Tow trucks should be treated as official vehicles on highways

The tow truck is a bit of an orphan when it comes to being an "official vehicle" as defined in our slow-down, move-over laws.

The tow truck is a bit of an orphan when it comes to being an “official vehicle” as defined in our slow-down, move-over laws.

Drivers happening across a tow truck working at the side of the highway must slow down and move over if possible just as they would for an overtaken police vehicle, fire apparatus or ambulance. The latter three types of vehicle are easily identified by the colour of their flashing lights but the tow truck blends in with all the other flashing yellow light-equipped vehicles on our highways.

It goes without saying that a defensive driver will slow down and move over if possible for any type of vehicle displaying flashing lights stopped on the shoulder. This would even include a broken-down car with the hazard flashers showing. However, there are those who will not unless mandated by law.

Perhaps a tow truck should be given the authority to use a combination of amber and white flashing lights to more easily identify it as being part of the group of official vehicles that we must slow down and move over for. Rather than wondering if we need to until we are quite close, this would allow drivers to make the identification from a distance and take action well ahead of time.

Remember, slowing down for stopped official vehicles at the side of the road is mandatory under all circumstances. Not moving over is only an option if you cannot do it safely.

The rule was enacted to protect emergency workers when they are looking after us. Let’s look after them, too.

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.

Just Posted

Comox child care centre among $10 a day prototypes

Government rolls out universal child care project, using 53 centres in pilot project

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Jim’s Clothes Closet celebrates 50th anniversary

Store began in Port Alberni, expanded on Vancouver Island and beyond

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

Expect ride hailing in B.C. by 2020, Premier Horgan says

Taxi-style insurance option needed for part-time drivers

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

Most Read