Texas considers emergency-vehicle bills

| Thursday, March 06, 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.