How it works: Drivers must move over or slow down to pass emergency vehicles

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The Texas Department of Public Safety helps enforce the Move Over/Slow Down law to protect certain vehicles stopped on the side of the road.

The law passed in 2003 requires 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.

Violations can result in a fine of up to $200, or $500 with property damage. The law includes more severe penalties, including jail time, if someone gets hurt, according to the law.

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Emily Davis
Emily graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in multi-platform journalism and a minor in criminal justice in Spring 2018. During her studies, Emily worked as an editor and reporter at The Houstonian, SHSU's local newspaper. Upon graduation, she began an editorial internship at Community Impact Newspaper in DFW, where she was then hired as Community Impact's first McKinney reporter in August. Three fun facts about Emily: 1.) She is a lover of mystery novels, movies, TV shows and podcasts. 2.) She has an 11-year-old, 3-pound Pomeranian. 3.) She loves lacrosse, and was captain and then coach of her high school team.
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