How it works: Passing emergency vehicles in Texas

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Drivers must move over or slow down to pass stopped emergency vehicles

The Texas Department of Public Safety helps enforce the Move Over/Slow Down law requiring drivers to either move over a lane or slow down for vehicles stopped on the side of the road with activated emergency lights. Those include police, fire, emergency medical services, DPS troopers and tow trucks, according to the law.

If the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction, drivers must vacate the lane closest to stopped vehicles. If drivers do not have an opportunity to change lanes, they must slow down to 20 mph below the speed limit when passing stopped vehicles, the law states.

Last year, more than 41,000 warnings and citations were issued for violations of the law, according to DPS.

DPS said violations can result in a fine of up to $200, or $500 with property damage. The law also includes more severe penalties, such as jail time, if someone gets hurt.

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  1. John Ostrander

    I didn’t know DPS was capable of giving out warnings.
    I was given two tickets for speeding ( both with no other vehicles in the vicinity).
    I always move over one lane when possible even if it’s a civilian vehicle.
    Both times I got tickets they were for speeding.
    Both were in a rural area with no other traffic present. One was given by a trooper in training. I told him I didn’t think I was going over the limit. He said I was exceeding it by seven miles per. I asked if he could give me a break because I was a veteran on a fixed income. I might as well have been speaking Greek.

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