(PRWEB) July 13, 2012
A new safety initiative requiring motorists to move over or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle or tow truck driver on the side of the road places more emphasis on safety for those involved in emergency situations on the Texas roadways. Houston personal injury lawyer, Hank Stout, of Sutliff & Stout, PLLC, urges support of this new initiative.
Expansion of Law
During the last legislative session, Texas added tow trucks to its Move Over/Slow Down law, which originally only applied to police, fire, and EMS vehicles that were stopped on roadways with emergency lights flashing. This law specifically requires drivers to move out of the lane that is closest to the stopped vehicle or slow down to 20 miles below the speed limit. “The expansion of this law was necessary because too many tow truck drivers were being killed while trying to help someone with a flat tire or stalled vehicle. Now the law requires all motorists to move over and slow down when a tow truck driver has his emergency lights on and is assisting another motorist,” states Stout, co-founder of the Houston personal injury firm of Sutliff & Stout, PLLC.
According to data recently published by the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas had the second highest number of motor-vehicle fatalities with 3,023 recorded deaths; however, the data does not specifically state how many deaths were as a result of motorists not moving over. “If you find yourself in an emergency situation or an accident, try to move as far off the road as possible and stay in your vehicle until help arrives. While it may seem quicker to try to change the tire yourself, it is safer if you wait for a tow truck to arrive to assist you and to alert other motorists of the situation with the emergency lights on the tow truck,” says Stout. “At the same time, if you see a stranded or disabled vehicle ahead of you, the safest response is to slow down and move over,” he added.
The Department of Public Safety's decision to highlight this law on highway signs and through issuing traffic citations will raise public awareness about the need to slow down and move over. “We particularly appreciate that the DPS has decided to take a more active role in enforcing this new law,” says Stout.
About Sutliff & Stout, PLLC
Sutliff & Stout, PLLC is a civil litigation firm that focuses on personal injury and commercial litigation. The attorneys at Sutliff & Stout, PLLC have worked for some of the largest, most respected litigation firms in the country. This allows Sutliff & Stout, PLLC to offer the experience and expertise expected from a large firm, combined with the level of service and personal attention inherent in a smaller firm.
Sutliff & Stout, PLLC
550 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 530
Houston, TX 77027