Move over law

A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper pulls over a commuter around 9 a.m. Thursday morning on U.S. Highway 190/Interstate 35.

Many motorists were pulled over by various law enforcement agencies in a detail meant to enforce the move over/slow down law Thursday.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Dave Roberts said that 70 citations and 16 warnings were issued between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday.

State and local police were seen across Bell County, including Killeen and Harker Heights, Thursday morning pulling commuters over and issuing traffic tickets.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is enforcing the state’s move over/slow down law in a traffic detail that started Thursday, according to a news release from Roberts.

Troopers and local police departments were on major roads throughout the county, Roberts said.

The initiative is part of a statewide push, so travelers who plan to go anywhere else in Texas can expect the same thing “for the near future,” Roberts said.

The law states that a driver must either leave the lane closest to the vehicles stopped on the side of the road 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.

Drivers should only move over if they can do so safely and legally, Roberts said.

Violations of the law can result in a fine of up to $200; the fine increases to $500 if there is property damage. If violators cause bodily injury, they can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, resulting in possible jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000.

Periodic enforcement planned by troopers will be carried out throughout the year, with “several operations” planned in February, according to DPS.

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