AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - First responders from across the Panhandle gathered today to raise awareness for highway safety.
Through the Spirit Ride campaign participants are bringing attention to the "Slow Down Move Over Laws".
The laws are in effect in all 50 states. They require passing vehicles to move over one lane or slow down when approaching an incident where tow operators, police, firefighters and EMS are working.
"There is a lot of emergency workers that are killed every year by traffic getting to close to them and hitting them," Pat Fitzpatrick, Assistant Fire Chief for Potter County said. "We just need people to remember to slow down or move over that one lane and give us some room while you go by. We wont slow your trip too much and then you can keep up with your trip."
Fitzpatrick says he has worked crash scenes along highways where cars do not slow down or do not move over lanes.
He says it is always a high risk for everyone on a scene and first responders are always on alert.
Today, the Spirit Ride stopped in Pampa where a Pampa police officer was struck while working a traffic accident a few weeks ago.
It then made its way to Amarillo where it was escorted to Tucumcari.
A coffin symbolized those who have been killed in roadside accidents, from first responders, highway patrol officers, construction workers, pedestrians to tow truck operators.
"Our numbers are just drastically high, so we are trying to raise that awareness so people are aware tow trucks are apart of that law too," David Ferril, safety manger for T-Miller Wrecking Service said. "A lot of times we are out there without police cars or fire trucks and we are trying to get people to slow down and move over for tow trucks as well."
Santa Rosa will be the Spirit Rides next stop.
You can find out where the Spirit Ride will be next here.