Subject: New Traffic law
Let my misfortune be a lesson for you. This is a long
story, but a
must read. This really happened to me on 12/10/03.
Yesterday, I was driving into town along the Southwest
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
Bissonnett/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
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
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 just over 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
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
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.
From the TX DPS website http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/public_information/pr081903b.htm
, the law reads:
SB 193 requires drivers nearing a stopped emergency
vehicle that has lights activated,
unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, to:
Vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle, if the highway has two
more lanes traveling the direction of the emergency vehicle; or
Slow to a speed not more than 20 miles per hour (mph) less than the
speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 mph or more; or
Slow to a speed not more than five mph when the posted speed limit is
A violation is a punishable by a maximum fine of $200. If the violation
in property damage, the maximum fine increases to $500. If the violation
results in bodily injury, the offense is enhanced to a Class B