Texas considers emergency-vehicle bills

| 3/6/2003

Texas lawmakers are looking at two bills designed to protect highway patrol and other emergency personnel during roadside stops.

Under HB252 and SB193, drivers would be required to maintain a safe distance and reduce speed when approaching an emergency vehicle parked by the road with its lights flashing.

The measures, written by Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, R-Austin, respectively, require drivers to merge into the furthest lane away from an emergency vehicle, if practical, with regard to safety and traffic conditions.

On two-lane highways, drivers must slow down to 20 mph below the speed limit before passing the emergency vehicle.

Violations of these provisions could result in fines up to $200.