Texas And Arkansas Move Over/Slow Down Laws – What Is The Difference?
Move over or slow down for stopped law enforcement or emergency vehicles. Basically, it means just what says. But if you need more information, you've come to the right place.
Back in 2003, Texas passed a much needed motoring law referred to as the "Move/Over - Slow Down" law. It means when you see an official emergency vehicle like a police car, fire truck or ambulance on the side of the roadway conducting official business with their emergency lights on, you are to move over to the next lane to give them plenty of room to do that business safely.
If you cannot move over then you must slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed. Even if that posted speed is 25 miles per hour, you must slow down to 5 mph. If it's 75, then you must slow down to 55 mph. This is not negotiable. If you fail to move over or slow down to the proper speed you are subject to being ticketed, or worse, if you end up causing an accident.
What's different now?
In 2013 the law was amended to also include tow trucks and Texas Department of Transportation vehicles. If you have ever paid attention to truckers though, you will notice they always try to move over from any vehicle on the side of the road just to be safe. It's a good rule of thumb for everyone, really, especially on highways.
In Arkansas, the state added more vehicles in 2015 to include any maintenance vehicle with flashing lights. The other main difference, and this is big one, instead of moving over to just the adjacent lane, you are required to move to the farthest possible lane. Meaning simply that if there are two lanes to the left of the emergency vehicle, you need to move over as far as you can. If you can't then just slow down.
Check out this very well done video made by the Rowlette, Texas Police Department back in 2014.