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See an Emergency Vehicle? Move Over, or Get Pulled Over

Law enforcement agencies across Central Texas are cracking down on drivers who ignore the state’s “move over” law.

When emergency responders are stopped on the roadway, drivers are required to move over a lane to pass or to slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. If the speed limit is below 25 mph, drivers are required to slow to 5 mph.

For the next three weeks, Austin Police Department officers and law enforcement officers from at 20 other departments say they will will target drivers who illegally pass emergency vehicles.

Officials say it’s a matter of safety. From 1999 to 2011, 175 officers across the country have been killed after being struck by a vehicle.

"Move over" laws are intended to protect not only police, fire and EMS crews but also tow truck drivers and transportation workers. According to, every state in the country except Hawaii and the District of Columbia have such laws.

The crackdown on violators begins today, Oct. 15, and runs through Nov. 2.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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