Posted on 20th Jan 2024


Tow truck drivers in Alberta are hopeful a new private member’s bill in the legislature will help shine a different light on roadside safety.

In the last two-and-a-half years, the AMA alone has reported 36 near misses and 13 serious roadside incidents with its towing fleet.

One of those serious crashes involved Kevin, a man who had been a tow truck operator for 29 years.

“The friction of her vehicle on my clothes spun me three times and I hit the ground behind her vehicle,” he said.

In that moment, the dangers of his profession became very real, very fast.

Oil Country Towing has experienced one major collision in each of the last 10 years, including one just last month on the side of the QE2.

“It’s a gut-wrenching feeling. My heart jumped into my throat,” said Don Getschel, the company’s president, as he explained his reaction to hearing one of his team members was struck.

Thankfully, in that particular crash, the operator was in his vehicle and escaped with minor injuries.

But Getschel said things easily could have been much more serious.

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“He was just about to get out of the truck to secure his load and doublecheck everything,” he said. “So if that would have happened just a minute later, he would have been struck himself.


Getschel is also the president of the Towing and Recovery Association of Alberta. He believes drivers have become complacent when seeing amber lights.

For years he and others in the industry, including the AMA, have been asking for permission to use blue lights.

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