Do I have to Move over or slow down in texas?

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When emergency vehicles with their flashing lights are on, tow trucks, highway maintenance vehicles, construction vehicles, or city solid waste vehicles are stopped on the side of the road, drivers in Texas must either move out of the lane closest to the stopped vehicles or slow down to 20 miles per hour lower than the posted speed limit. This law was first passed in 2003 and is designed to keep first responders safe. Over the years, the law has expanded to protect other public servants who may be stopped on the highway. 

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What can happen to first responders when drivers don’t slow down or move over?

Working a job that requires you to be stopped on the side of the highway is incredibly dangerous. We take for granted how cars and trucks can unintentionally turn into dangerous weapons in the blink of an eye. That’s why the safety rules are in place. Denton Fire Chief Kenneth Hedges and Police Chief Frank Dixon explain here the importance of the move over or slow down law. You can also see terrifying dash cam video of an 18-wheeler run off the side of the road at high speeds just after barreling through fire trucks blocking the road. In the 30 days leading up to the news story, three Denton police vehicles had been violently hit from behind while stopped on the side of the road. Moving over or slowing down also protects the people who were pulled over by police or involved in a crash on the highway. 

The Bottom Line

 

Drivers must pay attention and follow the rules to keep first responders, construction crews, and others in our community safe. Crashing into stopped vehicles at highway speeds will lead to devastating injuries and property damage. If that video from Denton taught us anything, 18-wheeler crashes are violent and potentially deadly. Companies that put 18-wheeelers on the streets must train and qualify their drivers to prevent violent and deadly crashes.