May 14, 2019 2:16 pm

Slow Down, Move Over Day encourages roadside worker safety

CAA has long advocated for the protection of roadside assistance workers through Slow Down, Move Over legislation.

Dani Shmatov / Global News
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CAA Saskatchewan is reminding drivers about the importance of safety when it comes to roadside assistance workers.

A longtime advocate for roadside safety, CAAs across the country have designated May 14 as Slow Down, Move Over Day.

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The hope is to bring attention, to what the CAA calls an “important issue.”

READ MORE: Drivers still failing to slow down and move over

There were 100 tow truck drivers killed last year in North America and one in Saskatchewan in 2017.

“We want people to slow down, move over and protect those workspaces of tow truck drivers and all emergency responders,” said Bruce Anderson, a CAA Saskatchewan board director.

“We need people to understand what the law is, we need to have people abide by the law and that will be the largest step.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan rallies to put spotlight on dangers tow truck drivers face

In Saskatchewan, drivers lawfully have to slow down to 60 km/h on a highway when passing working tow truck operators and emergency service responders. The fines for not obeying that law are close to $600.

“The rules have changed. The speed limits have lowered, the fines have increased, we’ve helped the tow truck drivers with adding blue lights so people can see them from further away,” said Joe Hargrave, the minister responsible for SGI.

“That’s the whole idea behind it, slow down and move over when you see those flashing lights.”

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

Geoff Roller, owner of Astro Towing in Saskatoon and on the board of directors for Roadside Responders Association, said he knows the dangers of working roadside as good as anyone and trains his employees to pay attention.

“You have to listen when you’re working on the side of the highway because you can hear them coming. In the winter, you can hear them skidding,” Roller said.

“We’ve have had a lot our trucks hit over the years from people not paying attention.”

But above all, Roller said drivers being aware is the best way to prevent worker injuries or deaths.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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