Starting today, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers will be increasing enforcement of the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law. The law was passed in 2003, requiring motorists to change lanes or slow down when police, fire, EMS or Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks are stopped on the side of the road.
From January to August last year, DPS issued more than 29,000 warnings and citations to motorists violating the Move Over /Slow Down law. Now, troopers will be monitoring roadways and focusing on violations along U.S. Highway 75, U.S 380, State Highway 121 and State Highway 78.
“Our Highway Patrol troopers and other officers risk their lives every day for the people of Texas, and their safety is particularly vulnerable while working on the side of the road, where the slightest mistake by a passing motorist can end in tragedy,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “While our officers are serving and protecting Texans, we’re asking drivers to do their part by adhering to the law – simply move over or slow down.”
Texas law states drivers must change lanes and leave one lane between the motorist and the side of the road, especially if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction. Motorists should also slow down 20 miles per hour below the speed limit when passing a car on the shoulder.
“In addition to complying with the law to protect those who work on the side of the road, we encourage motorists to show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped along our roadways. Let’s all get home safely,” McCraw said.
Violators will face a fine up to $200, which stands to increase to $500 if there’s any property damage. If motorists cause bodily harm or injury, they can be charged with a class B misdemeanor with jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000.