Tow truck drivers applaud "Move Over, Slow Down" penalties - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tow truck drivers applaud stiffer "Move Over, Slow Down" penalties

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Starting July 1, 2012, drivers in Iowa will face tougher penalties for failing to move over or slow down. Last year, two Iowa tow truck drivers were killed while responding to an accident on I-80. That accident sparked a movement to strengthen the existing "Move Over, Slow Down" law.

By law, drivers who see flashing lights from an emergency or work vehicle are required to either move over, or slow down at least ten miles per hour below the speed limit.

Unfortunately, not everyone follows that law. The owner of a Waterloo service station says his drivers have had some pretty close calls.

"Every service call we go on, we're at risk. Unfortunately, people are not paying attention like they should," said Jim Lind. "We've been hit. We've been hit."

The hope is, by increasing penalties, drivers will think twice when approaching an emergency or work vehicle. Starting Sunday, if you fail to move over, you'll face fines of at least $500. Cause any damage to a vehicle, you'll lose your license for 90 days. If someone is injured, it's 180 days, and if your actions cause a person's death, the Iowa DOT will suspend your license for one year.

Lind hopes the stiffer penalties will help keep his drivers a bit safer on the roads.

"Every tool in the tool box is helpful. And another penalty, if that will raise the awareness, will help. But it's something we'll always have to watch and be aware of," he said.

Click here to read the changes to Iowa's Move Over Slow Down law.

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