HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Was part of the answer to distracted driving — and preventing the deaths of tow truck drivers — as simple as letting tow trucks use blue lights rather than yellow ones?
No one knows for sure, because the change is too recent for large amounts of data to exist.
“I do see that the lights [are] working a little bit because there’s a lot more people slowing down and moving over on the interstate now than what they used to,” said David Duchnik Sr., whose son — David Duchnik Jr., working alongside him on a highway — died after a tractor-trailer struck him.
The idea behind the blue lights?
“Wherever states had blue lights on the back of trucks, people pay attention,” said Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin & Adams), who sponsored the law, which former Governor Tom Wolf (D) signed into law in 2022. “They think it’s law enforcement, not a tow truck operator. And so distracted drivers are less distracted when they see the blue lights.”
Mastriano, who spoke Monday outside the state capitol, said now he’s working on a bill to add pictures of fallen tow truck drivers and other first responders to roadside signs warning drivers to slow down and move over.
“You see lights — whether they’re orange, yellow or blue — slow the heck down and move over,” Mastriano said.
Duchnik Sr. and his wife Michele spoke. So did Debra Laudenslager, whose 29-year-old son Tyler also died while helping a driver.