HOUSTON (CW39) The Texas Department of Transportation is calling on Texans to keep roadside workers safe this holiday season. The department’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” initiative is asking people to follow the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law.
This law requires drivers to more over or slow down when driving near law enforcement, tow trucks, utility vehicles, emergency responders and TxDOT vehicles when they are stopped and have their overhead lights on. Drivers who don’t move over or slow down face fines up to $2,000.
Police officers, tow truck drivers and other roadside workers are hit, injured, or killed on the side of the road every year. This campaign works in concert with several other ongoing traffic safety campaigns including TxDOT’s “Click it or Ticket” seatbelt awareness campaign, National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week, and the #EndTheStreakTX.
The Move Over/Slow Down law requires drivers to:
– Take safety precautions when they approach roadside law enforcement, emergency vehicles, tow trucks, utility vehicles and TxDOT vehicles with flashing lights on.
– When possible, move out of the lane closest to these vehicles.
– Slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit if safely switching lanes is not possible or the road doesn’t offer multiple lanes.
– Reduce speed to 5 mph on roadways with posted speed limits of 25 mph or less.
The state’s Move Over/Slow Down law was first passed in 2003 to protect emergency crews and it has since been extended to protect TxDOT vehicles, tow trucks and utility service vehicles. The “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign is part of the broader #EndTheStreakTX initiative, which is an effort to encourage drivers to make safe choices while they are out on the road.
It’s been more than 20 years since Texas went one day without a roadway death. November 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roads.
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