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Tow Truck Drivers, Law Officers Face High Danger On Roads

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

LAFAYETTE, Colo. (CBS4) – The Towing and Recovery Professionals of Colorado, an educational group for towers and drivers along the roads, says every 6 days a tow truck driver is killed in the United States.

In Colorado there have already been two deaths.

“Martin loved life,” Bonnie Braden said.

That’s what Martin Braden’s mom misses about him. The tow truck driver was killed while cleaning up an accident scene along Highway 85 when a driver plowed through the closed lane.

“He never left without giving me a hug and saying he loved me,” Bonnie Braden said.

“Somebody has lost a complete person and part of their life for not a very good reason,” Cosy Towing owner Char Swaney said.

Swaney not only owns a towing company but is part of the Towing and Recovery Professionals of Colorado. They educate towers and drivers about safety.

With the help from the Lafayette Police Department, CBS4 set up a scene similar to the one when Martin Braden died.

“What we do is park 15 to 20 feet behind the vehicle and offset to the left to try to block the roadway,” Sgt. John Sellers with the Lafayette Police Department said.

Colorado has a “move over” law requiring drivers to move over or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles, including tow trucks. CBS4 caught drivers both abiding and breaking the law.

“This blue Toyota truck travelling northbound — obviously they have the means to vacate that lane and they didn’t do it, and nor did they slow to a reasonable cruising speed,” Sellers said.

The message is simple and it can save lives.

“Go by us as carefully as you can so no more of us have to die,” Swaney said.

Polling says 71 percent of Americans have never heard of the “move over” laws. Those caught breaking the law will be ticketed and fined.

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