When you see them, someone is most likely in trouble. They may be broken down in a traffic lane on a busy highway or in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road but a tow truck driver will respond.
They could be driving a flat bed, delivering some emergency fuel or unlocking your car regardless of weather conditions or time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning, on Easter Sunday or Christmas Day, they show up to help.
Slow Down Move Over Laws
The work they do puts them at increasing risk of serious injury or death. So much so, that B.C. has passed a regulation under the Motor Vehicle Act to protect emergency workers – police officers, fire and ambulance personnel, tow truck operators, special police constables, conservation officers and park rangers — when they are attending incidents on the road.
Drivers must ‘Slow Down Move Over’ when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, from either direction, when it is on or beside an undivided highway and has its lights flashing. (If the highway is divided – for example, by a concrete median – vehicles traveling in the opposite direction are not required to slow down.)
If there is another lane going in the same direction drivers must move into the other lane to pass, if it is safe to do so and a police officer has not directed them to do otherwise. This gives emergency workers as much space as possible.
Tow Truck Drivers Killed
Fatality statistics for tow truck operators may be non-existent but the evidence of their occurrence is easy to find with a simple search for “tow truck driver killed”. Once you start reading you will see disturbingly common details – a driver has been killed while loading a disabled vehicle onto a flatbed or while hooking up his wrecker in an attempt to clear the highway. Tow truck drivers, like others cut down in their prime, leave behind distraught spouses and children, all wondering why this had to happen.
Please help protect tow truck drivers and all other emergency responders by driving safely. When you see cones on the road or emergency lights slow down and, if safe to do so, move over.