If you see an emergency vehicle with its lights on pulled off on the shoulder of the road ahead of you, you know that you need to either merge to your left or slow down considerably for the safety of the emergency personnel involved. The State of Texas takes its responsibility to help keep first responders and others who work on our roads safe very seriously. This is why in September of 2019, the state updated its Move Over/Slow Down law (as it is known).
Helping to Keep Everyone Who Works on Our Roads Safer
The original Move Over/Slow Down law that was passed in 2003 requires drivers to move over or slow down considerably when approaching a variety of emergency vehicles on the side of the road (with their warning lights activated), including:
- Police vehicles
- Fire trucks and fire department vehicles
- Ambulances and other vehicles carrying EMTs
- Texas Department of Transportation vehicles
- Tow trucks
Similar policies have been adopted in nearly every state, and while these regulations help keep emergency personnel safer, Texas determined that the scope of the law was not inclusive enough. To help keep everyone who works on our roadways safer – in what are dangerous jobs to begin with – Texas has included utility service vehicles that are parked on the side of the road attempting to restore power or to otherwise repair power lines and solid waste collection trucks and garbage trucks that are doing their jobs.
The Move-Over/Slow-Down Law
First responders and the other workers listed are vulnerable to being seriously injured – and worse – in dangerous traffic accidents while they are on the job. Texas's updated Move Over/Slow Down law is in direct response to this vulnerability, and the specifics include:
- If you are driving on a multi-lane roadway and one of the listed vehicles is pulled off to the side of the road with its warning lights on, you must merge to your left to allow an empty buffer-lane between your vehicles.
- If merging to your left is not possible or practical, you must reduce your speed to at least 20 miles per hour below the legal speed limit (as posted). This is true whether you are on a highway or on any other kind of roadway.
- When the posted speed limit is below 25 miles per hour, you must reduce your speed to 5 miles per hour (if you cannot move over).
If You Have Been Injured by Another Driver’s Negligence, Call an Experienced Killeen Personal Injury Attorney
Negligent drivers endanger everyone with whom they share the road. If you have been injured in such a manner, attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is on your side. Mr. Pritchard is a formidable personal injury attorney who cares about your case and is prepared to defend your rights throughout the legal process aggressively. We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.