ASK A COP — How slow is too slow when driving under the speed limit?
Published 12:05 am Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Janet from Port Arthur asks: For the past few weeks we have been talking about speeding and momentarily accelerating above the posted limit. Honestly, speeding hasn’t been a problem for me for many years now. My biggest concern is people tell me I drive too SLOW. If someone is in a rush, my vehicle should not be their mode of transportation, because I don’t like fast speeds. Is it a violation in Texas to drive too slow? Can I be given a ticket for going too slow? In my opinion, it is better to go slow than speed.
Answer: Sounds like you are a safe and conscientious driver. If your driving behavior is like you described — and as long as you are driving in the RIGHT lane — that is totally legal. Texas Transportation Code 545.3363 states “an operator may not drive so slowly as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed in necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.” The normal DRIVING lane is the right lane, the left lane is designated for left turning and passing. Too many times motorists like yourself drive under the posted limit in the left lane and clog up the flow of traffic. Even if you are traveling the speed limit, you should get into the right lane as soon as it is practical and safe. If you are going so slow in the left lane that you are preventing the normal traffic movement, then “YES” you could be cited for IMPEDING TRAFFIC. So keep this in mind if you want to go slower than the normal flow, “STAY RIGHT TO BE RIGHT.”
Darla from Port Neches asks: When are we allowed to pass a school bus after the kids have exited the school bus? The reason for my question is because during the last week of school before Christmas break I observed a school bus let kids off the bus and start moving while the lights were still flashing RED. Was I allowed to pass? I’m not sure.
Answer: We all have noticed in our commute the yellow school buses, and we must adhere to the laws that safeguard the children and drivers of said vehicles. There are three occasions that allow motorists to pass a school bus, and they are (1) the school bus resumes motion, (2) the operator is signaled by the bus driver to proceed or the visual signal-red flashing lights are no longer actuated. In your case, once the school bus started moving, even though the red light were still flashing, you and all other motorists were allowed by state law to PASS. Remember, the law is passing a STOPPED school bus.
Gabriel from Nederland asks: Can someone that’s a passenger of a motorcycle ride without a helmet? I got a ticket from YOU for not having my seat belt on in a car, and the other day I saw a driver and passenger of a motorcycle without helmets. Can you please help me understand?
Answer: There are some laws I don’t quite agree with in the Transportation Code, but MY job is not to agree, it’s to ENFORCE! In Texas, a motorcycle driver and rider are supposed to wear helmets when traveling on the roads UNLESS they have completed a motorcycle safety drivers course or can produce a health insurance coverage. Unless they are under the age of 21, where ALL drivers and riders of motorcycles must have on helmets. The state used to have a minimum of $10,000 health coverage, but this has since been repealed. I understand how you must feel; many motorists have expressed your sentiments. They have health insurance coverage and still are cited for NOT wearing their seat belts. At this point, the state of Texas believes that correct usage of seat belts in your vehicle save lives, but at the same time allows motorcycle riders to be without.
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