This website will be unavailable from Friday, April 26, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, April 29, 2024 at 7:00 a.m. due to data center maintenance.

BILL ANALYSIS

 

 

 

H.B. 1415

By: Raymond

Transportation

Committee Report (Unamended)

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

 

Currently, the Transportation Code requires that lighting equipment on a motor vehicle adhere to applicable federal standards. Recently, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) issued an internal memorandum to DPS employees charged with enforcing this requirement to clarify that a high-mounted stoplamp that varies in intensity for a certain limited number of times over a few seconds when the vehicle brakes comply with federal standards if the stoplamp never deactivates during that period. This interpretation supports the ongoing DPS enforcement standards that have supported the use of these types of pulsing brake lights to help reduce distracted driving on Texas roads for more than a decade. The interpretation is also consistent with how the current federal standard has been applied in other states. Nevertheless, because the underlying Transportation Code provisions were enacted many years before this sort of pulsing brake light technology was developed, a clarification in statute is needed in order to affirm the current interpretation of the federal standard by DPS. H.B. 1415 seeks to codify the interpretation that an applicable high-mounted stoplamp is compliant with federal standards.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE IMPACT

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly create a criminal offense, increase the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses, or change the eligibility of a person for community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.

 

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.

 

ANALYSIS

 

H.B. 1415 amends the Transportation Code to establish that, for purposes of the requirement for lighting equipment on a vehicle to comply with applicable federal standards, a high-mounted stoplamp that varies in intensity four or fewer times but never deactivates when the vehicle brakes for not more than two seconds is considered to be compliant.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE

 

September 1, 2023.