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Stop Taking Tow Truck Driver Safety for Granted!

I saw this article from BNET. Everyone wants the benefit of what tow truck drivers provide, but cant offer a simple courtesy for doing it!

EDITORIAL: Treat tow truck drivers with respect
Brandon Sun, The, Feb 12, 2010

12Next ..It shouldn’t require a public plea from a Brandon tow truck company to get motorists to slow down when they see a pair of flashing lights on the side of the road.

Taking your foot off the gas and steering clear of a stopped vehicle is something all of us learn in our teen years during driver training as we attempt to obtain our licence in the first place.

But as the Sun reported on Thursday, two dangerous collisions with Wheat City Towing trucks caused by inattentive motorists this winter have company manager Kevin Ouellet worried for his drivers’ safety.

In the first case, a nighttime driver lost control on a slippery road while steering at 90 km/h around a bend, and hit a parked tow truck that had its four-ways flashing.

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The tow truck driver, who was standing between the tow truck and the towed vehicle, narrowly managed to jump out of the way in time before he would have been crushed by the impact.

In the second incident, which happened just last weekend, the driver of an SUV lost control of his vehicle and slid into a tow truck – that again was on the side of the road with its lights on – before it slid into the ditch. Thankfully, the driver who was on the truck’s side-step wasn’t seriously injured.

“Guys have got wives and families and want to be able to go home at the end of the day,” Ouellet told the Sun. “People need to be a little more careful.”

We whole-heartedly agree.

Though still awaiting second and third readings, we are glad to see that amendments to the provincial Highway Traffic Act to protect tow truck drivers working on the roadside have been proposed and are moving forward. We do wonder, however, why such legislation hasn’t been on the books for years.

Once passed, motorists will have to slow down when passing working tow truck drivers and government enforcement officials such as conservation officers, and will be required to pull over onto a lane farther away from the vehicles working along the roadside.

These changes will also allow police to run radar while at crash scenes.

While we wait for these new traffic laws to pass and eventually take effect, we urge all motorists travelling Manitoba’s highways and urban streets to heed emergency lights along the roadway, and give tow trucks and any other roadside vehicle a wide, slow berth.

It’s just common sense.

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