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January 12, 2004


Slow Down or Change Lanes for Stopped Emergency Vehicles
SB 193 implements new requirements for motorist
approaching stopped emergency vehicles.


SB 193 requires drivers nearing stopped emergency vehicles-with lights activated -to either slow down or change lanes.

The law states a driver must either vacate the lane closest to the stopped emergency vehicle if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction or slow down 20 miles per hour below the speed limit. (If the speed limit is below 25 mph the driver must slow down to 5 mph.)

Emergency vehicles include police, emergency medical service and fire vehicles.

A violation is punishable by a maximum fine of $200. If the violation results in property damage, the maximum fine increases to $500. If the violation results in bodily injury, the offense is enhanced to a Class B misdemeanor.

The new law was passed in the last regular session of the Texas Legislature and went into effect Sept. 1, 2003.