Friday, May 8, 2009

Move It Over In NE

Here's the story from the KPTM's Fox News:

Omaha (KPTM) - A law passed today in the Nebraska legislature says drivers who see emergency lights on the side of Nebraska highways need to move over a lane, or face a ticket and fine.

Tow truck driver Ray Wiblishouser should know

"It's rush hour now. It's moving," he says standing along I-680.

The owner of Ray's Quality Towing says almost 50 percent of his business comes on the shoulders of busy Nebraska highways, where he's literally just inches away from danger.

"I just don't feel right turning my back because there's been so many close calls. I've actually been rubbed a 55 or 60 MPH car before," he says.

But it's a scenario that he hopefully won't have to see again.

A new law passed Thursday in the Nebraska legislature now requires drivers on I-80, I-680 or any other Nebraska highway with two lanes or more in one direction to move over if they see those flashing lights.

If it's too dangerous to switches lanes, they at least need to quickly try and reduce their speed.

AAA Nebraska was a strong advocate of the bill, and say it's long overdue.

"The type of work is very dangerous for police, firefighters, medical technicians, two truck operators so it's simply the right thing to do," says Rose White, a spokesperson.

She says drivers that don't move over could face a ticket and upwards of a $100 fine courtesy of law enforcement.

While many drivers might normally scoot over for cops or emergency response vehicles, she says it was important this bill include protection for tow truck drivers and even motorist assist volunteers.

"There might only be inches of airspace that separates that person from a high speed vehicle," says White.

Close calls Ray says will hopefully now come to an end for anyone working on the sides of the road.

"They all need to be covered. We're all working the same areas."

AAA Nebraska says the bill is officially expected to be signed into law in the next couple of weeks by Gov. Dave Heineman.

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