In the interest of public safety, law enforcement and emergency vehicles are toll-exempt on all state toll roads, including the Central Texas Turnpike System (CTTS). The revised policy will allow first responders expedited travel in times of disasters and emergencies.
With the revised toll exemption policy, all state toll roads will have the same policy for law enforcement and emergency vehicles. To facilitate mass evacuations, the policy also includes toll exemptions for the general public in the event of a declared emergency or natural disaster.
The state toll exemption policy was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission on April 26, 2007. Below is an excerpt of the minute order:
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that free passage on TxDOT toll roads shall be granted to the following:
(1) authorized emergency vehicles as defined in Transportation Code, §541.201 (fire department and police vehicles, public or private ambulances, municipal department or public service corporation emergency vehicles, private vehicles of volunteer firefighters or certified emergency medical services employees or volunteers when responding to a fire alarm or medical emergency, industrial emergency response vehicles when responding to an emergency, and vehicles of blood or tissue banks when making deliveries of blood, drugs, medicines, or organs);
(2) marked, recognizable military vehicles, except on the CTTS, where such vehicles may only receive free passage during time of war or other emergency;
(3) department contractors working on the construction, improvement, maintenance, or operation of the toll project or system being traveled; and
(4) any vehicle in the time of a declared emergency or natural disaster, as determined by the executive director of the department.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the policy established in this order does not apply to temporary free passage, not exceeding 24 hours, that is provided for operational, safety, or emergency reasons, as determined by the executive director of the department or his designee, except that, in the case of the CTTS, temporary free passage may only be granted as allowed under the indenture.