DRONES & AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES TEXAS STATE LAWS

 

DRONES & AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES TEXAS STATE LAWS

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State Drone Laws in Texas: According to the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Legislature, Texas has six state-wide laws concerning the use of drones in the state.

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SB 840 // 2017 [https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB840/2017]

Texas Senate Bill 840

Status: Passed on June 9 2017 – 100% progression

Action: 2017-06-09 – Effective on 9/1/17

Summary – Relating to certain images captured by an unmanned aircraft. This law permits telecommunications providers to use UAS to capture images. It also specifies that only law enforcement may use UAS to captures images of real property that is within 25 miles of the U.S. border for border security purposes. The law also allows a UAS to be used to capture images by an insurance company for certain insurance purposes, as long as the operator is authorized by the FAA.

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HB 1424 // 2017 [https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB1424/2017]

Texas House Bill 1424 (Prior Session Legislation)

Status: Passed on June 15 2017 – 100% progression

Action: 2017-06-15 – Effective on 9/1/17

Summary – Relating to the operation of an unmanned aircraft over certain facilities or sports venues; creating a criminal offense. This law prohibits UAS operation over correctional and detention facilities. This law also prohibits operation over a sports venue except in certain instances. It also prohibits operation over a sports venue except in certain instances. The law defines “sports venue” as a location with a seating capacity of at least 30,000 people and that is used primarily for one or more professional or amateur sports or athletics events. An initial violation is a class B misdemeanor and subsequent violations are class A misdemeanors.

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HB 1643 // 2017 [https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB1643/2017]

Texas House Bill 1643 (Prior Session Legislation)

Status: Passed on June 15 2017 – 100% progression

Action: 2017-06-15 – Effective on 9/1/17

Summary – Relating to the regulation of the operation of an unmanned aircraft and the prosecution of a related criminal offense. Texas HB 1643 adds structures used as part of telecommunications services, animal feeding operations, and a number of facilities related to oil and gas to the definition of critical infrastructure as it relates to UAS operation. Prohibits localities from regulating UAS except during special events and when the UAS is used by the locality. The legislation defines “special event.”

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HB 2167 // 2015 [https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB2167/2015]

Texas House Bill 2167 (Prior Session Legislation)

Status: Passed on June 9 2015 – 100% progression

Action: 2015-06-09 – Effective on 9/1/15

Summary – Relating to certain images captured by an unmanned aircraft. Permits individuals in certain professions to capture images used in those professions using UAS as long as no individual is identifiable in the image.

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HB 1481 // 2015 [https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB1481/2015]

Texas House Bill 1481

Status: Passed on June 19 2015 – 100% progression

Action: 2015-06-19 – Effective on 9/1/15

Summary – Relating to prohibiting the operation of an unmanned aircraft over certain facilities; creating a criminal offense. Makes it a Class B misdemeanor to operate UAS over a critical infrastructure facility if the UAS is not more than 400 feet off the ground.

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HB 912 // 2013[https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB912/2013]

Texas House Bill 912

Status: Passed on June 14 2013 – 100% progression

Action: 2013-06-14 – Effective on 9/1/13

Summary – Relating to certain images captured by an unmanned aircraft. This law enumerates 19 lawful uses for unmanned aircraft, including their use in airspace designated as an FAA test site, their use in connection with a valid search warrant, and their use in oil pipeline safety and rig protection. This law also creates two new crimes: 1) the illegal use of an unmanned aircraft to capture images, and 2) the offense of possessing or distributing the image.

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