Tow Truck Drivers Reminding Motorists About "Move Over" Law

Tow Truck Drivers Reminding Motorists About "Move Over" Law

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - More traffic with the oil boom means more wrecks and tow truck drivers say going to those crashes puts their lives at risk everyday.

They're asking other drivers to slow down and pay attention.

For the last three years, Michigan native Josh Minor has been driving tow trucks for Crash Masters towing in Odessa.

"Everybody down here for the most part is pretty friendly," Josh said.

But more people in town means more accidents.

"People not paying attention, texting on their cell phones. Everything but paying attention to the roads," Minor said.

Minor says the hours can be draining.

"Oh, we run anywhere from 12 and 18 hours a day from the time people start calling to the time we get done," Minor said.

Minor keeps something in mind each time he goes out on a call.

"First rule of driving a tow truck is do what you gotta do to get home to see your family," he said.

Minor has had a few close calls where getting home almost didn't happen.

"Somebody came across the white line and clipped a car I was picking up and I had one on 1936 and I-20 where same deal, wasn't paying attention," he said. "I had to jump on my truck or I would've been taken out."

Not only is tow trucking dangerous but it can also be deadly.

A tow truck driver working a wreck was killed near Penwell in 2009 after he was hit from behind by another car.

"Tow truck drivers have a higher death rate percentage than cops and fire department combined at a roadside accident," Minor said.

That's why Minor and other truckers are asking drivers to stay focused when behind the wheel. Tow trucks are included as an authorized emergency vehicle in the state's "Move Over" law.

"We're treated at an accident scene the same as a fire truck or ambulance. We're there, you need to get over," Minor said.

According to the Texas Transportation Code, drivers are required to move to the next lane over while crews work an accident. If you can't do that, then you should drive 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.

"I love my job. It's something different everyday," Minor said. "Well that's what got me into this. I like helping people."

Minor is hoping people will help keep him safe.