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First responders and tow truck drivers: 'Slow down, move over'

Local law enforcement and tow truck companies joined the nationwide movement "Spirit Ride Tour" in Boise today. (KBOI Staff Photo)

"Slow down, move over. It's the law."

In fact it's the law in every state across the nation. If you see a stopped emergency vehicle you must slow down below the speed limit and move over at least one lane.

It's a simple message but one many people may not pay enough attention to. According to a poll by the National Safety Commission 71% of Americans have not heard of "Move Over" laws.

Local law enforcement and tow truck companies joined the nationwide movement "Spirit Ride Tour" in Boise today.

The year-long coast to coast campaign to raise public awareness of the Slow Down, Move Over laws and honor those tragically killed in roadside accidents.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics 33 tow truck operators were killed while trying to rescue stranded drivers in 2014 alone. Those numbers continue to increase annually.

Dealing with danger is part of the job for police, fire, EMS crews and tow truck drivers so today they took a stand against those breaking this law.

Idaho State Police trooper Justin Ward says it's pretty common to have drivers go by who are not paying attention., not moving over and even driving on the shoulder.

It's something first responders and tow truck drivers have to watch out for every time they stop.

"Tow trucks are on scene and they're even more vulnerable a lot of times they don't have the lights that we do on our vehicles, so they're on the shoulder working on vehicles, a lot of times they can't pay attention to traffic as well as we can so they're constantly at rick as well," Ward said.

Jessca Reeves is the wife, daughter, and sister in law to tow truck drivers. She says they've all dealt with many close calls and have even had to jump out of the way of speeding vehicles.

"It's definitely pretty terrifying especially seeing when we're out, when I'm out with them how people don't slow down how they don't move over people are just inches away from hitting my husband my father or my brother in law," Reeves said. "You know we have a five month old baby so it's kinda scary that my husband might not come home or I might not get to see my dad again."

After the ceremony tow truck carried the "spirit" casket designed with the American flag and adorned with symbols to honor those who have risked and lost their lives.

Emergency vehicles and tow trucks followed in an awareness procession that ended in Nampa.

The 'Spirit Ride Tour" will continue spreading this important message and paying tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while working along that white line.

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