'Slow Down, Move Over' Ride Delivers Wake Up Call to North Texas Drivers - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

'Slow Down, Move Over' Ride Delivers Wake Up Call to North Texas Drivers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    'Slow Down, Move Over' Ride Brings Wake Up Call to Drivers

    Dozens of tow trucks and emergency vehicles packed North Texas freeways on Sunday to remind drivers to slow down and move over. (Published Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019)

    If you saw a steady stream of flashing lights across Dallas-Fort Worth Sunday, don't be alarmed. Dozens of big rigs and first responders flooded Interstate 20 and State Highway 360 as a wake up call to drivers.

    The fleet of emergency vehicles wasn't headed toward a tragedy, but instead, trying to prevent one.

    Chris Kirkpatrick helped organize the "Slow Down, Move Over" ride for the 50-plus tow truck operators, like himself, killed on the job each year across the country.

    "Today's the 27th of January, we're at number nine already," said Kirkpatrick, an operator with Cowboy Towing. "What's going through my mind is, 'Am I going to be able to go home and see my family at the end of the day?'

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    On a Grand Prairie freeway, earlier this month that answer was no for 46-year-old Keith Holt.

    "I was his only child and he gave me the world. He gave me everything. I'm very broken-hearted," Keith Holt II said, on Jan. 4.

    The Dallas mechanic and tow truck driver was killed while rescuing a woman stuck on I-20 late at night with her child. The person who hit him has not been caught.

    "Get over in the other lane. Don't even drive in that lane, cause anything can happen," Holt's friend William Traylor said.

    "We're just trying to raise the awareness, we want to catch the general public's eye like, 'Wow, that is a law, that does mean something.' We're coming in numbers and we're coming with our voices being heard," Kirkpatrick said.

    Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) heard the message in Austin.

    Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

    "Last week alone, we had five different groups come to the Capitol and they were talking about this topic specifically," he said.

    Tinderholt said he planned to bring the issue up to House leadership and to his public safety committee this session.

    "I think we may need to expand the law, potentially increase the penalties because people just aren't pulling over and people are dying," he said.

    "A lot of people know it. A lot of people just don't care," Kirkpatrick said.

    The many who turned out to show support Sunday, hoped the wave of trucks and banners flooding down area roadways would help turn the tide.

    "If we change one person's mind, then I feel like we've done something, but I think we'll get the word out today," Kirkpatrick said.

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