Finding solutions to tow truck driver fatalities

By Lindsey Cooke

Toronto, Ontario — November 27, 2018 — The recent death of a tow truck driver, from Castlegar, British Columbia has brought up the issue of road safety for the industry.

For the past 10 years in the province, there has been two deaths and over 15 serious injuries from vehicles hitting tow truck drivers pulled over to the side of the road.

Towing industry relations advisor with the Automotive Retailers Association of British Columbia., Ken Hendricks told Collision Repair that there is just one magic solution to this problem.

Right now, there is already the law of “slow down and move over” in the province which orders drivers to slow down and move over to the other lane if there is an emergency vehicle or tow truck stopped at the side of the road.

“But not everyone adheres to this law,” said Hendricks.

To manage it, the ARA BC is working alongside other stakeholders to bring together a campaign that raises awareness of this issue.

Another aspect that is contributing to the issue is the lights that are used on tow trucks. Currently, in British Columbia the lights used on these trucks are 360 amber.

“We’ve become desensitized to the amber lighting,” said Hendricks.

As a solution, the lights are looking at being switched to blue and white to create more of an alert to drivers on the road.

Saskatchewan and Alberta have already taken a lead on this change, and British Columbia is looking at following in that direction.

But this isn’t just an issue that occurs in British Columbia, it’s an issue in all of North America.

“At least once a week a tow truck driver is killed in North America, and in the province of British Columbia,” said Hendricks.

Hendricks also pointed out that there is an untold number of tow truck drivers that have almost got hit by a vehicle. Although there is no number for this, he confirmed that there has been a lot more than one would think.

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One Response

  1. I have a partial answer to enhance safety for tow truck operaters I have invented a new lite bar for ow trucks. This device fastens to the side of the truck and when the truck is stopped and working on a tow job the arm extends out 40 inches and is equipped with 5 flashing amber lights on rear side and 3 flashing amber lights on front side It is only to be used while unit is parked and not while towing a disabled unit

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