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Harrowing video shows perils of being a tow truck driver (ia)


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CLINTON, Iowa - A local tow truck driver is giving motorists a first-hand look at the perils faced in his profession with a harrowing cell phone video shot during a highway call.

"It's getting worse. There's so many distractions these days," said tow truck driver Tyler Petersen.

In the video shot last week, cars and semis are shown barrelling down the highway, inches away from Peterson while he prepares to tow a car.

At one point, he's lying on the shoulder of the road with a semi whizzing dangerously close. That semi driver then gives him the middle finger.

"In the video, I threw up my hands, the guy was flipping me off, like it's my fault I was almost hit by him," he said.

Iowa law doesn't mandate moving over for tow drivers, but police say it is a common sense, lifesaving courtesy.

"It's specific for law enforcement vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, but if you see flashing lights please move over," said Shawn Voights, Traffic Bureau Commander with the Davenport Police Department.

The 22-year-old has been towing cars for the family business for years, and says he shot the video to inspire others to think about the lives of tow truck drivers.

"People need to slow down and be more aware of their surroundings on the road. Pay attention. I'm not in hazard every day as much as people in bigger cities," he said.

"When you're in a ditch, who's coming to get you? We are."

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I'm sorry, but, videos like this simply illustrates that some towers aren't aware of working off the white-line side. To intentionally put yourself in harm's way is a dangerous practice as is turning your back to traffic or initiating a potential bout of road-rage from approaching motorists and semi drivers. The video does have value though ... in teaching smart tow operators what NOT to do. The industry's history of more than 200 tow operators killed working the traffic side confirms that it's a dangerous practice. Don't become a victim by lying on the pavement or standing on the white-line. By changing your safety mentality, the entire hookup practice can be done from the non-traffic side using tried and true quick-time techniques.   R.

Randall C. Resch

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Not to beat a dead horse but it’s not always necessary to work with the road side controls, please take care of yourself and think about using the curb side controls, don’t depend on the law or somebody else to protect you.

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John R.___" WATCH YOUR BACK"____

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