Our East Texas first responders put their lives on the line everyday. Sometimes that threat doesn't come from the incident they are responding to. A threat can come from someone who is simply driving down the road but not paying attention to their surroundings or just being impatient behind the wheel. For the videos you are about to see out of Smith County, Texas, you really have to scratch your head and wonder what this driver was thinking leading up to this crash.

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Driving MUST Be Taken Seriously

Driving is something I take very seriously. You are in control of one to two ton machine that is capable of attaining speeds that can at the bare minimum seriously maim a human being to the extreme worst of taking a life. I have zero tolerance for people who speed, drive erratically, run red lights, tailgate or ignore any other traffic law on the books. If you don't have the self discipline to obey traffic laws, you shouldn't be behind the wheel. Period.

Watching Out for First Responders

First responders in East Texas have the big responsibility of arriving to the scene of an accident. They will have to position themselves in a weird manner sometimes on the roadway to properly carry out their duty. That means that you who are approaching such an accident MUST slow down and move over to an adjacent lane to safely pass the accident to keep those who are working the accident safe. That is the law in Texas (Texas Transportation Code Section 545.157).

What was this driver thinking?

Earlier this month in Smith County, a fire truck was hit from behind by an 18 wheeler while working the scene of an accident. Recently, Smith County ESD2 released video of this accident. As I watch the video, I am really scratching my head wondering what this driver was thinking. You can see vehicles obeying the law by slowing down and moving over. For some reason, this driver thought that he needed to switch lanes and try to pass the 18 wheeler in front of him. The judgement of this driver must really be put into question.

There is no sound on these videos.

House Bill 898

Luckily, no one was seriously injured as a result of this accident. Recently, the Texas House passed HB898 which increases the penalty if you violate the "Move Over, Slow Down" law. A first offense could result in a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $1,250. A second offense could bring a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $2,000. Jail time could also be a possibility as could a six month suspension of a driver's license depending on certain circumstances.

My Plea to You as a Fellow Driver

All I ask is that you take your driving seriously and remove the mindset that the other drivers on the road don't matter to you. They do and your actions behind the wheel could turn deadly because of your bad attitude. Stop driving your truck like its a Honda Civic, stop driving your Honda Civic like you're at Texas Motor Speedway and obey the traffic laws no matter if a cop is around or not. The roads will be safer to drive and your commute will be less of a headache.

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