National Safety Month: Raising Measures And Laws Awareness

Volume 13 Issue 4 - Industry News - Traxero

By Laura Dolan, Senior Content Marketing Manager | TRAXERO

For towers and roadside assistance professionals, safety isn’t just something they think about for one month out of the year.  It’s a state of mind that they should have all year long. At the end of the day, every day, they just want to make it home to see their families. And many of their decisions revolve around safety.

Despite their essential services, tow operators face significant risks while working on busy roadsides. To mitigate these dangers, a combination of safety measures and enforced laws has been established, of which many may not be aware. These provisions aim to protect towing and roadside assistance professionals, increasing the probability they can perform their duties without undue risk, 24/7/365.

Safety Measures

  1. High-Visibility Apparel: One of the fundamental safety measures is the requirement for towers and roadside assistance professionals to wear high-visibility clothing. These garments, typically bright orange or yellow with reflective strips, make workers easily noticeable to oncoming traffic, even in low-light conditions. This simple yet effective measure significantly reduces the risk of accidents.
  2. Proper Training: Comprehensive training programs are crucial. These programs educate workers on safe practices, such as the correct placement of safety cones, flares, and warning triangles. Training also covers the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper procedures for working in various weather conditions and at different times of day.
  3. Vehicle Lighting and Signage: Assistance vehicles are often equipped with bright, flashing lights to alert drivers to their presence. Additionally, these vehicles usually have clear signage indicating a roadside service is in progress. These visual alerts are crucial in prompting drivers to slow down and proceed with caution.

“In terms of safety, it depends on states’ regulations. Some states allow red and blue lights for towers; for others, only amber,” said Devon Banks, Director of Emergency Roadside Services and Private Fleets for HAAS Alert. “But overall, there is definitely always a focus on the safety of the people working on the roadways, all the way from DOT down to private fleets like tow operators.”

  1. Communication Tools: Modern technology has introduced advanced communication tools that significantly enhance safety. GPS devices, two-way radios, and mobile apps allow for constant communication between the roadside professional and their dispatch center. This connectivity ensures that help can be quickly dispatched in case of an emergency.

Enforced Laws

  1. Move Over Laws: Many jurisdictions have enacted “Move Over” laws. These laws require drivers to change lanes or slow down when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle, including tow trucks and roadside assistance vehicles. The rationale behind these laws is to create a safer space for workers operating on the roadside. Violations of Move Over laws can result in hefty fines and points on the driver’s license.

“The Slow Down and Move Over Law is enforced in all 50 states with different variations on the rules. For example, how much you need to slow down and when exactly you need to move over creates confusion among drivers,” said Banks. “Specifically for the towing industry, people don’t see the work that they do on the side of the road. They don’t really realize how they’re keeping the economy moving, so it’s a really good time just to be appreciative of the work they do and remind your friends and family who are in the motoring public to slow down, move over, and pay attention.” 

  1. Speed Limits In Work Zones: Sometimes tow operators have to report to work zones in the incidence of a cleanup job. In areas where roadside assistance is being provided, temporary speed limits are often enforced. These reduced speed limits are clearly posted and aim to protect both the workers and drivers by minimizing the risk of high-speed collisions.

“In terms of calling attention to National Safety Awareness Month, we’d like to take this as an opportunity to help promote safety within the general motoring public, because they often have a lot on their mind and they’re driving around distracted without even realizing it, and can sometimes just forget the basics,” Banks explained.

  1. Work Zone Safety Regulations: Specific regulations govern the setup of work zones where roadside assistance is provided. These regulations dictate the placement of cones, signs, and barriers to ensure the area is safe for both the workers and passing motorists. Compliance with these regulations is mandatory and is enforced by local and state authorities.
  2. Liability Laws: To further protect towers and roadside assistance professionals, liability laws have been put in place. These laws hold drivers accountable for any harm caused to workers due to negligence or failure to adhere to safety protocols. This legal framework ensures that there are consequences for reckless behavior, thereby encouraging safer driving practices around towing and roadside assistance operations.

In Closing

For owners and operators in the towing industry, it’s of utmost importance to stay diligent and encourage their staff to adopt and learn about new safety measures, products, and technologies. This way, tow companies ensure they equip all their vehicles with the latest and greatest safety gadgets.

 “In terms of safety in the towing industry, it’s always going to be changing and evolving and growing,” said Banks. “What worked 10 and 20 years ago isn’t going to work today, and what works today might not work 10 or 20 years from now. So, we need to also evolve as an industry to cater to the motoring public who’s using the roads.”

Come Experience the TRAXERO Difference

We at TRAXERO are not only advocates for raising National Safety Month awareness, but we also understand the liability and danger involved with the unpredictability of the towing industry.

While we can’t prevent the tragedies that occur on the roadways, the least we can do is bring the industry’s most essential and updated towing software solutions together. These include, but are not limited to digital dispatching and telematics, which contribute to the improved efficiency and communication necessary to ensure everyone is able to do their jobs as safely as possible.

Our reliable support team also responds quickly and is always here to help you get set up and partner with you to answer any questions about how it all works going forward. You never have to go it alone.

To learn more about how you can start using TRAXERO’s tools to start improving your towing business, visit traxero.com or call us at 1-800-428-4715.

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