Every day, law enforcement, fire fighters, emergency personnel and tow operators risk their lives responding to calls for help. In 2018, more than 1,100 crashes in the Houston/Galveston area involved emergency vehicles, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
The Texas Move Over/Slow Down law requires that passing motorists move out of the lane closest to an emergency vehicle stopped on the roadway, or if they can’t safely move, reduce driving speeds to 20 miles below the posted limit. Move Over/Slow Down also applies when passing stopped TxDOT vehicles and tow trucks displaying warning signals such as traffic cones or flashing lights.
“Move Over/Slow Down is designed to prevent secondary crashes and protect first responders as well as drivers and passengers,” said Dinah Massie, Executive Director at Houston TranStar. “It’s about improving safety for all, particularly emergency personnel who work in dangerous conditions along Texas roadways.”
The Move Over/Slow Down Law requires you to:
- Move out of the lane next to the stopped vehicle(s) when on a highway with two or more lanes going the same direction, if it can be done safely and legally
– OR –
- Slow to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed
- Slow to 5 miles per hour if the posted speed is 25 miles per hour or less
Heightened enforcement of the Move Over/Slow Down law is happening across the state, with fines from $200 to $2,000, depending on the offense. Last year, TxDOT reports the Department of Public Safety issued more than 41,000 warnings and citations to motorists violating the law.
For more information on road safety and to learn more about how to Travel Smart with TranStar, visit www.HoustonTranstar.org.