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HB 1249 amends Health and Safety Code relating to the use of vehicles that share similar exterior markings to emergency medical service vehicles.
The bill would prohibit the operation of motor vehicles that resembles an emergency medical services vehicle unless the vehicle is being used for emergency medical services or for other legitimate governmental functions.
The bill would create a criminal offense of a Class C misdemeanor for violators. Classic motor vehicles and travel trailers, and other certain exhibition vehicles with specialty license plates would be exempt from the regulation.
The authority to safeguard the external indicators of emergency vehicles that operate for legitimate government functions is within the responsibility of the government. Emergency medical providers are vested with certain authority, privileges, and exemptions to laws that people are otherwise required to follow. Using a vehicle that is marked deceptively similar to an emergency vehicle would enable a person to impersonate emergency services personnel either to benefit themselves by gaining access to privileges or even for nefarious purposes. This bill promotes limited government by helping to prevent the impersonation of people who are either officers of government or on whom privileges and authority have been conferred by the government. For these reasons we support HB 1249.