Saskatchewan

Tow truck driver: 'You never turn your back on traffic'

Police are reminding motorists to slow down when driving past emergency vehicles. White Butte RCMP said it has received several calls over the past few days from tow truck operators asking for police assistance.

Tow truck operators in Sask. are requesting police assistance because drivers are not slowing down

Tow truck operators say some drivers are not slowing down when cars are being retrieved from the ditch along the highway. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

Police are reminding motorists to slow down when driving past emergency vehicles.

White Butte RCMP said it has received several calls over the past few days from tow truck operators asking for police assistance when removing vehicles from ditches along the highway.

The tow operators ask for the extra red and blue police lights to make sure drivers slow down. That's because some drivers ignore the amber lights on the tow truck.

It's a huge concern for Shon Crumley, owner of Dakota Towing based in Rouleau, Sask. He was busy today getting a jackknifed semi-truck out of the ditch between Wilcox and Corinne, Sask.

Crumley told CBC Radio's Blue Sky that he's had numerous close calls and he's always worried about the drivers who work for him.

"It rattles you for quite a while, but you learn over time you never turn your back on traffic," Crumley said.

He doesn't think people really understand how dangerous it is to be a tow truck driver.

"It just doesn't register to slow down for us," he said.

Failing to slow down is against the law. Drivers are required to slow to 60 kilometres per hour when passing any emergency vehicle.

If the safety of others isn't incentive enough, the fine for passing emergency vehicles when lights are activated starts at $464.

The risk for tow truck operators isn't just getting hit by a car. The ice and dirt that falls off vehicles can hit workers at high velocity.

"You learn to get out of the way pretty quick," Crumley said.

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