673 new Texas laws take effect Friday

673 new Texas laws take effect Friday

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Legislative and special session for the Texas state legislature is done, and Governor Abbott has signed 673 laws that all go into effect Friday, September 1, 2017.

Here are some of the biggest changes coming to our area.

Protection for those saving kids from hot cars

There have been more hot car deaths across the country this year than usual.

House Bill 478 will protect any person who breaks into a hot car to rescue a child.

If the person believes what they're doing is for the safety of the child, they call 911 first and stay with the child until first responders get there, they can't be sued for any damage done to the car.

No more illegal knives

If you start seeing people wielding swords around town, the state said not to worry.

House Bill 1935 gets rid of the "illegal knife" classification, banning carry of any blade over 5.5" long.

Now any blade length, from pocket knife to machete to spear, is allowed to be openly carried in public places.

Texting and driving banned

Texting and driving is about to be prohibited statewide, making Texas the 47th state to do so.

Police can pull you over if they think you may be reading or typing something on your phone while you drive.

If you're ticketed, you'll be fined up to $99 for the first offense.

Criminalizing cyberbullying

Senate Bill 1187, or David's Law, criminalizes cyberbullying of minors, making it a Class A Misdemeanor for offenders.

Private and public schools will also have to update their bullying policies to include cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying includes sending messages through any type of technology or social media site that can potentially harm the reader.

Hog hunting takes flight in a new way

If you're a recreational hunter or just having a problem with too many feral hogs on your land, it's now legal to hunt them from a hot air balloon.

House Bill 3535 allows this as long as you have a permit from Texas Parks and Wildlife before you launch.

Bestiality is illegal

When it comes to protecting our furry friends, bestiality is now illegal in Texas.

Any lewd acts with an animal can land you up to two years of jail time under Senate Bill 1232.

Amarillo recently made bestiality a misdemeanor citywide, but this new law will trump that and make it a felony statewide.

This article was edited at 4:22 p.m., September 1, to correct an error. 

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