Tow truck operators say their lives are being put on the line by drivers who aren’t following new regulations.
“I find that over the last couple of years that people aren’t slowing down and paying attention to the traffic,” said Jeffrey McKinna, a tow truck driver who was hit last week on Highway 1 westbound between 192 and 176 Street.
“I looked at the last second ’cause I heard something and that was it,” he said.
McKinna, who has been a tow truck operator for 30 years, suffered a gash in the back of his head, a neck injury, concussion and brain swelling.
But other drivers haven’t been as lucky. Between 2005 and 2014, 15 workers were killed in British Columbia from being hit by a car while working on or beside the road.
“We’ve advocated for strong penalties for repeat violators of the law, up to and including perhaps having their vehicle impounded for a period of time,” says Ken McCormack, President and CEO, Automotive Retailers Association.
New regulations were put in place last year, making stopped tow trucks with flashing lights part of the group of vehicles that drivers must slow down and move over for – or else face a $173 fine.
READ MORE: Slow down and move over for “official vehicles” or face a stiff fine in 2015
However, accidents have persisted, says Chris Logan at Roadway Towing, who says one of his drivers was also hit last week.
“Somebody needs to enforce that person that doesn’t slow down and move over. Somebody needs to enforce it so they understand and know,” he said.
“We’re all fathers, brothers, sisters. We all have family and we all have people that care about us. I think we need to respect our fellow mankind and allow those folks to go home to their families at the end of the day.”