Although predatory tow truck operators give the towing industry a bad rep, the majority of the general public think of tow truck drivers as unsung heroes. Apparently, they refer to the tow truck drivers who quickly respond to calls for roadside assistance, which could be a stressful and dangerous situation. During annual celebrations of the National Move Over Day in the month of October, tow truck drivers are among the group of first responders honored in recognition of the valuable services they provide to Americans.
Actually the annual celebrations also serves as reminders of the “Move Over” laws introduced several years ago. The laws requires motorists to slow down and change lanes as soon as they see the yellow arrows and flashing light warnings. The rules aim to provide emergency responders a safe space between them and oncoming motorists during emergency operations.
The need to codify the road rule became necessary because every year, a growing number of first responders working along highways are killed by motorists who do not slow down. Ignoring the laws endanger the lives of medical emergency crews, ambulances, firefighters, law enforcement officers and tow truck drivers while at work in emergency situations.
However, as it became apparent that many vehicle drivers are still not aware of such laws, part of the campaigns launched to raise the public’s awareness over the Move Over laws is the holding of the National Move Over Day.
In California, non-compliance with the state’s Mover Over law can result to payment of fines of up to $1,000 in addition to becoming a blight in the erring motorist’s driving record.
Tow Tributes for Fallen Truck Drivers
In many states, it is common for the towing industry to organize a separate tow tribute in paying final respect to fallen tow truck drivers. One of the most memorable tow tributes held in the history of America’s towing industry was the one held in Massachusetts in 2018.
The Massive Tow Tribute Held for a Tow Truck Driver in Massachusetts
In 2018, a massive tow tribute was held for tow truck driver Daniel Coady Jr., who was killed while rendering road assistance. Only 41 years old and a father of two young children, Coady was hit by a female DUI driver, while he was hooking up a car that became disabled while on the Interstate 495 in Andover.
After Coady’s funeral, more than 600 tow truck drivers, joined by a hundred others, including state troopers, police officers, firefighters, descended at the parking lot of North Andover Mall to pay tribute. Tow truck drivers present were from competitor towing companies of all sizes and types hauling, from small, to medium to heavy duty towing services. They all agree that when something happens to one of their own, they come together not as competitors but as brothers.
A representative of the state police reminded the people about the importance of slowing down once they see the yellow flashing lights at a far distance. However, some tow truck drivers say that some people do not find a need to slow down when they see tow truck drivers at work, simply because they do not respect the towing profession. Not a few shared experiences of getting hit by vehicles or of getting “skimmed” by motorists who insists on going by.