The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has another enforcement operation planned of the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law.
DPS plans these operations throughout the year at various times and locations, with one taking place tomorrow (Wednesday) in the Bryan District. The Department of Transportation will be participating in a non-enforcement capacity.
Originally passed in 2003, the law requires drivers to either move or slow down when certain vehicles are stopped on the side of the road with their emergency lights on. Those include police, fire, EMS, TxDOT vehicles and tow trucks.
Specifically, law states a driver needs to either vacate the lane closest to the vehicles stopped on the side of the road, or slow down 20 mph below the speed limit. Drivers should only move over if they can do so legally and safely; otherwise, they should slow down.
DPS Director Steven McCraw said drivers are encouraged to show this courtesy to not only law enforcement stopped on the side of the road, but also fellow drivers.
Violators of the law could see fines of up to $200, or up 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.
Data from last year shows that DPS issued more than 41,000 warnings and citations to drivers violating the Move Over/Slow Down law. Preliminary data this year shows approximately 7,500 warnings and citations have been issued.