Move Over/Slow Down law takes effect Sept.1st

Starting September 1st, Texas drivers will be expected to move over or slow down for stopped Texas Department of Transportation vehicles with overhead flashing blue or amber lights. It's part of new requirements in the state's "Move Over/Slow Down" law that currently protects first responders and tow truck drivers who are assisting the driving public.

Under the new law, drivers who are approaching a stopped TxDOT vehicle with activated flashing blue or amber lights have two choices: The best thing to do is to change lanes and move out of the lane closest to the TxDOT vehicle. If it's not possible to safely change lanes, you must reduce your speed to 20 miles an hour below the posted limit. The new requirements are designed to protect TxDOT workers who are on the road maintaining the state's highways by fixing signs, patching pot holes or picking up debris. These workers are within feet of fast-moving vehicles and are sometimes not separated from traffic by concrete structures or other barriers. Violators can be fined up to $2,000.

Since 1938, more than 100 TxDOT employees working in construction areas have been struck and killed by motorists. As recently as June, a TxDOT employee who was part of a road crew replacing a highway exit sign was struck and killed by a motorist in El Paso.