Upstate tow truck drivers urging drivers to obey law: move over or slow down

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Move over or slow down. It’s a law you’ve likely heard before but some upstate tow truck drivers told 7 News, it’s not happening and they want that to change before there are any more tragedies.

Another day on the road for Phillip Sparks. He’s a tow truck driver and has been for a very long time.

“I’ve been towing for 15 years,” said Tow Truck Driver with De Young’s Garage & Towing, Phillip Sparks.

But through those years of driving and towing vehicles, he told us some things haven’t changed.

“If you’re in this profession long enough, it’s not is it going to happen, it’s when it’s going to happen because you’re going to have a close call,” Sparks told 7 News.

Not only does he have to take extra precautions with every move he makes while on the side of the road, he has also seen what can happen when people don’t obey the law. He shared with 7 News, some of his fellow drivers have gotten hit and killed.

“He was hit over in Duncan off of I-85. The other one was in Easley,” said Sparks.

It’s a law that has been in effect for years in South Carolina.

“By law, you are supposed to move over. If there’s another car in the number one lane and you’re not able to do that, you need to slow down drastically,” said Trooper with South Carolina Highway Patrol, Joel Hovis.

Trooper Joel Hovis said if violated, the law comes with some penalties. That’s a fine between $300 and $500. But Sparks thinks the penalties should be stricter.

“My life is worth more than $500. If they were in our shoes, I think they would agree with it,” Sparks told us.

According to AAA data, A tow truck driver is killed every six days nationally.

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