Harrisburg – The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously voted today to approve legislation by Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) that will reduce vehicle collisions with tow trucks on the side of roads and highways.
SB 1123 will allow tow truck operators to use rear-facing blue lights while stationary and responding to a disabled vehicle. Under the current statute, only flashing or revolving yellow lights are permitted for tow trucks.
The inspiration for this bill came from a tow truck operator in the 33rd District who discovered that operators in several other states had the option for blue lights and the rate of roadside accidents was lower in those states.
Studies by the Texas Department of Transportation and the University of Michigan have demonstrated that drivers routinely ignore the sight of yellow or orange lights when encountered on the road. Blue lights elicit a different response from drivers and are far more visible in hazardous weather conditions. They also give distracted drivers more time to see and react before a potential accident.
“I believe this legislation has the potential to cut down on roadside accidents and save lives in Pennsylvania,” said Mastriano. We’ve lost too many Pennsylvanians to roadside collisions. Allowing tow truck operators to utilize blue lights can have a profound effect on driver alertness. I’m proud to say SB 1123 has the full support of the PA Towing Association.”
SB 1123 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.