Central Texas officers enforcing move over law - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Central Texas officers enforcing move over law

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Law enforcement officers from San Antonio to Georgetown are out on the roadways enforcing the state's move over law

State law requires a driver to either move over to another lane or slow to 20 miles per hour below the speed limit if an emergency vehicle is present. Drivers that do not can be ticketed.

Since 1999, 175 officers have been killed across the country while being struck by a vehicle on duty.

One APD officer almost became a statistic.

On October 16, 2005, Detective Rick Stevens had a brush with death on a traffic stop in northwest Austin.

"I was working out there on a Sunday morning off 183 about the 12,300 block," said Stevens.

He'd stopped a driver for speeding.

"All of a sudden I hear squealing tires and I look up and I see this car coming from the retainer wall and shooting right at me. I was like oh, man there was nowhere for me to run, so I jumped on the roof top," he said.

Stevens says the driver held him up until the car passed.

"There were scuff marks going across the hood of the car. That was close," Stevens said.

Stevens learned, the driver of the runaway car had just come from a church service after working an overnight shift.

"He fell asleep at the wheel. When he woke up that's when he saw the police lights and tried to overcorrect himself and lost control," Stevens said.

Stevens says he tried to get away, witnesses pulled over and held him at the scene while Stevens collected his thoughts.

"They ended up arresting him for reckless driving," he said.

The driver of the white car got his ticket dropped.

Dozens of similar incidents can be found online. In Austin, months before Stevens was hit, a mother and child died when the father slammed into a tow truck.

To protect emergency crews and the public the move over law was created. Officers will be ticketing drivers over the next two weeks.

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