Bill could increase penalties if drivers don’t slow down and overtake road workers while driving

If someone violates the Slow Down/Move Over law, the current fine is $200. If this law is passed, fines will increase from $500 to over $1,000.

AUSTIN, Texas – The Slow Down and Move Over law was introduced to protect roadside first responders. Although the laws exist, many people do not follow them.

A new bill submitted to the Texas Legislature by Rep. Lynn Stucky House bill 898She wants to change that.

If someone breaks the Slow Down and Move Over law right now, the fine is $200.

If the law is passed during the legislature, the fines will increase from $500 to over $1,000. It would also allow the court to suspend an individual’s driver’s license, increase the penalty for violating a Class A misdemeanor, and allow for a possible prison sentence.

Stucky submitted this bill to raise awareness and encourage drivers to pay more attention to people working on major freeways.

Stucky provided the following statement.

“HB 898 was the first bill I tabled in this session. I’ve always been a strong supporter of our first responders and want to raise awareness of the Move Over, Slow Down law. It is our job to continue to make drivers aware of the law. At the same time, we should not allow reckless drivers to get away with a subpoena when first responders are seriously injured or killed in these roadside incidents.

“My hope is that we pass this law, increase the penalties and then engage in a regional awareness campaign. I want to make sure Texas drivers are safe and responsible when approaching road workers. Ultimately, the goal of HB 898 is to save lives and ensure that our laws provide appropriate punishment when the law is broken.”

On Wednesday, family members of the victims who died because someone didn’t slow down or move went to the Capitol to testify and show their support for the law.

One of the family members who testified was Mitzi Morin, who asked lawmakers to change it. Morin lost her husband in December because a drunk driver drove past her husband while he was working as a tow truck driver. All Morin wants is for this to not happen to anyone.

“For me it’s just a total lack of respect for human life,” said Mitzi Morin. “You know, every day people die from diseases for which there is no cure.

If this law is passed, it will come into force on September 1st.

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