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Alberta Tow Truck Industry Wants Change.

Following an incident where an employee of Oil Country Towing was struck by a passing semi near Leduc on Dec. 2, the Alberta tow truck industry is looking at how to make roads safer for their employees.

The employee, who was seriously injured and required surgery, was struck while working on the side of the road.

On a day with over 100 calls, two operators from the company were sent out on the call prior to the incident.

While one worker was winching the vehicle to get it out of the ditch, a second truck was acting as the blocker truck 300 metres away to alert vehicles.

A semi-truck began to slip on the ice and hit the blocker truck, as well as the other truck that was pulling the car out of the ditch. The worker ran out of the way of the first semi-truck but was hit by a second semi that had swerved to avoid the first truck.

Now, the tow truck industry in the province wants to have blue-and-white flashing lights on all working tow trucks.

Citing incidents such as the one on Dec. 2 as all too common, operators feel that blue lights would be more visible in snowy and foggy weather. Currently, tow trucks use amber lights, similar to what is seen on garbage trucks and snow plows.

Last year, Wayne Drysdale, a UCP MLA for Grande Prairie, introduced a bill that would create the lighting change but it did not get past second reading in the Legislature.

The issue was raised again in November and the NDP government is now looking at a similar change and its impact in Saskatchewan.

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