They come out to rescue stranded drivers rain or shine, start our vehicle, unlock our doors and we count on them to open our roads when major incidents happen.bm 2A regular set of amber light beacons. Photo Courtesy of Brandon J Seager.

So, do tow trucks, as a classified emergency response vehicle, deserve the same attention and protection first responder vehicles, such as fire trucks, ambulances, or police vehicles get?

Many local tow operators are joining together and calling for new safety legislation.

They would like to see some tow trucks allowed an alternate colour of light on their beacons and better enforcement of the slow-down and move-over law.

Brad MacMillan a local deck operator with City Wide Towing in the Foothills says he and his co-workers have had too many incidents and close calls last year, something needs to change.

"We've had several incidents just in Calgary and the area, we had one tow truck hit out by Chestermere which resulted in a fatality." MacMillan adds "There was an A.M.A driver that got hit on Deerfoot and Memorial Dr. That same night there was a collision with a BMW and another A.M.A truck."

This coming after the most recent incident a tow operator in Leduc was doing a recovery on the side of a highway where he was hit twice, thrown up into the air and thankfully he survived, but he broke both of his femurs in the incident. The company he worked for - Vintage Towing - says if he was standing on the other side of his tow truck, the outcome would have been devastating.

MacMillan says most tow operators are only looking for a change in the colour of the lights that sit in their beacons. He thinks that drivers have become desensitized by the current amber lights due to high usage in other road industries.


"Right now we have lots of plows on the road. They have amber and red lights, however you also have the landscapers that are plowing and removing snow from parking lots they have amber lights, and they're on all the time. Then you have wide loads and the construction crews on the side of the roads, they're all amber lights."

MacMillan feels that the difference between tow operators and other road industries is that tow operators have little to no protection while they work, unlike other industries.

"In industries like construction, they typically have a lot more safeguards in place. They have their barriers set up, usually concrete ones, and they're allowed to block off however many lanes to keep their workers safe."

Many operators and companies try to avidly promote the "slow down move over" law but it's just not getting through to drivers with an increased number of incidents and close calls like the one on Highway 1 for MacMillan. "I was working in the shoulder recovering a broken down vehicle, and a car came so close to me, that I had no choice but to jump on my deck and while doing that the vehicle actually scuffed my foot." MacMillan says "If I hadn't have seen the car coming, I would have been hit and pinned between my truck and his car."

It's actions like this that cause unease in the towing community. Leading to members writing their M.L.As and M.Ps of their area, but are frustrated with their concerns falling on deaf ears.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

More Local News

Human Remains Found in Strathmore Area

The Strathmore RCMP are investigating after finding human remains in the area Sunday, October 22. The RCMP's Major Crimes and Forensic Identification sections are on the scene. An autopsy has been…

Kenney Brings His Leadership Campaign To The Foothills

Hot on the heels of Brian Jean Thursday, United Conservative Leadership candidate Jason Kenney blew into High River Friday. Kenney gave one indication of why the candidates are stopping by just a…

Crosswalk Construction In Cimarron Begins Today

Construction for raised crosswalks in areas on Cimarron begins Monday, Oct. 23. Two crosswalks on Cimarron Estates Drive, and two on Cimarron Estates Road will be raised after recommendations from…

Meeting of Minds in Okotoks Geared Towards Ending Violence

A recent conference in Okotoks brought together victim services specialists, law enforcement officers, social workers and educators from throughout the province. The event, organized by Foothills…

Time To Get Your Flu Shot

Flu season is here, which means it's time to get your flu shot. Luckily the Province opens their vaccination clinics starting Monday, October 23, province wide. In Okotoks, vaccination clinics are…

Wind Warning To Wrap Up Weekend For Foothills

The Foothills have become no stranger to strong winds this week as Environment Canada has issued another wind warning for the region. The warning was issued early Sunday morning with gusts expected…

High River Woman Arrested For Truck Theft

A stolen truck has lead to several charges against one High River woman and two men from Calgary. A rural High River resident reported that his 2017 Ford F450 had been stolen from his residence…

Lineham House Gallery Celebrates Colours of the Season with Newest Exhibit

Lineham House Gallery is offering a warm escape from chilly temperatures with its newest exhibit. The fall and winter exhibit, called 'Gathering In', opened Saturday, October 20 and features the work…

Okotoks Jacket Racket Open Today for First Time this Season

The cold winter months are coming and the Okotoks United Church Jacket Racket is here to help. Residents in need are invited to visit the church between 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today to select free warm…

Road Closures Today For Okotober Fest

A few road closures to be aware of this afternoon, Oct. 21. The streets surrounding the Olde Towne Plaza and Landmark site will be closed from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. to accommodate the first…

Preparation For Okotober Food Fest Underway

Downtown Okotoks will be filled with great food and drinks this Saturday as the first ever Okotober Food Fest kicks off. The festival will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Landmark site…

Business Excellence Awards Celebrate Best In Local Services

Eight local businesses walked away with an award and lots of pride last night. The annual Okotoks Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence awards were held at the Foothills Centennial Centre, an…

Legion Poppy Campaign Seeking Volunteers

The Okotoks Legion Branch #291 is just a few weeks out from kicking off the annual Poppy Campaign, and they are looking for residents to pitch in. This Saturday, Oct. 21 the Legion will hold a…

Turner Valley RCMP Investigate Break & Enter At Pharmacy

Turner Valley RCMP are investigating after a break in at a local pharmacy. On Wednesday, Oct 18. around 4:00 a.m. a man broke into the Turner Valley Pharmacy located at 101 Sunset Blvd. Once inside,…

Okotoks Is About To Get A Lot More Connected

Telus has announced $60 million in funding to connect more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the Town of Okotoks, Black Diamond and Turner Valley directly to its fibre optic network. Quincy…

Okotoks Eco Centre Event Marks Waste Reduction Week

The Town of Okotoks will be participating in waste reduction week with a special event at the Okotoks Eco Centre tomorrow. Paul Lyons, Town of Okotoks Waste Services Manager, says they'll be…

UPDATE: Wheatland County Fire Under Control

This afternoon's Alberta Emergency Alert for Wheatland County has ended. The fire that was heading towards Gleichen and Cluny in Wheatland County is now under control. Questions, comments, or story…

Coleman Evacuees Allowed Home

Evacuation orders have been lifted for Coleman in the Crowsnest Pass. The Province says the wildfire west of the town is being held and they're allowing those evacuated back in. However, evacuees…

OkotoksOnline.com is Okotoks' only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Okotoks -Our Place in History

14 January 2017 10:00 am - 20 December 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Museum & Archives





Reflections of Canada | Colin Smith

09 September 2017 10:00 am - 11 November 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Art Gallery





Threads that Bind | Ann Haessel

09 September 2017 10:00 am - 11 November 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Art Gallery





“Gathering In” Fall/Winter Group Art Show

21 October 2017 11:00 am - 24 January 2018 5:00 pm

Lineham House Galleries 1906, Okotoks





"I Love Canada Because..." Sticky Note Project

24 October 2017 10:00 am - 28 October 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Museum & Archives





Square Dancing Lessons at Highwood Memorial Centre

24 October 2017 7:30 pm

Highwood Memorial Centre





Overcoming Adversity - An Evening of Inspiration

25 October 2017 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Studio Me, Okotoks





Login