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Wisconsin's Towing Industry Appreciation Week highlights dangerous realities for tow truck drivers

On average, one tow truck driver is killed every other week in the U.S.
Tow Truck Driver
Posted at 2:27 PM, Sep 11, 2023

MILWAUKEE — For the first time, Wisconsin's governor has declared Sept. 10-16 Towing Industry Appreciation Week.

"On average, across the U.S., one truck driver is killed in the line of duty every other week," said Nick Jarmusz with AAA.

It's a dangerous job and one that's deadly far too often.

"This is a danger that is present throughout the year," said Jarmusz.

That's why he says Governor Tony Evers' new proclamation declaring this week Wisconsin Towing Industry Week is a time to remind everyone of the dangers tow truck drivers face and the consequences all drivers could face if we don't pay attention behind the wheel.

"In Wisconsin in particular, in addition to there being a move-over law that requires you to slow down and move over for tow truck drivers and other emergency responders, there's also what's called an emergency zone law," said Jarmusz.

That law enhances the penalties for any traffic violation committed while you're driving past an active emergency response scene.

"So, if you are on your phone or you're texting or you're speeding or you're doing anything else that would be a traffic violation while you're passing a tow truck driver or other emergency responder the penalties for those infractions are going to be doubled," said Jarmusz.

It's a reminder to focus when you're out and about.

"I don't think anyone is intentionally putting tow truck drivers in danger or other responders in danger but there is a danger to the complacency," he said.

The week is also a chance to celebrate the often silent heroes, who risk their lives to save our days from both danger and inconvenience.

"These are folks who just like other emergency responders and everyday heroes who are working long shifts, they just want to get home safely at the end of those shifts to their families," said Jarmusz.

A week designed to highlight the realities these important roadside professionals face in every one of our communities.


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