Tow truck operators ask for some space

Published: Oct. 18, 2023 at 4:29 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - We are on I-580 North in Reno near the airport, with tow truck operator Jeramiah Rounsaville.

He’s here to help a driver in distress who says her car won’t start. It doesn’t matter the reason, Rounsaville’s job is to get the vehicle off the roadway as quickly and safely as possible. The reasons are obvious and many.

But the bottom line is his life depends upon it.

“We are out here we have family,” says Rounsaville. “Our family has us. We don’t want to wind up in a box. We would rather be on our own two feet.”

Rounsaville says he’s been doing this line of work just shy of 3 years.

He was attracted to the mechanics, the variation, and challenge a tow truck operator faces every day.

Then there’s the danger element. Under state law, cars on the road are to slow down and move over when they see flashing lights.

For several years now, tow trucks in Nevada have had a solid blue rear facing light which indicates they are an emergency vehicle at the scene much like law enforcement or fire.

“Anybody,” says Rounsaville. “Highway patrol, fire department, emergency responders, us towers--we are all out there working that incident. A majority of our focus is on what we are doing at task. It is hard to split our focus to the highway and what we are doing at the same time.”

So far this year 13 tow truck operators have died on roadways nationwide just doing their jobs.

While some people don’t look kindly upon tow truck operators, consider where we, our roadways, and even our own personal safety would be without them.

That’s why a special event is scheduled to spotlight the industry. Which is why this rig at D and S was getting more than the once over when we arrived at their facility.

The “Slow Down, Move Over” Event is this Saturday at the West Parking lot of the Nugget. It begins at seven with a parade, and there will be competition including my favorite, retrieving keys from a parked car.

For more information on “Slow Down, Move Over” go to: