Emergency-vehicle bill headed to Texas governor

| Tuesday, June 10, 2003

A bill designed to protect highway patrol and other emergency personnel during roadside stops in Texas has been sent to the governor.

The measure, which passed the House May 24, previously passed the Senate.

Under 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.

Written by Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin, the bill requires 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. Violators could be fined up to $500.

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