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Drivers May Soon Have To Move Over For Tow Truck Operators

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland drivers may soon be required to move over for tow truck operators. The House and Senate have both passed bills requiring drivers to use the same safety maneuvers for tow trucks that apply to police emergency vehicles.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the reasons behind the bill.

Tow truck operators are exposed to the same dangers from passing vehicles on the state’s highways, which makes them vulnerable to injury and, in some cases, death.

On August 24, 2011, 38-year-old James Schreiber was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he assisted a stranded sewage truck. His wife, Jenna, appealed for help.

“If they would just come forward and do the right thing,” she said.

More than two years later, the driver has not been found but she is focused on doing the right thing for others like her husband, whose work puts them in dangerous proximity to high speed traffic. She’s fighting for passage of a move over bill for tow truck drivers—although revisiting her husband’s death is painful.

“I would do it a million times if it means that the bill gets passed and people are educated. I think people are good and would do it if they knew they were supposed to,” she said.

The bill requires drivers to move to another lane or slow down for a safe passage of tow trucks stopped, standing or parked on a highway.

“The more attention we can draw to the issue of moving over when you see someone on the side of the road, the more lives it’s going to save,” said Senator Nancy Jacobs.

Schreiber and others hope it happens this year.

“I’m hopeful it’s this year but I will go again and again if I have to,” she said.

The House and Senate have each unanimously passed a version of the bill.

The move over law for police and emergency vehicles has been in effect since 2010.

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