When you see a tow operator up close, you are most likely in need of help, broken down in the traffic lane or on the side of the road. The next time you encounter one of these individuals, take a close look… you will notice that they are a special breed that is one part cowboy and two parts Good Samaritan. Increasingly though, the work they do puts them at risk of serious injury or death. Tow operators hold one of America’s most dangerous jobs.
Move over laws
Move over laws are aimed at protecting emergency responders working along the roadside. Forty-nine U.S. states have passed move over laws, which were promoted in response to increasing roadside fatalities in the line of duty. The law require drivers, upon noticing either emergency vehicle with sirens and/or flashing lights, to move away from the vehicle by one lane, or if that is not possible, slow down to either a reasonable speed or a fixed speed below the limit as defined by local law. Drivers must use due care when approaching an emergency vehicle that displays red and/or white emergency lighting such as law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances and also vehicles with flashing amber lighting such as tow trucks, construction vehicles and other service workers stopped along the side of the road while performing their duties.
This law hits very close to home. Our drivers at Abyss Towing have experienced this personally. Recently, one driver was hit in the head by a flying cone after a car struck it. Fortunately he wasn’t seriously hurt. Another one of our crew while working as a tow professional in New Hampshire was recovering a vehicle from a snowy ditch when a passing car struck him, pinning him between the car and his truck. Although this veteran tow professional survived, he still suffers from painful, long-term effects. We want to get the word out that this is a very serious matter that too many drivers ignore or aren’t even aware of.
Resources to review
We invite you to read the Idaho Move Over Law to refresh your knowledge and the move over laws for all U.S. States. Please take a few minutes to check out this informative video that Canada produced on how to maneuver around emergency vehicles. Pretty good, eh? J
A message from all First Responders to you:
Whenever Abyss Towing comes upon a disabled vehicle with passengers, we immediately request they get in the tow vehicle. It is far safer to be in a vehicle on the side of the road than loitering among the sage brush and trash. In the event your vehicle breaks down on a highway, remember to remain in your vehicle and call us for assistance. Your safety is important to us.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. We encourage you to take this information and make it a daily practice. Please protect those that protect you.