AUSTIN, Texas — This week Texas roads will be even more crowded with holiday travelers. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is asking all Texans to remember to slow down or move over if you see emergency vehicles – police, fire, EMS, highway response trucks and tow trucks – with their lights activated on the roadside.
Texas traffic laws require drivers to leave the lane closest to the vehicles stopped on the road (if the road has more than one lane traveling in the same direction) OR slow down at least 20 miles per hour below the speed limit.
Driver safety is important to TDLR because we regulate the Driver Education and Safety program, which oversees Texas driver education, parent-taught driver education and the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Program. We also license tow truck companies and drivers, who you may need to call on if you experience trouble on the road.
Several Texas tow truck operators and emergency workers have been either injured or killed this year while stopped to help motorists who have broken down on the side of the road. Other safety tips for driving this weekend:
- 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.
- Designate a (sober) driver. Don’t drink and drive, even a little bit.
- Stay off the mobile phone – this includes texting. Designate a “co-pilot” to be in charge of 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. If it’s rainy, slow down.
- Leave plenty of time to get to your destination. Roadways are likely to be crowded.