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Move Over Laws

Towing Service on Side of Road

What you need to know as a Towing Service

Nearly 100 tow truck drivers are killed every year because drivers don’t leave enough space and crash into their vehicles or the drivers. Our friends up in Ontario, Canada have recently made tower safety the move over law applicable to tow truck drivers so that they can work safely without the fear of getting injured in their workplace.

The move over law was enacted in 2003, and has been in legislation for quite a while. While it has been covered extensively by media outlets and every Ontario driver gets a notice for it when they renew their license or plate, not many people comply with it. The fine for not complying is $490 so you could get yourself in a lot of trouble for not following this. Section 159(2,3) HTA states that any motorist approaching or on the same side as an emergency vehicle with red and blue lights or just red lights flashing needs to slow down. If there are multiple lanes then they have to vacate the lane which is adjacent to the emergency vehicle.

While Onatario’s laws are among the strictest, there are similar laws across the United States as well that include “amber light” road side workers in the law’s language.  While slightly different on the fines levied per state, most states have passed laws that require drivers to slow down and give space to emergency vehicles, including tow trucks when they see their flashing lights, he said.

While Ontario already has the move over law enacted, the Canadian Automobile Association has now included tow truck drivers to take advantage of this law. This is meant to give them a safe work environment, particularly because there were lots of close calls where tow truck drivers were at risk. The move over law was enacted in the first place so that first responders such as fire fighters, police officers, ambulance drivers, carrier enforcement officers, road maintenance workers or tow truck drivers can work safely without having an accident for doing their jobs.

Tow Truck drivers are included because they have their trucks parked at the side of the road and need a safe working space when they are doing their jobs. Particularly in highways where the speed limit crosses 150 km/h, this can be particularly dangerous because cars traveling at high speeds are more unstable and can cause fatal accidents. Every tow truck driver has faced close calls with cars speeding near their worksite. It is a cause of death and is a safety issue, yet thousands of drivers either don’t know or don’t care.

The Ontarian police have already warned drivers ahead of the civic day long weekend to obey the move over law because more than 2100 drivers were charged with the offense of not obeying. The minimum penalty for not obeying this law is $490 minimum up to $2000 and three demerit points upon conviction.Which can bad to drivers who don’t obey the Law.

The road can be an unpredictable place, especially for a tow truck operator, that’s why it important the have enforced Move Over on the books.  This law will save lives, because as a full-time tow truck driver, all I want to do is to to the best job and go home at the end of the day.

Thanks for reading and have a safe day!

Contact us at (919) 805-3344