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Tow truck operators want 'move over' law strengthened

Ellen Abbott

Central New York tow truck operators are calling on Albany to beef up the “move over” law that motorists to either slow down or move over when approaching emergency vehicles or vehicles with flashing yellow lights, like two trucks or road maintenance vehicles, on the side of the road.

There have been three deaths in recent weeks on upstate New York roadways involving motorists not paying attention to New York’s law. A state trooper, maintenance worker and tow-truck operator have all been killed by oncoming traffic while they were tending to an issue on the side of the road.

Tina Lyon, of Meyers Towing in Camillus, said motorists don’t seem to be paying attention to the law right now.

“Nobody is really paying attention when we’re out there because everybody can have a yellow light,” Lyon said. “They don’t take it seriously I mean a residential plow person has a yellow light. When we’re out there, we’re right on the white line. And when these people don’t slow down or move over, they’re killing us.”

Lyon said one thing that would help is legislation that would allow tow trucks to have rear blue lights that would make them more visible to oncoming traffic. She would like to see harsher sanctions for motorists ticketed for breaking the “move over” law.

“There needs to be definitely tougher penalties and this needs to be a law that isn’t taken lightly,” Lyon said. “You need to slow down and move over, because we’re losing many people out here, at an alarming rate.”

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.