Nearly everyone has heard the impressive sound of sirens on fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances. Despite this, many people are unsure exactly how to share the roads with these vehicles. Move Over Laws dictate what actions motorists are required to take when emergency vehicles are on the roads. Knowing and abiding by these laws is incredibly important because they help prevent collisions between first responders and passing motorists.
Texas Move Over Laws
In 2003, Texas passed its own Move Over/Slow Down law that required motorists to slow down when police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles, and tow trucks have their emergency lights activated. It’s important to point out that Move Over Laws also apply to tow trucks. Many motorists know to move over for police cars and ambulances, but fail to treat tow trucks the same.
Specifically, Texas Move Over Laws require motorists to vacate the lane closest to the applicable stopped vehicle if they can do so safely and legally. If a motor vehicle cannot move over, the driver must slow down to 20 miles per hour below the maximum posted speed limit. Violating these laws can lead to motorists being fined up to $200. If failure to abide by these laws results in property damage, the fine increases up to $500. If violators cause bodily injury, they can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in possible jail time and a fine of $2,000.
Keeping First Responders Safe
First responders shouldn’t have to worry about being struck by passing motorists when they are assisting with or responding to emergencies and accidents. Drivers have no right to recklessly endanger the lives of these individuals. When drivers violate Move Over Laws and cause accidents, they should be held accountable.
Move Over Law Accidents
At most, violations of Move Over Law that cause accidents can be punishable as Class B misdemeanors. This does not provide any compensation to victims who could be facing extreme financial hardship from medical bills, lost wages, and other accident related expenses. However, Move Over Law accident victims can seek compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. Contact Dax F. Garza, P.C. today for a free consultation to see how we can help.