Thornhill, Ontario — August 26, 2016 — In an effort to improve road safety, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) and the Provincial Towing Association (Ontario) are reminding drivers to make space for tow trucks stopped on the shoulder of the highway providing service.
The reminder comes ahead of the one-year anniversary of changes to the province’s Slow Down, Move Over law, and coincides with the launch of Tow Safety Week. CAA clubs in Ontario have actively advocated since 2010 for tow trucks to be included alongside fire, ambulance and police services. In 2015, the move over law was amended to include tow trucks parked on the roadside with their amber lights flashing.
“At CAA, we believe everyone deserves a safe place to work, even at the side of the road. Ontario’s roads and highways are the workplace for emergency service providers and tow truck drivers, and they are often left with little room to work. Many times, they are inches or feet away from traffic travelling at high speeds,” said Cindy Hillaby, Vice President Membership and Automotive Services, CAA SCO.
Last year, the Ontario Provincial Police laid a total of 2,031 charges under Ontario’s move over law. The law includes a fine range of $400 to $2,000 and three demerit points.
“Tow truck operators can face significant risk while stopped to assist at the roadside. This is why we included them in the move over law along with other emergency responders like police and fire services,” said Daiene Vernile, MPP & Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation.
Whether involved in a collision or experiencing a mechanical breakdown, motorists should be aware of their rights before authorizing a tow.
“It’s important for drivers to ask questions before any work is done. Make sure the towing company can provide a rate card and has appropriate insurance coverage. Always let the tow operator know where to drop off your vehicle and ask for a detailed invoice listing the services provided and the costs,” said Joey Gagne, President, Provincial Towing Association (Ontario).
Effective January 1, 2017, tow truck operators in Ontario will be required to have a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration certificate.