nuisances, but they don’t put anyone in danger. If you hurt someone in any of such offenses, it will escalate into a class B or class A offense.
You cannot go to jail for a class C offense in Texas. The only punishment you can get for such an offense is a fine.
2. Class B misdemeanor
This is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment that doesn’t exceed 180 days. You can also pay a fine of up to $2000. These crimes are more dangerous to the community, directly going against the law.
A good example is having marijuana under 2 ounces. A theft of an item between 100 and 750 dollars also falls in this category. Some severe class C misdemeanors could fall in this category depending on the extent of the damage.
3. Class A misdemeanor
Class A offenses are the highest misdemeanors in Texas. These crimes can be harmful to a person directly or cost a lot of money to correct. It is a severe class A or Class B misdemeanor in most cases.
A class A offense can get you up to a year in prison or a $4000 fine. A common example is an assault that causes bodily injury. The same can happen for damage to private property or theft of high-value items.
Texas Driving Safety, Laws And Procedures
Knowing driving laws and procedures affects how a driver performs on the road. Laws and driving procedures are crucial in making driving safer. However, many drivers relax as they continue driving, which could be a problem.
As a driver gets more experienced, driving becomes second nature. This means that the drivers start paying less attention to driving as it happens naturally. A driver’s education doesn’t stop after they get their driver’s license.
Good drivers continue learning about road safety as they drive. After several years of driving, it is easy to let go of the road safety tips. A complacent driver can be more dangerous than a rookie if they aren’t careful.
Each driver needs to pay attention to everything they see on the road. Constant attention will help you learn how to avoid collisions, and you will be safer. New situations come up all the time regardless of a driver’s experience.
This is especially a concern when driving in new territory. Driving in urban areas can be difficult for a driver from a rural area. The roads will be different with more traffic thus the whole situation will be new.
Similarly, a driver accustomed to big city traffic could have a problem with rural areas. Rural areas have fewer cars, and they move much faster. This might have the driver collide with other cars or slow them down.
Drivers without knowledge about driving laws suffer in numerous ways. Some become frustrated, and they might make dangerous driving mistakes. This could be driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
Such mistakes can lead to embarrassment, injuries, fines, or death. Drivers without enough knowledge might not react in a way other drivers anticipate. This increases the possibility of getting into a collision that could be fatal.
It would be best if you took the time to learn all driving laws in your jurisdiction. This will minimize the chances of you colliding with other vehicles. Driver safety begins with the guy behind the wheel, and everyone has a part to play.
Knowledge of driving laws will keep you safe from the law and accidents. This knowledge will be helpful should the cops pull you over.
Road accidents are a prevalent cause of death in the US. It is up to every road user to make a difference and save lives.
If you were wondering whether you can go to jail for not paying tolls in Texas or not, then you have your answer. Missing toll payment is not something to go to jail for, but it could escalate if you miss court hearings.
You can always go to court and pay the fine, but a misdemeanor is missing the hearing. Tolls are important for road maintenance. They help recover the money governments use to build roads, so you should pay them.