La Feria tow truck operator supports legislation for highway hazards
Fri, 01 Apr 2011 04:32:21 GMT —
According to the Tow Truck Association of America, every six days, on average, an on-duty tow truck operator is killed.
"I do put my life on the line every day," Oscar Zuniga with La Feria Wrecker Service said. "Sometimes it's scary... it scares me."
Nationally, that's more than 60 deaths a year.
Figures from the association are in line with the number of officers and paramedics who die along our roadsides.
Ryan: Every day you work on this tow truck... Do you feel you put your life on the line?
Oscar: Yes sir."
A law is already on the books to protect law enforcement and emergency vehicles stopped on roads.
There's no such protection yet for Zuniga TMs line of work.
"Just our vest," he said he uses while on duty.
Think of it as a bright moving target for any speeding bullet. In this case a vehicle.
Zuniga makes sure to face traffic at all times to avoid what he calls driver distraction.
"Some of these people don't even see what I'm doing... And they're paying attention on their cell phones, texting," he said.
But help is on the way.
Without any debate, The Texas House unanimously passed legislation Wednesday requiring motorists to move over or slow down when passing law enforcement or emergency vehicles, such as police cars or ambulances.
The tow trucks would have to have their emergency lights flashing.
Motorists who violate the law would face a fine of up to $200.
That fine could go up if an accident causes property or bodily damage.
"If they slow down like with officers...It'll help us also and keep us safe," Zuniga said in response to the proposed legislation.
He said he welcomed any changes to law that protect his life and his livelihood.