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Give thanks for tow trucks and other emergency vehicles this Thanksgiving by moving over or slowing down when they’re stopped on the roadside

November 17, 2023

AUSTIN – Motorists are urged to slow down or move over for stopped emergency vehicles including tow trucks, police cars and fire trucks, as they travel Texas roadways during this Thanksgiving holiday.

Texas law requires drivers to slow down at least 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit or, if able, to change lanes when they’re passing a first responder stopped on the road.

Large numbers of travelers are expected on Texas roads, which means that more breakdowns and traffic stops are likely as well. Drivers should pay attention to what’s happening around them and prepare to react quickly.

“Please slow down or move over when you see emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Our tow truck licensees work hard every day to help people who are stranded on the side of the road. And, like everyone else, they are anxious to return home safely each night,” said Christina Kaiser, acting executive director for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). “Holiday memories are made when family gathers. Do your part to make that happen for all.”

TDLR regulates tow trucks as well as driver education and driving safety courses.

Safety tips for driving this Thanksgiving season (or any day, really):

  • Slow down and pay attention to what you’re doing. If you get tired, pull over in a safe spot and walk around to re-energize.
  • Don’t drink and drive, even a little bit.
  • Designate a (sober) driver.
  • Stay off the mobile phone – this includes texting. Designate a “co-pilot” to oversee the phone while you’re driving so you can concentrate on the task at hand.
  • Stay weather-aware. If it’s snowy or icy, you’ll need to slow down significantly so you don’t slide on unexpected icy spots. If it’s raining heavily, turn around and don’t drown if water is running across the road. Only two feet of rushing water can sweep away a vehicle.
  • Leave plenty of time to get to your destination. Roadways are likely to be crowded. Drive friendly – the Texas way!

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