March 7, 2018 6:37 am

Saskatchewan rallies to put spotlight on dangers tow truck drivers face

WATCH ABOVE: Tow truck drivers are gearing up for rallies that will put a spotlight on the dangers they face daily on Saskatchewan roads.

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Tow truck drivers in Saskatchewan are gearing up for an annual rally which puts a spotlight on the dangers they face every day on the job.

Brad Stratychuk, president of the Roadside Responders Association of Saskatchewan, says two truck drivers have been killed in Saskatchewan since he’s been in this business.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan tow truck drivers call for emergency lighting change

One of the drivers, Courtney Schaefer, was killed while working on a highway near Esterhazy, prompting the Slow Down, Move Over awareness rally.

“We’re trying to reduce that number of 60 tow truck drivers killed in North America every year,” Stratychuk said.

WATCH BELOW: Saskatchewan tow truck drivers rallying for safety


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Schaefer’s death prompted changes.

Last spring, legislation passed that made Saskatchewan the first jurisdiction in Canada to allow the two-colour lighting system for roadside responders.

It’s an issue other emergency responders can relate to.

“It’s shocking the amount of people that don’t slow down for flashing lights,” Saskatoon police Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar said.

“It’s something that I would think you’d want to do whether or not there was a law that forced you to do it.”

READ MORE: Blue and amber lights now allowed on Saskatchewan tow trucks

Failing to slow down to 60 km/h when passing emergency vehicles when their lights are flashing has big consequences.

If you pass that tow truck operator at 100 km/h, it would cost you $360 between the fines and the victim of crime surcharge, and that doesn’t include the three points on the safe driving recognition program.

Since last year’s rally, Stratychuk thinks the message is getting across.

“People are slowing down. There’s still a lot that go by at 100, but I’d say that number is drifting down.”

Rallies will be held across Saskatchewan on March 7 to further drive home the slow-down, move-over message.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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