This week roadside responders are rallying in solidarity across the country for the ‘Slow to 60’ campaign, which advocates for drivers to slow down when passing emergency response vehicles.
President of the Roadside Responders Association Of Saskatchewan says it comes in response to a number of injuries and deaths in the province.
“Saskatchewan has lost two tow truck drivers since I’ve been in business, and certainly there’s more injuries that don’t make the news,” Stratychuk said Tuesday.
“A fella in Regina was put in a wheelchair [after] getting crushed between two vehicles just [because] somebody [was] not paying attention while he was working his job on the side of the road.”
Tow truck operator and trainer Curtis Moore was at a rally near Langham on Wednesday evening and admitted that working on the side of the highway isn’t for the faint of heart.
“You’re putting yourself on the edge every time you step out of that truck on the highway,” Moore said.
Moore and other roadside responders in attendance said despite the dangers, they continue to serve their community because of the joy that comes from helping their neighbours.
“It’s a good feeling at the end of the day,” heavy operator Brydon Brunsch said at the rally Wednesday night, “to be able to get people off the road or out of a situation they may find themself in.”
Stratychuk says in order to keep emergency crews safe, they want ‘slowing to 60’ to become as common as buckling up for a drive, and they’ve had full support from the province in making that a reality.
Fines for not slowing down past flashing lights range from $310 to more than $500 and come with demerit points.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance said in a statement to Global News, “…regardless of the penalties, the safety of those at roadside is paramount. It’s really important we give them the room and respect they deserve.”
After more than four years of campaign rallies, Stratychuk remains hopeful that more people are getting the message.
“We’ll keep promoting this until slowing down for an emergency vehicle becomes second nature,” Stratychuk said.
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