Tow Truck Drivers Line I-40 For Safety Awareness

Sunday, February 22nd 2015, 11:09 pm
By: News 9

With the dicey conditions, wreckers will be out clearing spun-out cars. Those tow truck drivers are reminding people to share the road with an awareness event held along I-40.

Whenever you see the bright colored lights and a big tow truck pulled over to the side, its driver wants you to move over.

"We're out there working and most people just keep on going right by us, same speed as normal or faster, and not moving over or giving us that extra 8 or 10 feet," said tow truck driver Nick Ragsdale.

Flying by, tow truck drivers say without law enforcement, people pay them no mind.

"Very dangerous, I mean our lives can be taken in a second, if not killed, at least crippled," said driver Frank Vazquez.

That's why a group of tow truck drivers lined up down I-40 and Douglas Sunday afternoon to raise awareness for drivers to move over when they see the wrecker crews working.

“If you're out there changing your tire on the side of the highway, you would want everybody to move over as much as they can for you. So we expect the same and want to get home safely to our families too," Ragsdale said.

Ragsdale's family-owned company has been in business since 1972. He says across the U.S. about one tow operator is killed every week. So truckers are pushing the "Move Over Oklahoma" campaign, an off-shoot of a nationwide movement to bring attention to the issue.

It wasn't long before car after car quickly moved over in response.

"I love it. I love it. Normally when we have one truck out here, they don't move," Vazquez said.

The "Move Over” awareness event lasted about a half hour when a traffic jam started to form.

But the tow truck drivers hope their message will go a long away, especially as snow and ice hit parts of Oklahoma.

"It's twice as dangerous when all that stuff is out there on the road. We're probably going to be out there even more because there's going to be people who lose control and need our assistance," Ragsdale said.

Organizers say the inspiration behind the event was the recent crash in Pottawatomie County that killed one OHP Trooper and injured another.