Roadside collisions with tow trucks have AMA urging caution

We need drivers to slow down, and move over if possible, to help keep everyone safe.
Brandon Klassen, AMA

We often hear summertime warnings about slowing down and moving over for emergency vehicles and tow trucks. But the danger to roadside workers is just as great, if not greater, during the winter – demonstrated by a number of recent collisions with tow trucks.

In late December in Edmonton, a speeding van hit some ice then ricocheted off the back of one of AMA’s tow trucks, endangering both the tow truck operators and motorists on scene. On Saturday, a driver slammed into the back of a vehicle as it was being loaded onto the deck of a tow truck in Grande Prairie, putting the operator in hospital. And just this week, in Ponoka, a tow truck was side-swiped by another vehicle as the operator was helping a stranded motorist.

“We do everything we can to alert the public to our presence at roadside, and are highly trained at clearing scenes quickly. But we need drivers to slow down, and move over if possible, to help keep everyone safe,” says Brandon Klassen, spokesman for AMA.

As Alberta drivers cope with icy roads, blowing snow, poor visibility and other winter conditions, AMA urges the public to show increased caution – above and beyond what’s legislated, if the roads are treacherous. The law requires drivers to slow to 60 km/hr (or lower, if the posted limit is lower) when passing emergency vehicles and tow trucks with their lights flashing. Drivers should also move over a lane, when possible.

For more tips on what to do when you see a tow truck working at roadside, visit AMA Insider. Journalists are also invited to schedule an interview with an AMA spokesperson by contacting our Newsroom: 1.888.960.6397 or ama.newsroom@ama.ab.ca