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Expansions to Move Over Bill in Maryland and West Virginia

A bill to protect tow truck drivers on the roadside passed Friday in the Maryland House of Delegates. Now a bill to protect waste service vehicles on the roadside in West Virginia is up for a vote.

WHAG NEWS – While the expansion of the Maryland Move Over Bill involving tow truck safety just passed Friday in the Maryland House of Delegates, another bill in West Virginia will have safety measures given for garbage trucks.

"We are now feeling part of the team. You know, people out trying to clear the road and make it safe for everybody," said Roy Jones, of Blue Gray Towing.

As an expansion of Maryland's Move Over bill, the new legislation would require drivers to move into an open lane when approaching tow trucks at a roadside emergency. Truck drivers at the Blue Gray Towing said they are pleased if the bill passes, especially knowing some of the dangers they've experienced on the roadside.

"It gets to where when I feel an 18 wheeler go by, it feels like 40 miles per hour gush blowing and it wants you to be sucked into the road," said Nicholas Gargano, of Blue Gray Towing.

"It is very dangerous out there. So it's important the public knows that towers are in just as much danger as what police officers are," said Jones.

The bill in West Virginia would require that drivers must not exceed 15 miles per hour when coming in either direction at a stopped waste service vehicle.

In a statement from Vice President Mike Brennan of Apple Valley Waste, he believes the law "Will dramatically reduce the frequency and severity of accidents involving waste and recycling collection workers on public roads." 

The expansion to the Move Over Bill in Maryland now heads to the Senate.

In West Virginia, the measure passed both the House and Senate. It now awaits a signature from Governor Tomblin. 

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