State Trooper Warns Texoma Drivers He Will Be Handing Out Tickets For Often Violated Law
A Texas State Trooper is warning Texoma drivers he will be ramping up enforcement of the state's often violated yet life-saving Move Over/Slow Down law over the next few days.
Trooper Todd Lewis of Wichita Falls posted the forwarning to his Facebook page Tuesday evening after multiple people passed him going 75 MPH while he was working an accident on Highway 79, he says.
"If you refuse to slow down while we are out on the side of the road with the lights on you will receive a ticket," Lewis said. "I don't know if you have ever been standing on the side of the road and have a car pass you at 75 miles per hour within feet but it's not a very settling feeling."
Trooper Lewis is not the only one who will be out cracking down on this important law. The Texas Department of Public Safety announced earlier this year that Highway Patrol Troopers will be conducting periodic enforcement operations throughout the year at various locations in Texas.
The Move Over/Slow Down law, originally passed in 2003, requires drivers to slow down or move over for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks when they are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. Specifically, you 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 20 mph below the speed limit. (If the speed limit is below 25 mph, the driver must slow down to 5 mph.)
If you fail to move over or slow down, you can expect a $200 ticket. The fine increases to $500 if there is property damage, and if someone gets hurt, you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, resulting in possible jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000.
"Our Highway Patrol Troopers and other officers risk their lives every day for the people of Texas, and their safety is particularly vulnerable while working on the side of the road, where the slightest mistake by a passing motorist can end in tragedy," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "While our officers are serving and protecting Texans, we're asking drivers to do their part by adhering to the law – simply move over or slow down."
While we're at it, let's show the same courtesy to our fellow motorists stopped on the side of the road for whatever reason.