Tow truck driver struck in Edmonton
Earlier this afternoon, one of the Alberta Motor Association’s tow truck operators was struck by an oncoming vehicle while helping a stranded motorist. The operator is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
“Every day, our tow truck drivers put their lives on the line to help Alberta drivers. What we ask in return is a safe environment – for everyone at the roadside,” says Don Smitten, President and CEO of AMA.
“Although we’re grateful the injuries weren’t worse, this is a sobering reminder of the risks tow truck drivers face and how these incidents are entirely preventable. We can, and we must, do more to ensure their safety.”
Prior to the incident, which occurred on 17th Street and the Whitemud Freeway, an AMA safety blocker truck was positioned on the roadway to help protect everyone on the scene. Both the tow truck and blocker unit behind it had amber lights flashing, and reflective cones were in place.
AMA has met with the Minister of Transportation about safety at the roadside, and we are grateful he acknowledged that more needs to be done. Specifically, we request the addition of flashing blue lights, along with the existing amber, to tow trucks. This change would improve the safety and visibility of operators, and we await government’s approval of this important safety-focused change. Research is clear that that blue lights, in combination with amber, are more visible to drivers in low-light and bad weather.
“Every Albertan deserves a safe place to work, and that includes the side of the road,” says Smitten. “By making small adjustments to our driving behaviour, and improving truck visibility, we can make a potentially life-saving difference.”
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, based on road conditions. 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.
The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) is among the largest membership organizations in Alberta, representing more than 975,000 members. As a leading advocate for traffic safety, travel and consumer protection and crime prevention, AMA represents the interests of its members to industry and all levels of government and helps protect the things they care about most. Visit ama.ab.ca to learn more about AMA’s products, services and member advocacy efforts.