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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 15, 2020 10:40 AM
From: Senator Robert M. Tomlinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: Updating Towing Requirements for Tractor Trailers
Please join me in cosponsoring legislation to update towing requirements and enhance road safety for tow truck operators and other motorists.
Under current law, tow truck operators are required to tow broken down tractor trailers to the nearest place of repair or place of safety. Because these terms are so vague, there is little consistency as to where the tow truck operator will be ordered to go.
If they are directed to the nearest place of safety, the broken-down tractor trailer remains on or by the road for a longer period of time jeopardizing the safety of the motorists as well as the tow truck operator. In these instances, the tow truck operator must leave the safety of the tow truck multiple times to stand along busy roadways coupling and uncoupling the tractor and trailer in order to get it to the intended place of repair. In most cases, there is no need to add this extra step.
Tow trucks are now equiped to handle these larger loads and should be able to do so in a safe and efficient manner. This legislation seeks to follow the intent of the law, while clarifying these provisions with parameters for how tow trucks can operate. These changes would also make Pennsylvania more consistent with other states which is particularly significant along our borders where multiple state lines can be crossed.
This legislation was cosponsored last session by Senators Martin and J. Ward as Senate Bill 467.

Introduced as SB214