National Move Over Day is this Saturday, and transportation officials and advocates are reminding drivers of their duty to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles on the side of the road.
Drivers who do not move over for vehicles with their lights flashing put first responders, tow truck drivers and others at risk of serious injury or death.
Frank Orozco, owner of Goldline Towing in Ventura County, learned that lesson firsthand when he was hit on Feb. 4 while trying to help a stranded AAA member on the 101 Freeway, the organization pointed out in a news release.
“Helping stranded drivers on the side of the road should not be one of America’s most deadly jobs, but it is,” the release added. “On average, two emergency responders, including tow providers, are hit and killed every month. Roadside crashes are notably deadly for tow workers. Government data shows that tow providers are killed at a rate of almost 43 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to just three for all other industries.”
As for Orozco, he “survived the crash but continues to use a wheelchair.”
“My life has changed dramatically since I’ve been injured,” Orozco said in the release. “It’s made me look at life in a different way. It’s made me more aware of my family.”