BOISE –  October 19 is National Move Over Awareness Day, an opportunity to remind drivers that if they are traveling in an adjacent lane and see flashing lights from a tow truck, incident response vehicle or first responder on the side of the road, Idaho law requires them to slow down below the speed limit, and, if possible, move over to another travel lane.  An average of 23 tow operators are killed at the roadside every year, about one every other week.  AAA encourages drivers to give tow operators, construction workers and first responders plenty of room to safely do their job.

“The human cost doesn’t end with the tragic loss of life,” says Matthew Conde, public affairs director for AAA Idaho.  “Many more workers are seriously injured each year.  Even a collision with a stationary tow vehicle can be devastating, because many of these tow operators are small business owners, and if their vehicle is out of service, they can’t provide for their families.  Emergency workers at the roadside deserve to be protected – they make the roads safer and more efficient for the rest of us.”

Unfortunately, fewer than 30 percent of Americans know about “Slow Down, Move Over” laws, putting roadside workers at unnecessary risk, including here in Idaho.

“We’re doing our part to spread the word, but we need the public’s help to get the message out,” Conde said.