BELL COUNTY, TX - Department of Public Safety troopers and other law enforcement agencies will be looking for people who do not move over and slow down when passing emergency vehicles Thursday.
This special operation with expected intense enforcement will take place between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. with assistance from the Bell County Sheriff's Department and police departments in Temple, Belton, Harker Heights and Killeen.
This task force operation is just the first of many to be conducted across the state as DPS begins a general ramp up of enforcement of the law that was passed in 2003.
The law requires drivers to move over or slow down when vehicles such as police, fire, EMS, TXDOT and tow trucks are stopped on the side of the raod with emergency lights activated.
“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.”
The law requires drivers to move out of the lane closest to the emergency vehicle that is stopped, or if unable to do so or there is only one lane, to slow down to 20 miles per hour below the speed limit.
Violations of the law can result in a fine of up to $200; 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 from 2017 shows that DPS issued more than 10,650 warnings and citations to motorists violating the Move Over/Slow Down law.
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