Thanks to Doc for Sharing This Tip!!!
Yesterday, I was driving into town along the Southwest Freeway around 12:30 PM. I was in the far left lane doing the posted speed limit of 65 and going with the flow of traffic. When I got over the Bissonnet/Braeswood overpass, there was an HPD squad car parked on the left shoulder with the officer standing out in front of his vehicle pointing his radar gun at oncoming cars. Your inclination automatically tells you to slow down, whether you were speeding or not. Not a 1/2 mile down the freeway, there was another HPD officer that had someone pulled over on the left shoulder giving the person a ticket.
I thought, man this was an obvious speed trap and kept on going. I had slowed down to around 60 at that point as now the posted speed limit was 60. About a mile up the road, around Gessner, another HPD officer had someone else pulled over to give them a ticket and literally in front of that traffic stop was another HPD officer (yes we are up to 4 cop cars now in about a mile) walking around to the front of his car. Just as I was approaching him, he pointed his radar gun at me and signaled for me to pull over. I was shocked, because I know that I was going the posted speed limit (60) as I immediately looked at my speedometer.
The officer came to my window and said "do you know how fast you were going?" I said yes, I was going 60. He said "you were doing 58" and he showed me his radar gun, which read 58. I said okay. He said "you failed to slow your speed down by 20 MPH or move over to the adjacent lane when an emergency vehicle was stopped in the flow of traffic." I said, I did not know that was a law (of course that is never a defense) and he said it was and asked for my license. I offered that and my concealed handgun license to him (as I am required by law, being a CHL carrier), as well as the knowledge that I was carrying my pistol under the rear passenger seat. The officer wrote me a ticket that carries a $200 maximum fine for this infraction. Come to find out, this is a new state law as of September 1, 2003.
Below is the actual text of the new statute (SB 193, now codified as 545.157.
Passing Authorized Emergency Vehicle: AN ACT relating to vehicles passing certain stationary emergency vehicles on a highway; providing a penalty. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
This Act may be cited as the Move Over Act.
Subchapter D, Chapter 545, Transportation Code, is amended by adding Section 545.157 to read as follows: Sec. 545.157. PASSING AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE. (a) On approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle using visual signals that meet the requirements of Sections 547.305 and 547.702, an operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall: (1) vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle when driving on a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle; or (2) slow to a speed not to exceed: (A) 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or more; or (B) five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is less than 25 miles per hour. (b) A violation of this section is: (1) a misdemeanor punishable under Section 542.401; (2) a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500 if the violation results in property damage; or (3) a Class B misdemeanor if the violation results in bodily injury. (c) If conduct constituting an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under another section of this code or the Penal Code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or under both sections.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2003