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

Petherick Plays For Picnic At The Piano

Okotokians got a free concert in Olde Towne Plaza again this month, as the second last Picnic at the Piano performance got underway this afternoon. Classical, Jazz and Musical Theatre artist Bruce…

Alberta Guide Dogs Looking For Puppy Raisers

Alberta Guide Dogs partnered up with Kayben Farms again Wednesday morning. The organization was on site performing obedience training and is looking to add to their roster of puppy raisers. Sandra…

Market At Creamery Site Cancelled For 2017

The Sunday Market at the Creamery Site will no longer run for the rest of the season. Okotoks Town Administration has been advised of the struggle this year to get the proper number of vendors in…

Town Of Okotoks Encourages Residents To Upgrade Water Meters

The Town of Okotoks is in the final push for new water meter upgrades, as only 1000 replacements remain the residential sector. The Water Conservation and Leak Detection Program has been replacing…

Encouraging Developers To Help Fill Transitional Housing Need

A Notice of Motion from Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson which passed in Council Monday, Aug. 21 may help the Rowan House Society Emergency Shelter find some much needed real estate. The motion directs…

Clearcuttling Through The Unknown

High River council got to hear from a group fighting against clear cutting in the Highwood Pass area at Monday's council meeting. The group Take A Stand For The Highwood wants the Government to place…

Food Bank Prepares For Back To School As It Sees Continued Increase

August has proven to be another busy month for the Okotoks Food Bank as it prepares to help families send their kids back to school. To help locals who may be feeling the financial pinch of…

Anderson Endorses Jean As UCP Leader

The leadership race for the United Conservative Party will start to heat up as the date to pick the leader gets closer. Brian Jean and Jason Kenney are the front runners heading into the vote and…

Food Bank Prepares For Back To School As It Sees Continued Increase

August has proven to be another busy month for the Okotoks Food Bank as it prepares to help families send their kids back to school. To help locals who may be feeling the financial pinch of…

Okotoks Residents Catch Glimpse Of Solar Eclipse

All across North America yesterday, people donned protective glasses and turned their eyes to the skies to catch a rare glimpse of a solar eclipse. In Okotoks, Kayben Farms handed out viewing glasses…

School Supply Program Supports Families During Financially Draining Time

Back to school can be a financially draining time for families but the Okotoks Family Resource Centre can help. Their school supply program partners with Staples each year to provide a little boost…

Water Ban To Be Lifted In Black Diamond, Turner Valley

Good news for residents in Black Diamond and Turner Valley this week as water restrictions will be downgraded. Beginning tomorrow, Wed. Aug 23, at 9 a.m., the full outdoor water ban Black Diamond and…

Past weekend brimming with summer events in the Foothills

This past weekend was packed with summer events in the Foothills, including the Priddis and Millarville Fair, a rodeo at Bar U Ranch as well as a charity dog walk in Okotoks. The Priddis and…

Open Farm Days The Bees Knees For Participants

This weekend was a busy weekend in agriculture, as many farmers were out harvesting or bailing and others were accepting visitors from all over the province for Open Farm Days. Open Farm Days is an…

Pop Up In The Park A Huge Success

Drake Landing was the place to be on Saturday, as crowds from all over town came together for fun in the sun. Event M.C. Julia Wolf says there was so much more to the day then the theatrical…

What To Expect From Monday's Solar Eclipse

Just in case you missed the news, there's a solar eclipse happening Monday, August 21. Local Astronomer James Durbano says for us it won't be a total eclipse. "We're going to see, at most about 80…

Ty Marshall's Appeal Denied

The Vulcan County Regional Subdivision and Development Appeal Board has maintained Vulcan County's Planning Commission's decision on denying former Animal House owner Ty Marshall a permit for a dog…

Looking For a New Home? Check The Salvage Centre

There are a lot of items you can buy at the Foothills Salvage Centre. Things like books, clothing, building supplies, campers, canoes and once even a boat - and right now you could purchase a home to…

Okotoks Town Council Meets This Afternoon

Okotoks Town Council meets for the first and only time in August today, Aug. 20. On the agenda today is the presentation of the The 2017 Second Quarter Operating Variance Report, and the second and…

OAC Helping To Remove Financial Barriers For Local Artists

The Okotoks Arts Council wants to make sure local artists can keep creating without worrying about financial barriers. The OAC has two $500 grants they're looking to give to artists who specialize in…

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





"Canadianisms: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada" exhibit by Brandy Saturley

10 June 2017 10:00 am - 02 September 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Art Gallery





Fresh Picked: Southern Alberta

29 July 2017 12:00 pm - 20 September 2017 5:00 pm

Lineham House Galleries, Okotoks





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

22 August 2017 10:00 am - 26 August 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Museum & Archives





Art on the Lawn at the Okotoks Art Gallery

24 August 2017 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Okotoks Art Gallery





Painting in the Ala Prima Techniques with Artist Marg Smith

24 August 2017 7:00 pm - 25 August 2017 8:00 pm

Lineham House Galleries, Okotoks





Tennis Festival

27 August 2017 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

High River Tennis Courts, Aldersyde





Login