CALGARY — A tow truck driver was struck Wednesday morning while on the job, and unfortunately, incidents like this are not uncommon.
Advocates have long been calling for changes to make the job safer.
The driver that was injured was taken to hospital with severe injuries and is in critical condition.
The driver of the vehicle that struck the tow truck driver was taken to hospital as a precaution.
The investigation into the collision is ongoing.
A 2019 study by the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium found that the risk of injury for tow truck drivers is double that of other jobs.
The risk of being killed on the job is 15 times higher.
“My understanding is that the lights were on, the lights were flashing, the tow truck driver was wearing high visibility clothing, so all that forms part of our investigation,” said Sgt. Colin Foster with the Calgary Police Service Traffic Section.
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In Alberta, all drivers must slow down to 60 km/h or slower in the adjacent lane when passing an emergency vehicle, and if possible, move as far away from the emergency crews as you can.
Minister of Transportation Ric McIver sent this statement in response to the incident:
“We are actively considering the best way to improve safety for all roadside workers, including tow truck drivers, and are taking the necessary time to make the right decision.”
In the meantime, advocate groups and tow truck companies say their drivers receive extensive safety training to do their part – and now police are reminding Calgarians to do theirs.
“Get as far over as you can, drop your speed down to a minimum of 60, and give us room to work so we can get the road open again,” said Foster.