Kelowna tow truck driver Troy Grabowsky says it can be dangerous hooking up to a vehicle.
“Nobody slows down, nobody moves over,” said Grabowsky, adding close calls are a daily occurrence. “I’ve had them run over my cones while changing tires on the side of the highway.”
In the back of his mind is the recent death of a tow truck driver in Castlegar. Wayne Kernachan was killed last week. He was Nick Morreto’s uncle.
“Wayne, my uncle, was out doing a service call for a motorist that was involved in an accident,” said Nick Moretto of Mario’s Towing. “Had he beacons and stuff on and was struck while providing on a service on the side of the highway.”
Last week’s tragedy will add to the stats that show that a tow truck driver is killed every week in North America.
So the towing industry is calling for changes. One proposal would be to add blue lights to the amber lights tow trucks already have.
Simply by having blue lights or blue and white flashing lights in addition to the amber lights — it will give the public some pause and actually encourage them to slow down,” said Ken McCormack, president of the B.C. Automotive Retailers Association.
The organization has been lobbying the B.C. government for the light change, but says there’s been push back from police and other first responders.
So while the call for change drags on, the local towing industry is asking motorists to use common sense, slow down so everyone goes home safely.
“They’re just out there doing their job,” said Moretto. “They’re trying to get home to see their kids, their wife, their husband — they want to go home, too.”