We have all heard about the recent crashes involving police or fire vehicles that were parked at scenes along busy highways. Most recently, and close to home, a firetruck in Hillsboro was struck and heavily damaged.
The Texas “Move over Law” was first enacted in 2003. It was amended in 2011 and again in 2013. This law is part of the Texas Transportation Code, Sec. 545.157. Passing Certain Vehicles. It applies only to passing the following vehicles:
- A stationary authorized emergency vehicle using visual signals (flashing lights). These vehicles include Police, Fire, and Ambulances.
- A stationary tow truck using flashing lights.
- A Texas Department of Transportation vehicle not separated from the roadway by a traffic channelizing device and using flashing lights.
This law requires vehicles that are passing the aforementioned vehicles to:
- Vacate the lane closest to the vehicle when driving on a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the vehicle; or
- Slow to a speed not to exceed:
- 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or more; or
- 5 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is less than 25 miles per hour.
A violation of this law is punishable as a class C misdemeanor except that it is a class B misdemeanor if bodily injury occurs as a result of the violation.
The “Move over Law” was created to protect the lives of public servants who are working on dangerous roadways and under hazardous conditions. Please obey the law and “Move Over” when you see these people out doing their jobs.
The Cleburne Police Department, as part of a new safety campaign aimed at making the streets of Cleburne safer for all who use them, will be out actively enforcing this law in the coming weeks. Please spread the word about this law so that we can avoid a tragedy taking place. The men and women in public service thank you!