The Automotive Retailers Association of BC (ARA) advocates on behalf of the automotive industry, addressing key issues and ensure that industry needs are met.
The Automotive Retailers Association says the government needs to enforce Slow Down and Move Over laws and protect roadside workers.
The Coquihalla Highway was shut down on Saturday, June 27 after a bus collided with other vehicles, including a tow truck that was on scene performing a roadside recovery. Several people, including the tow truck driver who was working on the side of the road, were sent to hospital with serious injuries. The accident could have easily ended in death.
The Automotive Retailers Association of BC (ARA) advocates for professional standards and fair treatment for automotive industry workers, including tow truck operators. The association is calling on the government to take the incident as a stern warning, and take enforcement of the “slow down and move over” legislation more seriously.
“We are so grateful the tow truck driver and other motorists were not more seriously injured,” said the ARA’s president and CEO, Ken McCormack. “In many cases, these accidents can end in the death of roadside workers and public motorists.”
In the last decade, roadside workers, many of whom are towing and recovery operators, suffered 15 deaths and 223 injuries from being hit by a motor vehicle on or beside the road. In most cases, these accidents are easily preventable.
The ARA has partnered with Worksafe BC to develop its own training and operator certification programs. The association is also a member of the Road Safety Work Zone Alliance and a supporter of the Cone Zone media campaign.
Although the Slow Down and Move Over messaging is gaining public recognition, McCormack and the ARA contend that not enough is being done in time to ensure today’s tow truck drivers can respond to roadside recoveries without risking their lives.
The association is asking for stricter enforcement and steeper penalties for drivers who fail to follow the legislation in place to ensure the safety of roadside workers.
McCormack hopes this latest incident on the Coquihalla will serve as a wake up call.
“How many more people have to be injured or killed before the authorities will decide to act?”