Towing Operators and the Texas Move Over Law

by | Aug 23, 2017 | Uncategorized

We wrote about the Texas Move Over Law two years ago and wanted to provide more information about this important law which was first enacted in 2003. It was initially implemented to keep law enforcement officers and first responders safe as they work accidents and provide public safety on Texas roads and highways. It has since been amended to include tow truck drivers and Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT)  workers. However, even though the law has been in place for almost fifteen years in Texas, and drivers who fail to abide by the law can face hefty fines, accidents are still occurring.

There are now Move Over Laws in all fifty states, but statistics show that, on average, six to eight fire rescue and EMS workers are killed while working in, or near, moving traffic each year while ten to twelve police officers are killed. This information was provided by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, a national advisory group of public safety and transportation experts. Unfortunately, the statistics for tow truck operators is much more grim.

While people are now more aware of the Move Over Law as it applies to public safety vehicles and even Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) employees, many are still not aware that the law applies to tow truck operators as well.

The International Towing and Recovery Museum has a “Wall of the Fallen” which, unfortunately, as of September last year, has over 400 individuals killed while  serving in the towing and road service industry. According to Jeffrey Godwin, chair of the “Wall of the Fallen” and its survivor fund, one towing operator dies every six days while on the job.

Reduce SpeedThe law is found within Texas Transportation Code – TRANSP § 545.157. Passing Certain Vehicles
and reads as follows:

“(a) This section applies only to the following vehicles:
(1) a stationary authorized emergency vehicle using visual signals that meet the requirements of Sections 547.305 and 547.702;
(2) a stationary tow truck using equipment authorized by Section 547.305(d);  and
(3) a Texas Department of Transportation vehicle not separated from the roadway by a traffic control channelizing device and using visual signals that comply with the standards and specifications adopted under Section 547.105.
(b) On approaching a vehicle described by Subsection (a), an operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:
(1) vacate the lane closest to the vehicle when driving on a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the 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.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) In this section:
(1) “Tow truck” means a vehicle that:
(A) has been issued a permit under Subchapter C, Chapter 2308, Occupations Code;  and
(B) is operated by a person licensed under Subchapter D, Chapter 2308, Occupations Code.

(2) “Traffic control channelizing device” means equipment used to warn and alert drivers of conditions created by work activities in or near the traveled way, to protect workers in a temporary traffic control zone, and to guide drivers and pedestrians safely.  The term includes a traffic cone, tubular marker, vertical panel, drum, barricade, temporary raised island, concrete or cable barrier, guardrail, or channelizer.”

Public Awareness is Key

Safety experts agree that public awareness of the Move Over Law is imperative to lowering the statistics of those injured or killed. Sometimes, drivers distracted by technology can be the cause of injuries and deaths on the nation’s roadways. So, law enforcement officials in many states are using that same technology, through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, to get the word out about the Move Over Law.

If you are reading this from Titan Towing’s Facebook page or the Titan Towing website, please share it to make others more aware of the law and help keep our driver’s safe.

Contact

dispatch@titantowing.net

Address

Main Office:
326 N Bowen Rd #6
Arlington, Texas 76012

Impound Lot:
5213 Kaltenbrun Road
Fort Worth, Texas 76119

The 7th Most Dangerous Job in America

During the early morning hours of January 4th, 2019, tow truck driver Keith Holt, 46, was struck and killed in a hit-and-run collision on the shoulder of I-20. He was assisting a woman with a stalled vehicle on the side of the highway, the standard procedure for tow truck drivers, when the white Nissan Altima swerved into the right lane shoulder. This workplace condition was common for Holt, and is a regular work environment for a tow truck operator; a job more dangerous than one might think.

Texas Move-Over Law: Keeping Tow Truck Operators Safe

For Titan Towing drivers, safety is the highest priority as they work in precarious situations to move vehicles out of traffic on busy Dallas-Fort Worth freeways. The tow truck operators depend on other drivers to follow laws that keep them, and other motorists, safe.

Titan Does More Than Towing

If an accident occurs on the roadway, most people know that a tow truck driver can help by moving a damaged vehicle off the road or to another location. However, full-service professionals like Titan Towing do much more.

How to Choose a Good Towing Company

There are lots of towing companies in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Some are full-service, like Titan Towing,while others only do tows. No matter what type of service you need, there are some important factors to consider when choosing a towing company.

Drowsy Drivers After Daylight Saving Time

There are certain times of year when tow truck drivers are busier and one of those times has to do with time itself. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), forty percent more drivers are involved in automobile accidents during Daylight Saving Time which results in about 100,000 more accidents across the country. With many more drivers on the road, heavily populated areas such as Arlington, Dallas, and Fort Worth, can make the demand for a tow truck go up each spring and fall when Daylight Saving Time occurs.

Avoid the Need for a Tow During the Winter Months

Winter weather is just around the corner in DFW bringing the possibility of snow, ice, and increased calls to Titan Towing. During prior winters, we have seen how severe weather can create an unintended ice rink on the roadways of Fort Worth, Arlington, the Mid-Cities, and everywhere in-between. However, that does not mean you will be the one who may need a tow if you take some simple precautions.

One Hundred Years of Tow Truck History

There are lots of people in history that helped shaped the world we live in today. Many of them were inventors like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison who saw a need for improvement and created inventions to change a situation for the better. One such inventor, not as well known as Franklin and Edison, but just as important nonetheless was Ernest Holmes, Sr.

Your Vehicle’s Towing Capacity

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. It’s the time of year when people get out on the road to enjoy a vacation or to take advantage of the warmer weather for the weekend. For many in the DFW area, this involves everything from visiting the area lakes, to camping, to car shows, and rodeos. Many of these activities include towing a boat, trailer, camper, or other recreational vehicles. So, it’s always important to know your vehicle’s towing capacity.

Stay Safe While Waiting for a Tow

Some safety tips that many people are aware of while waiting for a tow truck to arrive are to turn on their hazard lights and to make sure their vehicle is out of the way of traffic. There are also several other precautions for drivers in the Dallas Fort Worth area that can ensure you are doing everything possible to keep yourself out of harm’s way until help arrives.

Basic Car Maintenance

There are many reasons someone may need to call a towing company, but having a car break down on the side of the road for poor maintenance should not be one of them. Keeping your car in good running condition is not difficult when you follow a simple schedule and a few basic tips.