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Linda Unruh spoke at AAA Hqtr's in Tampa 01.23.20


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Grieving mother spreads message for Tampa Bay drivers to ‘move over’ for emergency vehicles

 

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Twenty thousand Florida drivers violated the move over law last year, authorities say. A grieving mother is on a mission to change that.

 

“He had such a kind heart and he just loved life,” said Linda Unruh.

 

Unruh owned Unruh Towing & Repair for decades in her home state of New Mexico. Her son Bobby was her safety coordinator.

 

“He was my right-hand person to go to. He was my go-to person,” she said.

 

In February 2017, her 37-year-old son died when he was hit by an 18-wheeler going 82 miles per hour.

Bobby Unruh had arrived at the scene to help another tow truck operator.

 

“One 18-wheeler failed to notice, failed to slow down,” said Unruh. “My goal is to reach people so that we can have zero loss on our highways and that’s my mission.”

 

Nineteen days after her son’s death, New Mexico signed “Bobby’s Law” which adds tow trucks to the list of emergency vehicles included in the state’s move over law.

 

Linda Unruh now travels the country to tell her story. She spoke Thursday at the AAA headquarters in Tampa.

 

“Those first responders were entering the most dangerous place on earth: our public highways,” she said about other people killed on the roadside in America.

 

Florida requires drivers to put a lane between them and any emergency vehicle pulled over. If that is not possible, drivers must slow speed to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.

 

According to AAA, one worker or first responder is killed on the roadside every other week in this country.

 

“We’re all at risk for this. A lot of times you’ll see multiple people being injured because of a move over violation,” said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, Florida Highway Patrol.

 

Move over violations caused 185 crashes in 2018, according to Sgt. Gaskins.

 

RESOURCE LINK with video

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Linda is a personal friend of mine and I salute her and the story she tells about the loss of Bobby. My son is a firefighter paramedic and I just couldn't imagine experiencing the loss if something were to happen to him. Her's is a parent's worst nightmare, yet, she is a champion for this industry. Linda has turned the devastation of his loss into much good by lobbying the State of New Mexico into initiating, "Bobby's Law". God Bless you Linda for your courage and passion that drives you to bring continued awareness to the motoring public and for this industry that feels the pain of your message.     R.

Randall C. Resch

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How many here have been fortunate enough to be present when Linda Unruh has recounted the moving words of the loss of her son. If you have not met Linda and heard her speak as she travels across the nation. You should make an effort to do so in the near future. Hers are words you will not easily forget, they hit home. Her loss becomes an industries loss.......

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