For nearly six years, Mark Maslak, 27 has risked his life working for Red’s Towing in West Springfield, Massachusetts. His job has a very dangerous side because he is working daily on the Massachusetts Turnpike, the most prominent highway in the state. Mark’s job consists of towing vehicles along the highway while other cars and trucks zoom by him in excessive speed. Though he risks his life daily, he loves his job. “I do this because I love helping people, I truly believe this is my calling,” states Maslak.
In Massachusetts, there is a law that was set in 2009 called the “Move Over Law.” This law aims to make police officers, firefighters, paramedics, tow truck drivers, and all roadside emergency and maintenance professionals safer on the job. According to this law, “drivers approaching a stationary emergency or maintenance vehicle with flashing lights to move to the next adjacent lane if it is safe to do so, and, barring that, to reduce their speed. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $100.”
Mark believes there is not enough being done to enforce this law. “I would have to say around 75 percent of people do not abide by the Move Over Law simply because they are either too busy with their phone, makeup, the radio and clearly not paying attention,” he says in regards to what he sees daily. He keeps himself in highly visible clothing and works hard to keep himself safe. Though he has not been injured severely on the job, he did say he has been “pretty lucky” he has not been killed. He says his life has “flashed before his eyes” countless times and is grateful he can come home when others are not so lucky.
“If I could say one thing to those who do not slow down or move over, I would ask them how they would feel if they were in the position I was in on a daily basis. I would want to know if they were willing to take the chance of not being able to make it home to their own family,” says Maslak. The next time there is a tow truck driver, a police officer, a firefighter or any type of emergency personnel, please remember to slow down and move over because they want to get home too.