Towers Light Up Ala. Interstate

Dozens of tow trucks lit up I-565 in Huntsville, Ala., with their amber lights, hoping the community would take their safety into consideration next time they pass them on the side of the road.

"We're bringing awareness to the community because most people aren't aware about the Move Over law," said Lappdog Towing driver William Shelt.

The Move Over law was implemented in 2009 in Alabama, but there's a problem for these drivers. They say police don't enforce the law as they should, and the fees aren't sufficient.

First offenses are $25, second offenders are fined $50 and third time offenses cost $100.

"My life is worth a lot more than 25 dollars," said Russell Patten of Roadside Recovery Towing.

The wrecker drivers were joined by fire and rescue, and other first-response workers.

"We're putting our lives on the line to save everyone else's family," said Shelt. "All we're asking for is a little respect for us and our family."

A week on social media created the event, and the drivers say that though they are competition, they are one family.


New UCMCS Video Touts 'Move Over' Law

The United Coalition for Motor Club Safety produced a video to educate the public about the risks towers take and dangers they face every day in order to keep all motorists safe. The video also promotes adherence to the Move Over laws.

The four-minute video interviews owners and drivers of two towing companies about the dangers that towers face on a daily basis. It highlights that during an average year, 60 towing professionals are struck and killed while performing roadside services. It also states that in the state of California there are over 6 million calls for tow truck services yearly, with 60 percent of those calls being general service calls (lockouts, dead batteries, and flat tires), and the balance being emergency calls.

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Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

It's a great thing to see when the industry steps up to fight an unfair law or to bring awareness of an existing law to the general public.

This past week, I saw three news stories about organized efforts by towers to bring awareness of the Move Over law to the motoring public. There was the I-565 demonstration in Huntsville, Ala. (see our News Page), and similar demonstrations on Oklahoma's I-40 and U.S. 170 in South Carolina.

It's great to see small sectors of the industry stepping up and bringing awareness to Move Over and the press coverage is fantastic.

Imagine the impact that a full, coordinated industry-wide effort would have!

--Charles Duke
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Towers take to I-565 in Alabama to call awareness to the Move Over law. The law has been implemented in the state since 2009, but towers feel that most motorists aren't aware of it or don't recognize the tow truck as an emergency vehicle. Photo credit:
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