All tow truck drivers are required to take a defensive driving course prior to renewing their city permits. I can usually tell if someone in my Comedy Defensive Driving class is a tow truck driver because they often resemble Grizzly Adams with their ZZ-Top, lumbersexual type beards. I have also learned to tell the difference between the ones that come to your rescue (like a knight in shining armor) when your car is broken down, or the ones that either repo cars or snatch them away while you’re in a bar with your friends having a good time, which is later squelched when you go outside and your car is gone. Either way, it’s a dangerous job. In 2011, Texas passed an addendum to the Move Over Law. You are now required to steer clear of tow truck drivers working on the side of the road. The Move Over/Slow Down law requires motorists to move over or slow down when certain vehicles are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. Motorists are required to vacate the lane closest to the stopped vehicle (if there is more than one available lane in the same direction of travel) or slow to 20 miles below the speed limit. An organization called The Spirit Ride honors those tragically killed in roadside accidents. In 2014 alone, 33 tow truck operators were killed while trying to rescue stranded drivers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. And those numbers continue to increase annually. In fact, the numbers show a tow truck driver dies on average every six days.
Slow Down, Move Over laws are in effect in all fifty states. They require passing vehicles to move over one lane or slow down when approaching an incident where tow operators, police, fire fighters and EMS people are working. Sadly, 71% of Americans have not heard of “Move Over” laws, according to a poll by the National Safety Commission. The Spirit Ride is designed to draw media attention to Move-Over laws and the needless sacrifices towers and other first responders make in serving the motoring public and transportation industry. To date, over 300 towing companies have signed up to carry the “Spirit” by car carrier as towers continue to volunteer to participate and also lend their ideas to the project. You can find more information on their facebook page at the link below:
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
The Spirit Ride – Comedy Defensive Driving