This information is from a Jan. 14, 2020, Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA) press release:
At two weeks into 2020, the official count of line of service deaths for U.S. towing operators was already at four, with some unofficial counts being higher. Losing a tow operator impacts not only their families but the entire towing community. We’d like to assure the industry that TRAA is doing everything possible to combat the multifaceted issue of Line of Duty Deaths (LODD). While not all of our activities are readily apparent, TRAA is pursuing multiple tracks:
Legislation — TRAA is working with lawmakers to support and encourage legislation to address LODDs including working with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which is Congress’ auditing, evaluation and investigative services arm.
Regulation — TRAA is working on possible regulatory solutions within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration. Several options we’re exploring include reclassification.
Supporting Move Over law awareness — TRAA strongly supports the efforts of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, several state associations and other entities to increase awareness among the motoring public.
Collaborating with industry parties — TRAA is combining the forces of multiple industry players to unify efforts and increase our impact on LODDs and Move Over law awareness. More information will be available soon.
Promoting operator education — TRAA was one of the first, and remains one of the fiercest, advocators for the education and professionalism of tow operators. Everyone working in the industry, on- or off-scene, should at minimum take the National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) responder training. The better educated operators are in scene management, PPE, quick clearance, etc., the less exposure and likelihood of being involved in a struck-by or near-miss incident. From TIM training, to the National Driver Certification Program® or Towing & Recovery Support Certification Program™ to private training programs, operators cannot be over-educated in their professions.
To support our efforts, this is what TRAA needs from you:
Towing Traffic Incident Reporting System (TTIRS) — Our ability to push legislation and regulation relies heavily on the compilation of quality data. Please report all near-miss or struck-by incidents to the Towing Traffic Incident Reporting System database (ttirs.com).
National Incident Response Awareness Week — TRAA is asking state associations and individual members to promote Move Over law awareness in their communities, particularly during National Response Incident Awareness Week in November for maximum exposure. However, there’s never a bad time to promote Move Over law awareness.
Legislative Action Workshop — Consider registering for TRAA’s Legislative Action Workshop, March 11-13, 2020, in Washington, DC, for an opportunity to meet with legislators to discuss LODDs and Move Over law awareness. Registration closes February 5, so act quickly.
Supporting Families of Operators Killed in the Line of Service
Towing and Recovery Association of America press release:
The towing industry loses one operator every six days in the United States with 2019 tracking higher than any other incident management partner. This is an unacceptable situation that TRAA and industry associations, organizations and individuals are working hard to change, from promoting Move Over awareness, improving safety education, to legislation. While we strive to change this, TRAA wants to aid the surviving families of operators killed.
TRAA has created the Killed in the Line of Duty Resource Guide for families in this difficult situation and in need of financial assistance. We hope it will provide direction and hope for survivors. The guide is available as a free download on our website, traaonline.com.