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Killeen: Local Police Plan Special Traffic Enforcement

KILLEEN (September 24, 2014) Killeen police officers with the special operations unit will be set up in areas around the city looking for drivers who are illegally pass emergency vehicles stopped on roadsides.

Texas law states drivers should slow down to 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, or move to another lane if emergency vehicles are parked on the side of the road.

The purpose of the law is “to protect service workers and emergency workers from being killed from car crashes," Department of Public Safety Trooper Harpin Myer said.

Myer says he’s had his share of close calls during traffic stops when passing vehicles nearly hit him.

"A pickup truck went by with large mirrors and nearly hit me at a traffic stop," he said.

"I was completely halfway into the grass or shoulder and apparently the driver fell asleep and swerved onto the shoulder and missed me about two or three inches so that was pretty scary."

Myer said drivers should slow down or move over when the lights are flashing for police vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks.

Anyone caught violating the law could be fined as much as $500, and even more if someone is injured.

The Law

545.157 Passing Authorized Emergency Vehicle.

The Texas State Law states - (a) on approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle using visual signals that meet the requirements of Sections 547.305 and 547.702, an operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:
(1) Vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle when driving on a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle; or
(2) Slow to a speed not to exceed:
(A) 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or more;
(B) Five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is less than 25 miles per hour.
(b) a violation of this section is:
(1) a misdemeanor punishable under Section 542.401;
(2) a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500 if the violation results in property damage: or
(3) a Class B misdemeanor if the violation results in bodily injury.
(c) if conduct constituting an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under section of this code or the Penal Code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or under both sections.

Contact Info

  • Southwest Tow Operators
  • 811 S Central Expwy Suite 200
  • Richardson, Texas, 75080
  • Toll Free: (866) 320-9300

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