Texas Move Over Laws (2023)

Texas Car Accident Attorney

Texas Move Over Laws (Texas Transportation Code, Section 545.157) require all motorists to exit the lane closest to a wrecked or disabled vehicle, stopped emergency vehicle, tow truck or law enforcement vehicle, if they can do so safely and legally. If drivers cannot change lanes safely, they are required to “yield the right of way” by reducing their speed to 20 miles per hour below the speed limit. If the speed limit is below 25 miles per hour, the driver must slow down to five miles per hour.

Updates to Texas Move Over Laws 2023

These laws are intended to protect police, fire, and EMS personnel who are attending the scene of an auto accident. However, the law was also recently updated to include a broader application of the statute.

texas move over laws construction workersConstruction Workers Now Included

While the law previously covered emergency personnel and tow truck drivers, the new expansion in September 2023 includes those working on Texas Department of Transportation road construction and repair crews.

Since motorists should be driving more cautiously in these zones due to conditions such as rough terrain, reduced lanes, and construction equipment, the new changes will give them even more incentive to move over and slow down.

Penalties for Violating Move Over Laws Have Increased

Many violations of the law occur when motorists fail to give space and slow down around a tow truck performing its job. While the fines were steep when the law was enacted in 2003, a recent change in 2023 pushed the penalty for violating Texas Move Over Laws even higher.

Breaking these laws can now lead to motorists being fined between $500 and $1,250.

If a failure to abide by these laws results in property damage, the fine increases up to $500. If violators cause bodily injuries, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in as much as a year of jail time and a fine of $400.

However, if a driver is a repeat offender, the fine for breaking the law rises to between $1,000 and $2,000. If they cause bodily injury, such as striking a police officer, they can be charged with a felony that comes with a penalty of up to two years in jail and a fine reaching $10,000.

Legal Options for Injury Victims in a “Move Over” Accident

It’s important to note that those who are injured as a result of a driver’s failure to obey the law can also pursue a personal injury lawsuit for damages, regardless of whether or not criminal charges are filed. In the event of a death, their families can bring wrongful death lawsuits against those found at fault.

There is no excuse for negligent or reckless driving. Texas Move Over Laws are clear and should always be followed. When a driver harms you by driving negligently, you are entitled to full compensation for all your damages. To successfully secure that financial relief, you need guidance from a skilled and compassionate legal advocate who will protect your rights.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to an irresponsible driver, we can help. Contact the Houston car accident attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C. today for a free case evaluation.

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