HOUSTON, Texas (KETK) – The Texas Department of Public Safety says it will continue its enforcement efforts for the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law.
Originally passed in 2003, the law requires drivers to move over or slow down for certain vehicles with their emergency lights activated on the side of the road. This includes police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks.
DPS periodically carries out enforcement operations for this law throughout the year at various locations within the state, with several planned for the month of October. One of these operations is said to take place on Wednesday, Oct. 20 throughout the day in the southeast region of Texas.
Specifically, Texas law states that a driver must either:
- Vacate the lane closest to the applicable vehicles stopped on the side of the road (if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction) or
- Slow down to 20 mph below the speed limit. (If the speed limit is below 25 mph, the driver must slow down to 5 mph)
It should be noted that drivers should only move over if they are able to do so safely and legally. Otherwise, they should slow down.
Violations of the law can result in a fine of up to $200; the fine increases to $500 if there is property damage. If violators cause bodily injury, they can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, resulting in possible jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000.
In January 2021 alone, DPS Troopers issued more than 10,000 warnings and citations motorists violating the Move Over/Slow Down law.
Needless to say, if you encounter an emergency vehicle on the road, simply move over or slow down if you want to avoid a hefty fine.