New “Move Over” Law Doesn’t Apply to Tow Truck Drivers
KANSAS CITY — Missouri’s new “Move Over” law doesn’t go far enough for some tow truck drivers. The ordinance, which went into effect Tuesday, requires highway drivers to move over a lane or slow down if they’re approaching a Missouri Department of Transportation Motor Assist vehicle on the side of the interstate. The law already applies to police and paramedics providing emergency roadside assistance and now it includes MODOT workers.
But in many cases, it won’t apply to tow truck drivers. That stings tow operators because on Monday 18-year old Blake Gresham of GT Tow, was killed on the Christopher S. Bond Bridge. The Smithville resident stopped his tow truck to help someone with a flat tire in the northbound lanes of I-35. Gresham was side-swiped by a passing truck driver.
John Kupchin owns Sante Fe Tow and is friends with the Gresham family. He says Monday,
“Monday was a sad day for the industry,” said John Kupchin with Santa Fe Tow. “The Move Over Law doesn’t cover tow trucks because we’re not considered an emergency vehicle unless it’s an instance of an accident.”
Kansas City, Missouri Police say because Gresham was assisting someone with a flat tire and because his truck wasn’t registered as an emergency vehicle with the state, it’s unlikely the law would apply to his case.
Kupchin says he and other tow operators plan to ask the Missouri Tow Truck Association to lobby lawmakers to make Missouri’s law similar to Kansas, where any roadside assistance requires other highway drivers to move over or slow down.
“We’re on the highway more than anybody else…..nobody wants to get the phone call that they’re loved one has been killed,” Kupchin adds.