Spirit Ride raises awareness of 'Slow Down, Move Over' law

Spirit Ride raises awareness of 'Slow...

SALISBURY, Md. - It's a law that's been in place for years, but most American's don't know it exists. It's called the Move Over law. 

The law is designed to keep not only police officers, fire officials and EMS personnel safe, but also to keep tow truck operators safe. 

To raise awareness, officials teamed up with a local tow truck company to come up with a visual display that surely turned some heads. 

Brandon South, a Tow Truck Operator with Auto Medic Towing and Repair, said, "We're towing a casket that is a representation of all the lost souls for not just tow operators, but Fire, EMS, State Highway."

Every six days, officials say a tow truck operator is struck and killed by a car while they're on the job. In total, those workers make up roughly 60% of roadside worker fatalities each year. 

South said, "It needs to stop, and it starts here."

By having a mock funeral procession, local company Auto Medic Towing and Repair aimed to raise awareness that there's actually a law in this country making it mandatory that you move a lane over when you see cops, firemen, EMS and even tow truck operators.  

Lieutenant Tim Robinson with the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office said, "We see it every day, actually, people moving over for law enforcement vehicles. Now the law applies to tow trucks on the side of the road and it's going to have a great impact in making the road safer for tow trucks and their operators on the side of the road when they're picking up a car."

The image of casket is jarring, but participants said that was the point. Anything to make sure people realize they need to look out for their surroundings when they're behind the wheel. 

Lieutenant Robinson said, "What we're doing [Friday] is trying to make people think and be a little more careful when they're driving on the side of the road they see those flashing yellow lights to move over and give them their space."

Friday's procession ended in Smithfield, Virginia.

Spirit Ride's President, Steve Calitri said American Highways would shut down if tow truck operators were not there to keep the roadways clear following accidents and breakdowns. 

That's why Calitri says it is important to let tow operators do their job and let them make it home safe at night.

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