What is the Move-Over Law in Texas?

Written by greg on April 9, 2019


When you get into an accident, have a vehicle emergency, or get pulled over by the police, you pull to the side of the road where it should be safe. Unfortunately, safety during emergencies continues to be a problem. Every year, many emergency personnel and state troopers around the country are hurt or killed when they are hit by drivers who get too close to them. Recently, another state trooper was seriously hurt when he was hit by a driver speeding past while working a traffic stop on the side of the highway.

The Texas State Trooper stopped a vehicle on U.S. Highway 59 in Sugar Land when he was struck by a passing vehicle. The accident happened at 1 am. The driver of the vehicle did not stop, but was later apprehended and charged. The State Trooper was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

The Texas Move Over Slow Down Law

Texas has a “Move Over Slow Down” law in place. The law states that motorists must slow their speed and move to another lane when they see any police, fire, or emergency vehicles with their lights flashing. The law was expanded to include Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) workers. Drivers must slow and yield to work crews on the side of the road.

The law requires drivers to move out of the lane that is closest to the worker or emergency vehicle. For example, if you see flashing police car lights on the right side of the road, you must slow your speed and move out of the right hand lane. The same applies to any other emergency vehicles or workers. Drivers must reduce their speed by 20 MPH on highways. On streets with speed limits of 25 MPH, drivers must reduce their speed to just 5 MPH while passing.

Drivers who fail to slow or move over are subject to penalties that include fines of up to $2,000 and will receive a moving violation. Unfortunately, the law has not prevented all injuries or deaths. There have been many such accidents across the country this year alone. The TxDOT will continue to try to raise awareness using social media and television advertising and video PSAs.

Preventing Injuries on the Roads

While the Move Over law applies to emergency vehicles and workers, drivers should remain aware of other vehicles on the side of the road. If you see a disabled vehicle on the side of the road, you should slow down and move over. There could be someone working on the vehicle or standing near the roadway.

If your vehicle becomes disabled while on the road you should pull as far onto the shoulder as possible. Do not exit the vehicle on the driver’s side. Instead, get out of the vehicle on the passenger side that is closest to the curb. You and your passengers can exit the vehicle if it is safe to do so and then move as far away from the road as possible as you wait for emergency assistance.

If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident due to a negligent or careless driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our accident attorneys for a free initial case consultation- Call 281-587-1111!

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