State and local police were seen across Bell County, including Killeen and Harker Heights, Thursday morning pulling commuters over and appearing to issue 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 DPS Sgt. David Roberts.
Troopers and local police departments were on major roads throughout the county, Roberts said.
The initiative lasted six hours, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Roberts said. It’s 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.
Before 8 a.m. Thursday, one DPS trooper was seen pulling over a driver in Nolanville on U.S. 190/Interstate 14; and another DPS trooper and several Harker Heights police were pulling over drivers on U.S. 190/Interstate 14.
Around 9 a.m., Several Killeen police officers had pulled over cars both on U.S. 190/Interstate 14 and the feeder road adjacent to it, and a DPS officer had pulled someone over across from Rooms To Go in Harker Heights.
As of late Thursday, Roberts said he did not have the number of citations issued in Bell County.
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.