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Bill Threatens Fine For Not Slowing Down For Tow Trucks

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News
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A car is towed from Main Street in The Colony after two consecutive hit-and-run accidents. (Photo by Jack Fink, CBS 11 News)

A car is towed from Main Street in The Colony after two consecutive hit-and-run accidents. (Photo by Jack Fink, CBS 11 News)

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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Drivers could face new penalties for passing tow trucks on the highways if they don’t slow down or change lanes under a new bill passed in the state House.

It’s the law to already do that for police cars, fire trucks and ambulances.

“Freeways are pretty much the most dangerous,” said Jody Sebastian with Cowboy Towing in Arlington. “I’ve had close calls where I’m jumping on the bed of the truck or getting behind guard rails.”

He thinks the bill, HB378, is long overdue.

The State House passed it Wednesday. Drivers will face a steep fine if they don’t clear the way for a wrecker if the bill is passed out of the Senate.

“No one sees us as a first responder, they only see us as repo guys out there to steal cars,” Sebastian said. “We are out there to service the public, clean-up the streets and keep the motorist moving.”

The two trucks would have to have their emergency lights flashing.

“I think it’s a joke, it’s not an emergency vehicle,” said driver Frank Randolph.

While Trine Brown said, “I guess I would move over.”

Others worry about bandit towers lurking on the highways and racing to a scene, trying to get there first for the tow.

Sam Gonzalez wonders if he has to slow down or move over for every one of those tow trucks.

“Anyone with a flashing light on the side of the road will have to,” Sebastian said.

Drivers who violate the law could face a fine of up to $200.

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