New Texas Law (No BS) | FerrariChat

New Texas Law (No BS)

Discussion in 'Texas' started by F328 BobD, Jan 13, 2004.

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  1. F328 BobD

    F328 BobD Formula 3

    Mar 17, 2001
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    The message below is from the Metroplex Mini forum... BTW, I was heading eastbound on 190 on Sunday morning in Carrollton. There was one cop with a radar gun and at least 7 other copcars lined up at the next entry ramp (between Josey and Marsh Lane) waiting to chase down speeders. And two others already had people pulled over.

    Anyway, this takes that scenario one step further... again, this is from the Mini forum:
    Subject: Must Read for Texas Drivers

    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, and writing a ticket.
    I thought, "Man this is 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, another HPD officer had someone else
    pulled over to write a ticket and literally in front of that traffic stop
    was another HPD officer (yes we are up to 4 HPD 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.
    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,
    Here's 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.

    SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the Move Over Act.
    SECTION 2. Subchapter D, Chapter 545, Transportation Code, is amended by
    adding Section 545.157 to read as follows: Sec. 545.157. PASSING
    (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
  2. ty (360mode)

    ty (360mode) Formula Junior

    Sep 25, 2002
    Full Name:

    yet another reason to join the "Houston 100 Club" and display that sticker prominently.
  3. WJHMH

    WJHMH Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2001
    Panther City, Texas
    Full Name:
    Thank God I'm getting out of there.
  4. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
    Full Name:
    And coming up to DFW where 70 is impeading the flow of traffic
  5. 4Webers

    4Webers Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2003
    Full Name:
    Since when is a cop giving a ticket an "emergency vehicle"? Someone should fight this "interpretation" of the law.
  6. Bryan

    Bryan Formula 3

    Under TX law, any police car is an "emergency vehicle", regardless of what the driver is doing.

    Section 541.201 of the Transportation Code. In pertinent part, 541.201 states ----------. In this subtitle: (1)“Authorized emergency vehicle” means:

    (A)a fire department or police vehicle.

    (B)a public or private ambulance operated by a person who has been issued a license by the Texas Department of Health;

    (C)a municipal department of public service corporation emergency vehicle that has been designated or authorized by the governing body of a municipality;

    (D)a private vehicle of a volunteer firefighter or a certified emergency medical services employee or volunteer when responding to a fire alarm or medical emergency;

    (E)an industrial emergency response vehicle, including an industrial ambulance, when responding to an emergency, but only if the vehicle is operated in compliance with criteria in effect September 1, 1989, and established by the Texas Industrial Fire Training Board of the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshall’s Association of Texas; or

    (F)a vehicle of a blood bank or tissue bank, accredited or approved under laws of this State or the United States, when making emergency deliveries of blood, drugs, medicines, or organs................
  7. F328 BobD

    F328 BobD Formula 3

    Mar 17, 2001
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    I have no problem slowing down, attempting to switch lanes and using caution around ambulances, fire trucks or police cars. This is just common sense. But for a cop to have a radar gun and intentially nail people like this poor guy under some new law just doesn't seem right. This is obviously meant to do nothing more than generate revenue for the municipality.

    It reminds me of cops who shoot radar at the bottoms of hills... he11, we only have 6 hills in the entire metroplex... we're not used to going down hills around here!!! :)
  8. Bryan

    Bryan Formula 3

    and three of them are landfills!!
  9. Gregg Willhoit

    Nov 1, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Gregg Willhoit
    Try one of these.
  10. wax

    wax Five Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 20, 2003
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    "SECTION 2. 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"

    What are the "visual signals" that meet the requirements of 547.305 and 547.702?

    In other words: Do Porky's lights need to be on?
  11. Phildo

    Phildo Karting

    Aug 23, 2002
    There was an item on the Austin news last night about this. They said this new law is being heavily enforced in Houston and DFW, but not yet Austin - per the APD.
    That's the good news. the bad news is that APD said they intend to start enforcing it beginning next month.
    Just glad I haven't yet heard of anyone getting a ticket becuase of their dealer license plate frame. Apparently there's also a new law that nothing on the plate can be obscurred, which technically makes a license plate frame illegal.
    A final note- in the report, an APD spokesperson (how's that for PC!) said they would also start enforcing the law about requiring a front plate on cars.

    Guess revenue must be down......
  12. 4Webers

    4Webers Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2003
    Full Name:
    Re: the license plate frames, as I heard it explained, as long as the word 'Texas' wasn't partially covered, you should be Ok. I took all of mine off just to be safe...

    The front plate is what they aim their laser guns at (very reflective), so it makes sense that they will start to crack down on that as laser guns become more commonplace.

    I too do my best to slow down or move over, but 20 mph just seems extreme. That's just asking to get rear-ended around here.
  13. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
    Full Name:
    Too true, I have almost given up on trying to stop when the light goes yellow... Taking life into hands as Motorcycleist in a land of SUV's
  14. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    N.Richland Hills, Tx
    Full Name:
    James Dunne

    Nearly every Saturday morning, at the Precinct Line walkover spanning 183 (airport freeway) there is a local police officer in the walkover with a radar gun and four to six patrol cars lined up at the next onramp. They are usually working westbound traffic but will occasionally jump over and hit the eastbound side.

    Just last week ,as I was on my way eastbound toward work, a ricer cut me off and flipped me off as he did so. I was about to put my car up his tailpipe when I noticed that the police were working our lane and the officer was just pointing his radar gun in our direction. I hit my brakes in time but the ricer continued to cut in an out of traffic while accelerating. He must have been doing about 80 mph when he went under the walkover. He he he!!! In about half a mile he was getting to present his story to the officers in the two patrol cars that had pulled him over. This is one time that justice has proven itself right.............
  15. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
    Full Name:
    Oddly, now that you work for a german car company, there is a word in German for taking guilty pleasure in the suffering of others, That poor ricer HAHAHAHAAHA
  16. TC (Houston)

    TC (Houston) Formula Junior

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hells yeah.

    FWIW, I always try to move over a lane when there's an occupied car parked on the shoulder for whatever reason.
  17. Frissen

    Frissen Formula Junior

    Dec 8, 2003
    Full Name:
    Frissen Gutierrez
    Well good luck trying to slowdown on H's freeways, this is an accident waiting to happen or should I say legislated to happen. What are these idiot legistaltors thinking, do they even drive.

    Some time I'm driving at say 75 next to a 2.5 ton SUV, and I'm thinking if heres is an emergency my little 1,200 kgs Porsche has no problem braking with 4 pot Brembos on all 4 corners but what about that huge SUV?

    Simply insane, if you see any emergency vehicle on the side of the road start looking backwards, forwards, sideways the manage to slowdown 20 mph and keep the abusive law enforcement officers happy, insane.

    I'm pissed :(
  18. Bryan

    Bryan Formula 3

    Their logic is that on a multi-lane highway, you should be able to move over a lane, then you can maintain speed. If you can't move over, then traffic is too heavy to be driving 75 anyway...

    Of course, with all the courteous drivers in Houston, anyone of them will let you in...
  19. 1992F40

    1992F40 Formula Junior

    Apr 11, 2002
    Ran across this last week, but luckily at was at a stop light. My wife's co-worker got pulled over for the same thing. For school zones, I think you have to slow down to 5mph, but I am not sure.
  20. 92_348ts

    92_348ts Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2002
    Boise, Idaho
    Full Name:
    Usually, I try to stay out of any heated debates related to law enforcement. Probably because I am a cop myself (no, not from Texas). However, new law or not, I think it's BS that he actually cited you for the infraction.

    Just my $.02

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