Monday, August 15, 2011

'Move Over' For TX Towers Goes Into Effect In September

Here's the story:
Starting in September, drivers will have to be on the lookout for tow trucks on state roadways.
A new law taking effect in September requires you to change lanes and put a lane between your car and a tow truck on the shoulder.
Five tow truck operators have been killed on the job in Texas this year, prompting lawmakers to add tow trucks to the "move-over" law.
If you can't put a lane between you and a tow truck driver, the law requires you to slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.
This is welcome news for tow truck drivers like David Smallwood,  whose had his share of close calls.
"I've been clipped by a couple cars with their mirrors, they don't even slow down they just go as fast as they want to go," says Smallwood.
Ronnie Herrera owns a Vidor towing company and says his drivers are often in vulnerable situations on the highway.
"You may be doing wrenching, you may be standing on the side of the road , if it's an 18-wheeler, you have to be underneath it," says Herrera.
The dangers tow truck drivers face each time they pull over were more real than ever for Smallwood, who once felt compelled to call his family to say his goodbyes before freeing a car from a tanker truck.
"I actually called my wife and kids and told them that I loved them," says Smallwood.
Stories like this are what prompted lawmakers to add the level of protection for these workers, who come to the rescue when drivers break down or have a wreck.

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