DPS stepping up enforcement of ‘Move Over, Slow Down’ law this week

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers will be on the lookout Thursday and Friday for Rio Grande Valley drivers who don’t move over or slow down for vehicles stopped along the road with their emergency lights on.

The DPS will carry out additional enforcement of the Move Over/Slow Down law from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday in Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties; from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday in Hidalgo and Cameron counties; and from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday in Willacy County, according to a news release.

The 2003 law requires drivers to get out of the lane closest to the parked emergency vehicle if they are driving on a road with multiple lanes traveling the same distance. If this is not an option, drivers are required to slow down 20 mph below the speed limit.

Emergency vehicles include police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks.

The law was passed to protect emergency responders from being injured or killed by drivers passing too close to them.

Violating the Move Over/Slow Down law can result in up to a $200 fine, which increases to $500 if there is property damage. If drivers cause bodily injury from violating the law, they can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which carries up to 180 days in a jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

DPS carries out statewide enforcement efforts of the law throughout the year.