Here's the story from FOX23 News:
New York's “Move Over Law” took effect on New Year's Day, forcing drivers to switch lanes when they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road.
However, the legislation doesn't include hazard vehicles, like tow trucks and DOT trucks, even though tow truck operators spend most of every workday helping people on the side of the roads.
The distance from them to the cars whizzing by is the same distance as for emergency responders, leaving towers wondering why all lives aren't valued equally out on the roadways.
“It’s very dangerous out there,” explained Tom Brennan who owns T & T Towing in Cohoes.
With their backs to speeding traffic and their focus on the task at hand, tow truck operators face dangerous conditions everyday. “When they whiz by at 60 or 70 miles per hour they're literally moving your vehicle and the vehicle you're working on,” Brennan said.
For Brennan and workers like him, it is still legal for drivers to speed by sometimes just inches away.
“I have felt mirrors brush my back and I’ll tell you at 60 miles per hour, when they don't slow down and don't give you any room, that's a little disconcerting,” explained Peter Cary who owns Capital District Towing.
“Tow truck operators, although I determine them as heroic, they don't come to the same level as police and fire in people’s perception,” explained Attorney Peter O’Connell who is a lobbyist for the Empire State Towing and Recovery Association.
O’Connell says they've been working since 2003 to get legislation passed that includes tow trucks.
Now that the law is passed for emergency responders, O’Connell is meeting with legislators this week to try again with a separate bill. “The life of a tow truck operator or a DOT worker is less important than police or firemen,” O’Connell asked. “That's a bad message to be sending.”
Brennan and Cary are frustrated to be left out of the current “Move Over Law.” “We're there to clean up the mess, we're equally at risk of being injured,” Cary said.
Nearly 300 towers have been killed in roadside accidents across the country.
Brennan and Cary, both with more than 20 years experience, are hopeful a new law will give them some breathing room.
“My wife and my kids worry about me I’m sure,” Brennan said.
Cary agrees. “Give us the opportunity to go home safe at the end of the day.”
To personalize the new legislation, lobbyists are discussing naming it the “Kyle Parker Bill” in honor of a tower who was killed in a roadside accident back in 2003.