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Austin Police Issue Nearly 200 Warnings To 'Move Over' Scofflaws (TX)


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Initiative along 4800 block of East Ben White Boulevard to enforce a traffic code provision illustrated how most ignore the law.


AUSTIN, TX — Some Austin residents haven't gotten the message on the state's "Move Over" law, as illustrated by a recent police enforcement initiative during which nearly 200 warnings were issued to drivers not exercising caution around tow trucks on the road.


The Highway Enforcement Command unit of the Austin Police Department conducted the initiative along the 4800 block of East Ben White Boulevard on Wednesday, Aug. 14, to enforce a traffic code provision known informally as the "Move Over" law stipulating that drivers either move over a lane or slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit if they pass an emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated.


The operation focused on vehicles not moving over for tow trucks which are classified as emergency vehicles, police explained. Research from AAA shows that a tow truck operator is killed once every six days, making it one of the most dangerous jobs.


The police operation ran from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., and utilized a highway enforcement detective along with eight officers working overtime. APD partnered with Southside Towing who donated a tow truck and an out-of-service vehicle for the operation, police said. The goal of the operation was to bring awareness to the law and encourage compliance in the future — the third such initiative using tow trucks.


Given the educational aim of the effort, police noted, only warnings were issued to driver's violating this law. However, police added, citations were issued for other infractions. During the initiative, officers

noticed that almost all of the drivers disregarded the tow truck on the side of the road,maintaining the same speed without moving over.



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