Department of Public Safety increases enforcement of traffic law

Department of Public Safety increases enforcement of traffic law

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will begin enforcement efforts across the state focusing specifically on violations of the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law. These periodic enforcement operations by DPS Troopers are planned throughout the year at various locations in Texas, with several operations planned in March.

According to a press release, the law was originally passed in 2003, requiring motorists to move over or slow down when certain vehicles – including police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks – are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. 

“Our Highway Patrol Troopers and other offices 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.” 

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).

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. 

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