DPS troopers cracking down on drivers who won't slow down or move over for emergency vehicles

Elissa Rivas Image
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Slow down for emergency vehicles or get a ticket!
Slow down for emergency vehicles or get a ticket!

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Across southeast Texas, DPS is watching for drivers who do not practice courtesy around emergency vehicles.

If you fail to move over to another lane or slow down when an emergency vehicle is nearby, you could get a ticket.

This policy covers emergency, law enforcement and even TxDOT vehicles stopped on the road with their emergency lights activated.

Tow trucks are also in the group of vehicles for which you must slow down or move over. Earlier this year, we talked about this issue with some Houston-area tow truck drivers, like Josh Bonuelos, who sees this problem on a daily basis.

"You assume that people would move over, it's a law," said Bonuelos. "At the same time, it comes down to not paying attention. They would have moved over but they just haven't been paying attention for 30 seconds. Their mind is distracted."

They understand wrecks can congest our roadways, but tow truck driver Richard Hogue says they still need a safe space to do their jobs.

"Move over, we have families to go home to as well as you do. We're in just as bad, just as much need in going home as you all are. Give us the space and the time we need to work," Houge said.

According to the DPS, 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)
  • The DPS also says fines for failing to move over or slow down can be as high as $500. If you injure someone, it could mean jail time and an even higher fine.

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