One law that often gets looked over or forgotten, especially here in Deep East Texas, is the "Move Over/Slow Down Law". If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you should probably keep reading so that you can avoid a ticket from DPS...

This was a law that was passed back in 2003. Specifically, the law says that drivers can either:

  • Vacate the lane closest to the applicable vehicles stopped on the side of the road (if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction) or
  • Slow down to 20 mph below the speed limit. (If the speed limit is below 25 mph, the driver must slow down to 5 mph)

There is a specific notice that goes with the law as well: "Drivers should only move over if they can do so safely and legally; otherwise, they should slow down."

So many people often forget this law, putting not only DPS, but also firefighters, EMS responders, TXDOT workers, tow trucks, and other emergency personnel at risk. In an attempt to cut down on the risk, DPS is ramping up the enforcement of the Move Over/Slow Down law throughout the year, with several operations taking place in July.

If you fail to follow this law, the fines get pretty expensive. For simply violating the law, the fine is $200. That price goes up to $500 if there is property damage. If you violate the law, and cause bodily injury, you could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which results in possible jail time and a fine of up to $2000.

However, all these things can be avoided if you just follow the law in the first place.