PHOENIX – State lawmakers are considering adding tow trucks and other service vehicles to the list of vehicles that drivers have to move over a lane for on Arizona freeways.
According to a AAA spokesperson, lives are at risk every day this law is not enforced.
Since 2005, if a driver saw a police car or fire truck on the side of the road, the driver had to merge over a lane in order to give law enforcement space to work.
According to AAA, that is not enough. Matt Mendonsa says that when he helps a stranded driver on the side of the freeway he knows he is putting his life at risk.
In 2008, a tow truck driver and a motorist were killed when a heavy-duty truck crashed into them on the side of the road on the Red Mountain Loop 202 freeway.
In Arizona alone, AAA says they get about 1,200 calls a day for services such as tire changes or car tows, which is about 450,000 calls a year.
Along with the fatal collision in 2008, there were two other fatal crashes in 2006 that involved tow trucks on the side of the road.
If the “Move Over” law is not changed to incorporate tow trucks and service vehicles, Mendonsa says the death toll will continue to rise.
Tow truck drivers are included in the “Move Over” law in 29 states. The bill has gone through a committee and is moving its way to the state Senate.