Many drivers unaware of ‘Move Over, Slow Down’ law, AAA study finds

Avoiding distractions on the road is crucial during holiday travel season

SAN ANTONIO – State law requires drivers to move over for stopped emergency responders and maintenance vehicles, but many people still don’t do so. The consequences can be deadly.

Nationwide, an emergency responder is killed every other week on average after being struck by a vehicle.

“Drivers who don’t move over or slow down really add another layer of unnecessary risk for individuals trying to do their jobs and just make it home safely at the end of the day,” said Joshua Zuber, a spokesman for AAA Texas.

AAA Texas and the Texas Department of Transportation are reminding drivers of the importance of heeding the state’s move over law.

It requires that drivers must either move over one lane or slow down by 20 miles per hour below the speed limit when approaching an incident on the side of the road where emergency or roadside crews are working.

Drivers could receive a ticket with a fine of up to $200 for not complying with the law. And if there’s a crash that causes an injury to a worker, drivers could face fines of up to $2,000.

A survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that at almost a quarter of drivers reported not being aware of the law.

“Among people who don’t comply with the move over law, about half thought this behavior was either somewhat or not dangerous at all to roadside emergency workers,” Zuber said. “And that shows that people may not realize how risky it is to be along the side of the road right next to fast-moving traffic.”

Texas has led the nation in the number of people struck and killed while outside of a disabled vehicle. AAA Texas encourages drivers to be alert on roadways and look out for vehicles that may be pulled over.

Have questions about transportation or traffic? Let us know, and your answer may be our next story. Find past answers on our traffic page.

About the Author

Samuel King anchors traffic during GMSA and reports on transportation and mobility issues across the San Antonio region. He joined the KSAT 12 news team in 2020 from KUT in Austin. Samuel was born in Queens, spent time growing up in South Alabama and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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