EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- The El Paso Police Department’s Traffic Unit and Safe Communities of the Special Services Division has issued its traffic focus for the month of May to be passing certain vehicles.

A) The Texas Penal Code Section 545.157, passing certain vehicles, applies only to the following vehicles:

  • A stationary authorized emergency vehicle using visual signals that meet the requirements of Sec. 547.305 and 547.702.
  • A stationary tow truck using equipment authorized by Sec. 547.305.
  • 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 Sec. 547.105.

B) On approaching a vehicle described by the previous subsection A, an operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:

  • Vacate the lane closest to the vehicle when driving on a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the vehicle.
  • Slow to speed not to exceed: 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25MPH or more, or five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is less than 25MPH.

C) A violation of this section. is:

  • A misdemeanor punishable under Sec. 542.401.
  • A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500 if the violation results in property damage.
  • 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 individual may be prosecuted under either section or under both.

In addition, in this section:

  • “Tow truck” means a vehicle that has been issued a permit under Subchapter C, Chapter 2308, Occupations Code, and is operated by a person licensed under Subchapter D, Chapter 2308, Occupation Code.
  • “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.