Alberta drivers aren’t getting Move Over law message: tow operator

Calgary, Alberta — October 12, 2015 — Motorists in Alberta rarely abide by the province’s Move Over law, according to a local tow truck driver. City Wide Towing’s Jeff Hribnack and Global News recently teamed up to test Calgary motorists, using their vehicles to stage a highway roadside recovery. Hribdnack and Global News reporter Stefan Keyes found that the majority of drivers did not slow down or change lanes, despite adequate room and opportunity to do so. “It’s very high risk,” Hribncak told Global. “In most cases it doesn’t take long to hook up a vehicle and get in and out, but when you have the perfect storm of people not moving over, and drivers not being aware, that’s when you have an incident.” Hribncak and other tow operators are fed up with motorists refusing to give them room to work and continually putting their lives at risk. On October 5, a tow truck driver was struck on Deerfoot Trail N.E. while working to recover a broken down vehicle. He was transported to hospital with injuries to his pelvis and lower body. He is currently in recovery. Two days later, police had to shut down a lane on the same highway so a woman could safely exit her vehicle and a responding tow truck driver could get to work. Leah Herle says she was stuck inside her car for 40 minutes, even though the tow operator was at the scene in just 10 minutes. “At one point, I wanted to crawl out the sunroof and start yelling at the drivers as they were speeding past us,” Herle said in the report. “It was super scary. It was quite unnerving.” Under section 115 of Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act, motorists must slow down to 60 km/hr or lower when passing parked emergency vehicles with their lights flashing. Violation of the law can result in demerit points and fines ranging from $115 to $703, based on the severity of the speeding offence. Alberta Mounties plan to increase patrols and legislation, leading to stiffer penalties. The province aims to increase fines by an average of 35 percent this year, reaching a maximum of $949.

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