Recently a female tow truck driver from the Knoxville area shared a Facebook video that has since gone viral—showing the dangers faced by a tow truck driver just trying to do her job. Created to spread awareness of the “Move Over” laws that have been enacted in Tennessee and other states during the past decade or so, Lotus Girl Towing owner, Tennille Shipley, shows the dangers she must face head on every day—mainly drivers who speed past her as she works roadside, each disobeying state law that mandates they move into another lane or slow down. The posting dramatically illustrates what it’s like for an emergency worker as she goes about hitching a broken-down recreational vehicle onto the bed of her tow truck.
Now enjoying more than 300,000 views, the video’s Facebook post states, “More towers are killed than all other emergency response personnel combined yearly. Yesterday, another tower was killed while working a wreck on a highway. Please remember we have a “MOVE OVER LAW.”
The striking video shows most cars driving within inches of the yellow emergency cones stationed alongside the road. Even though the cones provide an extra reminder that a person is at work, violators, including drivers in commercial vehicles and 18-wheel trailer trucks, continue to stay in the adjacent lane. Few vehicles filmed in the 6-minute video bother to shift into a different lane, even though traffic is light and the weather clear.
This disturbing lack of respect for another individual enforces why we need such a critical law. Originally intended as a response to law enforcement losing their lives to oncoming traffic, the “Move Over” law now also applies to first responders, authorized highway workers, and utility service equipment operators—all individuals who must do their jobs on the sides of heavily trafficked, interstate highways. We offer more details about Tennessee’s move over law in the following blog.
Today, all 50 states have some form of a “move over” law on the books. In Tennessee, drivers that fail to slow down or move into another lane when approaching an emergency vehicle face up to a $500 ticket and 30 days in jail.
Common sense, a little respect, and an alert public all go a long way in saving a life of someone whose workspace is an interstate highway. Remember one day we may need help in a roadside emergency, too. For those who have been the victim in a truck accident, it pays to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer, such as the attorneys with Bailey and Greer—we are always available to help with more information or a free consultation. Feel free to contact us via our website or call 901-475-7434.
Thomas Greer is a Memphis, TN personal injury trial attorney with Bailey & Greer. He has extensive trial experience in both state and federal court. Among other victories in the courtroom, Thomas obtained a $3.7 million jury verdict in a personal injury trucking case and a $500,000 wrongful death jury verdict in an auto accident case.