Nearly 700 new laws in effect in Texas

Nearly 700 new laws went into effect in Texas on September 1st.

Texas motorists no longer have to worry about slowing down at sundown.

Those black nighttime reduced speed limits are a thing of the past.

The goal of the law is to cut down on problems such as tailgating and vehicles changing lanes to pass slower-moving vehicles, according to legislators.

As for all those outdated signs?

"Come Sept. 1 those signs will be removed in an orderly fashion," TxDOT's Transportation Director, Jesus Leal, said.

Restrictions have been lifted for most workers who legally own guns and ammunition.

An employer can no longer prevent employees from storing them in their locked, private vehicles in company parking lots.

The only exceptions are at schools and federal buildings, the law states.

Texas minors who like to send sexually explicit pictures or messages by cell phone can now be criminally punished.

Youth who sext and get caught can be charged with a misdemeanor and could receive jail time with repeated offenses.

Brenda Heredia, who's the executive director for the Family Crisis Center in Harlingen, applauded the law.

"Sexting has been a problem for the last two or three years, it's really just shot up in terms of occurrence," she said.

It's now illegal for someone to attend a cockfight as a spectator.

The penalty increases for repeat offenders...

The law also comes down on those buying, selling or possessing cockfighting equipment.

Cockfighting is outlawed in all 50 states.

State Senator Eddie Lucio, Junior rallied for the increased measures.

"The goal is to stop cockfighting all together," he said.

Texans can now fish with their bare hands in what's called Noodling.

It's a technique where a person uses their fingers as bait in underwater catfish holes to catch and haul out catfish.

Another new law requires voters to provide photo identification in order to vote.

The measure drew criticism from democrats in the Valley who argued it targeted minorities and the poor.

Those who supported the bill said it would cut down on voter fraud. Click here for a list of other new Texas lawsClick here to join Ryan Wolf TMs Facebook page