WACO (May 14, 2013)--The Texas Department of Transportation in Waco is applauding the new “Move Over” bill, recently signed into law by Governor Rick Perry.
The new law aims to protect TxDot employees while they’re working on the clock.
Under the new law, when drivers spot TxDot vehicles flashing their emergency lights on the side of the road, they're required to move over to the next lane or reduce their speed by 20 mph.
TxDot Waco District spokesperson Ken Roberts says the new law will provide some new and much needed safety protocols for his department.
"Being out there in the elements, facing and working with the traveling public is extremely dangerous," Roberts said.
“Just like when you see police or another emergency responder on the side of the road, you're required to move away to clear the lane beside them. Now you're required to do that when you see a TxDot when you see those blue and amber lights."
Construction zones have been a hot spot for accidents in Central Texas for months on end.
Last October, a construction worker contracted out by TxDot was killed when an 18 wheeler hit a work truck.
Roberts says he hopes this new law will help tame the dangers of Texas highways.
"When an 18 wheeler passes you on the roadway at 70 mph, the wind can blow you away or it can suck you into the roadway," Roberts said.
“The reality of death is very real.”
The “Move Over” law will go into effect on September 1, 2013.
If drivers fail to move over or slow down when approaching a TxDot vehicle with its emergency lights on, they could be fined up to $500.
The fine could also be doubled if the violation occurs in a work zone.