Troopers remind drivers to move it, or pay the price | kvue.com | KVUE News | Austin, TX | Breaking News
Troopers Remind Drivers To Move It, Or Pay The Price
by STEVE ALBERTS / KVUE News
Posted on July 15, 2010 at 5:25 PM
Updated today at 6:53 PM
A warning to drivers: slow down, or move over when you see a police or an emergency vehicle stopped in a lane with its emergency lights flashing. It is the law. If you do not, you could face a hefty fine.
The Move Over, Slow Down law has been in effect for nearly seven years. It requires drivers approaching stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights on to either slow down to 20 miles below the posted speed limit or move over a lane.
“Sometimes they'll get within a couple of feet of you,” said Texas Highway Patrol Sergeant Kelly Wilkison. “It gets pretty close at times.”
Sgt. Wilkison patrols the 45 and 130 Tollways. He says drivers break the move over law regularly.
Wednesday, troopers stop the driver of a white truck for a minor traffic violation. A minute later, a black truck fails to slow down or move-over. A second trooper speeds after him.
The driver was given a ticket for not having a license, but a warning for failing to slow down or move over.
“A lot of times they say they are not aware of the law or they couldn't move over and they forget about the slow down portion of the law."
Drivers KVUE spoke with were familiar with the law.
"I think it's a common sense. People have to be protected; move out of the way or slow down,” said Alida Martel.
“You have to slow down 20 miles below the posted speed limit, or move over in the other lane,” said Jo Gaffney.
Since the Move Over, Slow Down law took effect on Sept. 1, 2003, DPS has given 14,288 citations.
The law requires drivers to take the following actions:
• Vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle if the highway has two or more lanes traveling the direction of the emergency vehicle.
• Slow to a speed not more than 20 mph less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 mph or more.
• Slow to a speed not more than 5 mph when the posted speed limit is less than 25 mph.
A violation is punishable by a maximum fine of $200 plus court costs. If the violation results in property damage, the maximum fine increases to $500.