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Tow truck driver urges drivers to follow the law, move over on the road

State's expanded 'Move Over' law took effect this year
Posted at 4:52 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 16:58:30-05

MUSKEGON, Mich. — A West Michigan tow truck driver is reminding those out on the roads to pay attention as road conditions worsen throughout the winter.

Joseph Vandermolen, a driver and account manager with ASAP Towing, has been responding to crash scenes for 34 years. In that time, he has seen traffic crashes caused by distracted drivers over and over again.

“We’ll be sitting there and we have to squeeze against our trucks so the cars can go by us on the highway to get in our driver's door. I mean, they’re coming within 3 to 4 feet of us at 70 to 65 miles per hour,” Vandermolen said Tuesday afternoon.

FOX 17 spoke to Vandermolen back in 2015 after he was hit by a vehicle and dragged while working a crash site on US-31.

"Messed up my face, got new teeth, stuff like that. It's no joke. It hurts and I want to go home. I’ve got a wife, three children, six grandchildren and they love grandpa,” he said Tuesday.

Michigan's expanded 'Move Over' law went into effect at the beginning of 2019. Drivers are now required to slow down to 10 mph below the posted speed limit and over a lane when passing an emergency, maintenance or utility vehicle on the side of the road.

Vandermolen says the threat of being hit while doing his job is a constant concern. "Give us five,10 minutes on the side of the road and we’re out of there, but if we have to sit here and wait for traffic to go through to get our equipment off our trucks… you’re constantly looking. You’re looking at more cars coming at you than actually your job,” he said.

ASAP Towing is located on Pulaski Ave. in Muskegon. Veterans always receive a 10% discount on services.

If you are caught breaking the law, you can face a $400 ticket and 2 points on your license. If your violation ends up injuring a police officer, firefighter or other emergency response worker you can face up to 2 years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

For more information on the law and potential penalties for breaking it, you can check out the State's website.