Drivers traveling this summer should remember that state law requires them to slow down or move over when tow trucks and other emergency vehicles – police, fire, EMS and highway response trucks – are stopped on the side of the road with their lights activated.
Texas traffic laws require drivers to leave the lane closest to the emergency vehicles stopped on the road (if the road has more than one lane traveling in the same direction) OR to slow down at least 20 miles per hour below the speed limit.
“Each year in Texas, tow truck operators, police officers and other emergency works are injured or killed while they’re working on the side of the road, helping someone. We all need to make sure we help these highway heroes by obeying traffic laws,” said Brian E. Francis, executive director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
“At the end of the day, we all want to get back home safely.”
TDLR regulates the towing industry as well as the Driver Education and Safety program.
Safety tips for driving this summer:
• Slow down and pay attention to what you’re doing. If you get tired, pull over in a safe spot and walk around to re-energize;
• Don’t drink and drive, even a little bit;
• Designate a (sober) driver;
• Stay off the mobile phone – this includes texting. Designate a “co-pilot” to oversee the phone while you’re driving so you can concentrate on the task at hand;
• Stay weather-aware. We’re not expecting bad weather, but this is Texas and you never know, and;
• Leave plenty of time to get to your destination. Roadways are likely to be crowded. Drive friendly – the Texas way.
TDLR provides regulatory oversight for a broad range of occupations, businesses, facilities, and equipment in Texas. The agency protects the health and safety of Texans by ensuring they are served by qualified, licensed professionals. Inspections of individuals, businesses, and equipment are done on a regular basis to safeguard the public. Currently, the agency regulates 40 business and occupational licensing programs with more than 1,000,000 licensees across the state.
Visit TDLR’s website for more information and resources. You can search the TDLR licensee database, and also find past violations in which a final order was issued against companies or individuals. TDLR’s Customer Service line is available anytime between 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 1-800-803-9202. TDLR representatives are fluent in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.