TDLR urges motorists to slow down or move over around emergency vehicles

AUSTIN – Motorists should always slow down or move over when they see emergency vehicles with their lights activated on the roadside, but especially during the Memorial Day weekend.

“First responders and tow truck operators are vulnerable when they’re stopped on the side of the road helping someone. It’s the law that you must decrease your speed by at least 20 miles per hour or move over into another lane to give our fellow Texans some space. Please help the people who are trying to help us all,” said Brian E. Francis, executive director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

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.

“Let’s make sure that our first responders and tow truck operators are as safe as possible – and that all of us get to our destinations and back home again this weekend,” Francis said.

This weekend, local and statewide law enforcement agencies are participating in the “Click It or Ticket It” seatbelt and car seat enforcement project. Everyone traveling in a vehicle must be properly restrained. If not, you could be pulled over and given a ticket. In 2017, 40.1 percent of persons killed in traffic crashes were reported as not restrained when the fatal crash occurred. Use seatbelts and car seats -- every passenger, every trip.

Other safety tips for this weekend’s expected heavy travel flow:

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. Drive friendly!

TDLR provides oversight for a broad range of occupations, businesses, facilities, and equipment in Texas. The agency protects the health and safety of Texans by ensuring they are served by qualified, licensed professionals. Inspections of individuals, businesses, and equipment are done on a regular basis to safeguard the public. Currently, the agency manages 39 business and occupational licensing programs with more than 800,000 licenses across the state.

Visit TDLR’s website for more information and resources. You can search the TDLR licensee database, and also find past violations in which a final order was issued against companies or individuals. TDLR’s Customer Service line is available anytime between 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 1-800-803-9202. TDLR representatives are fluent in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese.

The Big Bend Sentinel

PO Box P
Marfa, TX 79843