You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Move over, go slow, or get a ticket
Drivers need to use caution when approaching official vehicles on the roadside -- failure to do so may result in a fine or jail time.
Drivers approaching stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights must slow down or move over, after the Move Over/Slow Down Law -- part of the Texas Transportation Code 545.157 -- was passed in 2003.
The law requires drivers to vacate the lane closest to the stopped emergency vehicle(s) if the road has multiple lanes flowing in the same direction, or slow down 20 mph under the posted speed limit. If the posted speed limit is less than 20 mph, the motorist must slow to 5 mph.
Violators of the law not only could receive a fine for the infraction, but cause serious injuries or death. From 2003 to 2012, 138 officers lost their lives due to being struck by a vehicle, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Fund. The San Antonio Police Department reported three related deaths since 1950 and numerous injuries, including one Aug. 25. The National Fire Protection Association reported 26 firefighters have been hit and killed by motorists while on the job between 1990 and 1999.
Whether aware of the law or not, citizens failing to move over or slow down appropriately could still receive a ticket resulting in a fine of up to $200. If property damage is incurred, the fine increases to $500, and violations resulting in bodily injury carry a Class B misdemeanor charge.
Jason Reyes, the public information officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol, said drivers should be aware of the law.
“Safety is of the utmost importance to us and everyone,” Reyes said.
Vehicles included in the Move Over/Slow Down law are law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles. Tow trucks were added to the list during the 2011 Legislative session, and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicles are included as of Sept. 1.
TxDOT, in conjunction with the DPS, through billboards and ads, is alerting drivers to the addition of TxDOT vehicles to the Move Over/Slow Down law, Reyes said.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Section A: General News Archives
City says no more streetlights (October 7, 2015)
CMMC offers low cost mammograms (October 7, 2015)
County judge invites taxpayers to Town Hall (October 7, 2015)
Court Update (October 7, 2015)
Crosscurrents characterize city session (October 7, 2015)
Deputies charge game-room owners (October 7, 2015)
Does the right to collect still exist? (October 7, 2015)
Early detection vital to treating breast cancer (October 7, 2015)
Editorial: Challenges of democracy (October 7, 2015)
Editorial: Do not kill police officers, black people, white people, or any people (October 7, 2015)
Editorial: Good riddance, John Boehner! (October 7, 2015)
Editorial: President Obama once again too quick to ‘jump the gun’ (October 7, 2015)
Feather Fest 5K walk/run winners (October 7, 2015)
FELPS estimates near $1M savings after refinancing ’02, ’05 bonds (October 7, 2015)
Going hog wild with cook-off, ranch rodeo (October 7, 2015)
Health options workshop is Oct.13 (October 7, 2015)
La Vernia EMS president: Let’s train together (October 7, 2015)
Laubach Cemetery group plans meeting (October 7, 2015)
Letter: Seeking De La Peña family photos (October 7, 2015)
Luther Thomas Elementary earns Blue Ribbon status (October 7, 2015)
Meeting Watch: China Grove City Council (October 7, 2015)
Meeting Watch: Falls City ISD (October 7, 2015)
Meeting Watch: Floresville 4A Corp. (October 7, 2015)
Paxton: Attorney misled immigrants (October 7, 2015)
Pilot digital photography workshops coming to parks (October 7, 2015)
Police Blotter (October 7, 2015)
Texas A&M-San Antonio opens to freshmen Oct. 1 (October 7, 2015)
Texas secures highest credit ratings (October 7, 2015)
Water rules affect all Texans (October 7, 2015)
West Nile survivor shares story of recovery (October 7, 2015)