Harris County

Texas Troopers Ramp Up Enforcement Against Passing Stopped Police Cars

The law also requires motorists to move over or slow down when fire, EMS, DPS and tow vehicles are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.

The Texas Highway Patrol is increasing enforcement of a state law about passing stopped police cars and other special vehicles.

Texas Troopers are increasing enforcement of a state law about passing stopped police cars and other special vehicles in Harris County.

The law, commonly known as Move Over/Slow Down, was passed in 2003 and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) periodically focuses on its enforcement in different parts of the state.

The law requires 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.

Specifically, the law states that a driver must vacate the lane closest to the applicable vehicles stopped on the side of the road if the roadway has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction.

The other option is to 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 and 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.

Preliminary data show that DPS issued more than 35,000 warnings and citations to motorists that violated the law from January through October 2018.

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