“Move Over Law” went into effect in Massachusetts on March 22, 2009. The goal of this law aims to make all emergency personal, such as police, firefighters, paramedics, and tow truck drivers safer on the job. The law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency or maintenance vehicle with flashing lights to move to the next adjacent lane and slow down, if it is safe to do so. Failure to do so can result in a fine up to $100.
A tow truck driver is killed every 6 days according to AAA. Tow truck drivers are hoping that other vehicles on the road know that tow truck drivers are an emergency vehicle that needs to be treated and respected as such, especially when they are parked on the side of the road with their lights on. Since January 1st, 2020 there have been 6 tow truck drivers killed nationally.
Some excerpts from this article:
Justin Watkins, owner of Watkins Towing, knows first-hand that many people don’t hit the brakes for tow truck drivers.
“When we put our boots and get out the door, we never know if we are coming back,” Watkins said.
Watkins has been towing cars for nearly 10 years, and it’s a problem he says he sees all the time in our area.
“I have had plenty of close calls where I had to jump out of the way,” Watkins said.
“I try to wait for a gap in traffic to actually get out of the truck,” Watkins said.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accidents are the leading cause of death for tow truck drivers. Experts estimate a rate of almost 43 deaths per 100,000 workers. For all other industries, that number is only about three.
“Barely move the wheel, and that’s our life,” Watkins said.
The line between life and death for drivers is thin.
“Your heart sinks ‘cause you never know if that person is going to be texting or not paying attention,” Watkins said.
It is very important in to spread awareness and the importance of the move over law. The more people that are made aware of the law can help save the lives of the brave tow truck drivers trying to do their job.