Move Over or Slow Down Law Expanded

By: David Norris Email
By: David Norris Email

BRYAN, Texas For decades, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) crews have braved Texas weather and motorists to help make driving conditions a little better. While state lawmakers can't do much about the elements, as of Sept. 1, they are doing something about motorists.

The Move Over or Slow Down law now extends to TxDOT workers. If you see a TxDOT crew working, you're required by state law to move over or slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.

The law was first passed by Texas lawmakers several years ago for emergency responders, and was later expanded to include tow-truck drivers. The latest expansion to the law has TxDOT officials hopeful.

Bob Colwell with TxDot said over the years, dozens of workers have been killed by motorists.

"If it saves just one life, it's worth it," said Colwell.

DPS Trooper Jimmy Morgan said he's glad to see the law expanded.

"The bottom line is, their work is to make it safer out here for us," said Morgan. "So that's what they're trying to do, and we need to make it safe for them to do their job."

Morgan said to be careful when trying to obey the law. He said if you're on a two-lane road, it's against the law to move over into the oncoming lane.

"In that case, you'd have two violations," Morgan said. "Failure to slow for the vehicles on the roadway, and being on the wrong side of the road."

Law enforcement officers are out enforcing the law now, and Morgan said ignorance of the law won't get you out of a ticket.

One way to recognize a TxDOT crew is to look for the overhead flashing blue or amber lights. On roads with posted speed limits of 25 miles per hour or less, drivers must slow down to just 5 miles per hour.

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