Strengthened demand for safety improvements after tow truck operator hit on call
EDMONTON -- The government is being called upon to approve new safety measures for tow truck operators after a man was hit by a vehicle while responding to a call in Edmonton on Friday.
With his amber lights flashing, the operator was putting out traffic cones at Whitemud Drive and 17 Street when he was clipped by the side mirror of a passing vehicle.
While his injuries are considered minor, the Alberta Motor Association says the incident represents a very serious issue.
Drivers are currently required to slow down to 60 km/hr as they pass emergency vehicles with lights flashing—and two trucks.
Industry members also want to see rules that would allow tow trucks to use both amber and blue lights.
“It is also far more visible in low light and inclement weather circumstances, which is exactly when it is that our tow truck operators are so often (responding) to calls,” AMA’s Jeff Kasbrick told CTV News Edmonton.
Kasbrick said the association has met with Alberta’s transportation minister but is still waiting for answers.
According to Ken Bach, manager of Kingsway Towing, close calls happen regularly and have sometimes resulted in injured operators.
“It really scares me, as having family, to ensure that when they’re out on the roads, they’re safe,” Bach said.
He believes drivers need to be held accountable.
“We need to ensure that the law is enforced and that people are following the safety on the road, for not only themselves but for the people that are impacted by this.”
Kasbrick added: “We owe it to them to be as safe as we possibly can be when passing by so that they can return to their families at the end of the day.”
In a statement to CTV News Edmonton on Sunday, the ministry of transportation said safety for all workers is its top priority.
"We are always willing to look at ways to improve safety on Alberta's roads and will consider a variety of options as we monitor research and best practices from other jurisdictions."
With a report from CTV News Edmonton’s Amanda Anderson