Saving lives by driving safely

Published 10:42 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

An event that took place last Thursday at the Heartland Industrial Park drew awareness to a problem that may be little known in the public eye, but that has affected the families of those who work in the tow truck industries or with first responders.

The American Towman Magazine Spirit Ride organization has traveled across the country to encourage motorists to move to the other lane if they see a tow truck operator or first responder working on the side of the road. 

Representatives from the Spirit Ride during the Thursday ceremony estimated that roughly one hundred casualties take place every year as a result of tow truck operators and first responders working on sites of roadside accidents and motorists driving too close to the sites of the accidents. It was even noted during the event that 71 percent of Americans have not heard of the Move Over Law, according to the National Safety Commission.

It’s important to note that Virginia has its own law regarding this issue. Section 46.2-921.1 of the Code of Virginia states that drivers yield right-of-way or reduce speed when approaching stationary emergency vehicles on highways, according to the Virginia State Police website.

Participants got to see how this awareness could potentially impact local businesses for the better. The owner of a local towing company and his family took part in the event, and later drove to Colonial Heights to hold a similar ceremony.

Practicing safety on the roads could not only spare the lives of motorists, but of area tow truck operators and first responders who often work under dangerous conditions to keep others safe.

We at The Gazette commend American Towman Magazine Spirit Ride and local participants for helping us all be more mindful of driving safely, particularly to protect others.