Allowing tow trucks to have blue lights in Alberta is something that has been on former Grande Prairie – Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale’s mind since 2017. Almost five years later, the province is set to start a pilot project that allows for just that, starting on June 30th. The pilot project will run for one year.
“It’s a start that’s for sure, but that’s something I would really like to see be permanent. I don’t know what is it or why it took so long, but it’s imperative for the safety of tow truck drivers and the public. Tow truck drivers are out when the weather is bad, like in a snowstorm or fog and amber lights just aren’t visible enough, not like blue or white lights,” Drysdale says.
While steps are being taken for this to become potentially permanent legislation in Alberta, Drysdale feels it should be the same for the rest of the country.
“I think they’re working on it and like I said, it’s taken a long time. Back in 2017, nobody seemed to be against it. It was one of those things that took a while for bureaucrats to move on,” he explains.
“The tow truck association and the drivers have been asking for this change for a long time now. They’ve had lots of incidents with tow trucks and even some lives lost. Anything you can do to improve safety and save lives is a good thing,” he adds.
According to the Alberta Motor Association, since December 2019, a total of 36 near-misses and at least 13 serious roadside incidents involving Alberta tow trucks and passing vehicles have taken place. The collisions often result in injury, hospitalization, and even death.
The legislation was brought forward by a former police officer now Leduc – Beaumont MLA Brad Rutherford in a private member’s bill on April 28th, 2022.