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Re: SDMO Court-Case Conversation

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I wanted to present these FYI comments that have to do with court-case conversation regarding slow-down move-over and the (acceptable) use of emergency lighting.


In a recent deposition, attorneys bantered back and forth about what was considered an emergency when referring to highway shoulders versus slow-down move-over considerations? When asked for my opinion, I responded by clearly stating, "Anything stoppped, parked, or otherwide blocking the free and clear movement of vehicular traffic that's parked or displaced on a highway's shoulder, gore point, or center divider ... that's an emergency." I was then asked, "If a car was out of gas, did that present any kind of emergency?" It was easy for me to repeat what I had just said, BEFORE they started to confuse, reverse and mis-state my testimony.


They spent the next 20-minutes trying to disect and destroy my statement. But, even with their bright lights, rubber hoses and anticipated trickery, I stood fast by my statements that they're called emergency shoulders for obvious reasons. I spoke to the importance that tow trucks must have a stationary presence of being parked with over-head emergency lighting activated and in-action. I was sure to include fatality statistics I've been recording as a means to show why any event on a highway is a dangerous event. So ... after three nearly wasted-hours, the deposition concluded. 


If you (as a tow professional) go to court for anything relating to SDMO, it's important to understand the reasoning and the letter of your state's SMDO law.



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Randall C. Resch

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I mean, people don't routinely park of the side of a highway, they typically only do so in an emergency. Therefore, the truck who responds to the call from the motorist would be tending to their emergency? If that didn't constitute an emergency I'd hate to see what would in their eyes.

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