Several individuals were injured and hospitalized following a collision on Highway 103 on Thursday, April 15th. The accident occurred when one driver attempted to pass another in a no-passing zone while crossing a bridge.
The Bridge Collision
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced on Thursday that they were investigating a crash that took place on Highway 103 east of Lufkin. The accident went down on the Attoyac River bridge and led to a significant back-up of traffic in the area for roughly an hour.
According to DPS, the accident happened at around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday and involved three vehicles, two vehicles traveling westbound, and another traveling east.
The vehicle which attempted to pass another in a no-passing zone was a 2020 Nissan passenger car traveling east. When the Nissan attempted the maneuver, it came upon two vehicles traveling west, a 2007 Chevrolet sport utility vehicle followed by a 2020 Kia passenger car.
The Chevrolet swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid the collision and struck the guardrail of the bridge. The Nissan also attempted to swerve away from the collision and struck the guardrail on the opposite side. The Nissan then hit the rear end of the Chevrolet before colliding with the Kia head-on.
The 65-year-old driver of the Nissan as well as two of his passengers were transported to a hospital for treatment. The 81-year-old driver of the Chevrolet was unharmed, but the 28-year-old Kia driver was hospitalized.
The DPS investigation into this event is ongoing.
No-Passing Zone Laws in Texas
No-passing zones, as you might expect, are sections of Texas roadways on which it is illegal to cross into the left lane of the road unless you are making a left-hand turn. These zones are declared by the Texas Transportation Commission or a local authority and are meant to protect drivers by prohibiting passing where such maneuvers would be “especially hazardous.” These zones can be marked either with signage or with road markings. Crossing into the left lane within 100 feet of a bridge is actually considered illegal.
Passing in a no-passing zone isn’t just dangerous. In Texas, making this kind of maneuver will land you a fine of $285 – $50 more than the fine for passing without sufficient clearance in passing zones. In fact, this fine is the same amount as that charged for racing, and fleeing the scene of an accident.
Passing in a no-passing zone will also earn you 2 points on your license. If you earn 6 points on your license, you could face an additional $100 fine. Points can also be earned for speeding, running stop signs and lights, and driving without valid insurance, among other violations.
It is worth noting that if you receive a ticket for passing in a no-passing zone but you feel that you completed the maneuver before the zone began, you can challenge the ticket in court. You are within your rights to request all evidence against you, including dashcam footage that could show you returning to the right lane before the no-passing zone began.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Texas, the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze and Johns can help you protect your rights to compensation and justice.