Today, Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the Austin Police Department’s Highway Enforcement Command ran a traffic initiative focusing on Texas Transportation Code 545.157, also known as the “Move-Over” law. The law states that vehicles must either move over a lane or slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit, if they pass an emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated. The operation today focused on vehicles not moving over for tow trucks. Research from AAA shows that a tow truck operator is killed once every six days, making it one of the most dangerous jobs.
APD ran the operation from about 8:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and utilized a detective, along with 10 officers working overtime near the 4800 block of E Ben White Blvd WB. A wrecker company donated a tow truck and an out-of-service vehicle for the operation. The goal of the operation was to bring awareness to the law and encourage compliance in the future. This was the seventh operation using tow trucks and only warnings were issued to driver’s violating this law. Other citations were issued for other infractions. There was one vehicle documented driving over 100 mph, passing the tow truck.
Results of the initiative are as follows:
Passing Authorized Emergency Vehicles – 234 warnings
Speeding Violations – 10 citations
Non Hazardous Violations – 9 citations & 2 warnings
Including the six previous initiatives with tow trucks, APD officers have made 1,487 stops for passing tow trucks since the department started these initiatives last summer.