Tow truck drivers in Manitoba are now protected by a new law. The "Move Over" law took effect Monday. It requires motorists to slow down and move over when approaching a tow truck operator at work and proceed only when it's safe to do so. The fine for not doing so is 300 dollars.
Marti Rempel(right) of Steinbach Towing says it's a good law. He adds, "Hopefully people realize that it is a law now that if you're coming up to a tow truck on the highway that you slow down and pull over." Rempel notes there have been many close calls. He recalls one incident where, "a car came by on #1 Highway and we (he and a customer) were both in the vehicle, but (the passing car) broke a mirror on the tow truck while we were in the vehicle. People just don't really pay attention. It's just a good thing we weren't working beside the truck."
Meanwhile, Dennis Harder of Hanover Towing feels the law does not go far enough. He says the government should have specified a speed limit. Harder notes, "To slow down is a little bit unclear." He says if you're doing 120 down the highway and slow down to 100 when passing a tow truck, you may think that's good enough. Harder tells us, "We've been in court with these sort of tickets before and the judge throws them out; nobody really takes them seriously. It's a step in the right direction but it's definitely not enough. Other provinces have passed a law where you slow down to 50 kilometres an hour when passing an emergency vehicle. That's a little more reasonable." Harder also says they deal with aggressive motorists all the time, adding, "Here on the #1, people are actually upset with you because you're working out there and try to drive as close as they can to you."