Lansdowne’s Parade Reminds Drivers to Slow Down and Move Over

The second annual Light it Up Ceremony and Parade, held in honour of fallen tow truck operators and in support of the roadside workers’ safety, will be hosted at the Lansdowne Fairgrounds, Ontario, on June 18, 2022. The local towing community, firefighters, police, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and other industry stakeholders are all welcome to come together to help spread awareness about the hazards that roadside responders face on the job.

Every year, dozens of emergency responders, including tow truck drivers, die on Canadian roads and highways due to being struck by on-coming traffic. In 2022, this sad statistic includes a young tow truck operator named Phillip Smith from Arnprior, Ontario, who was struck and killed by a snowplow driver during a winter storm earlier this year.

“Phil’s family is coming to our event to celebrate his life and support our efforts to spread awareness of the Slow Down Move Over law,” said Meaghan Reimchen, one of the Light it Up Ceremony and Parade organizers. “This is a huge thing for us, we are honoured for them to come.”

2022 Light it Up Ceremony and Parade flyer

Meaghan and her partner Paul Bartraw of Kanes Towing of Mallorytown, Ontario, are both actively involved in their local community, and they strive to make the towing and recovery industry a safer workplace. They have both put a lot of time and effort into organizing the Light it up event to bring the industry together for a good cause.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s something we are passionate about. The public needs to be educated,” said Meaghan. One of the reasons they put this event together is to raise money for families who have lost a relative in the line of duty. Sponsoring this event is 1000 Islands Mopar Car Club.

Meaghan has been around towing since childhood, so she knows the industry very well. Her uncle worked as a tow truck operator for many years. Thanks to her partner, Paul, Meaghan now has even more direct experience, as Paul’s job is intertwined with his family’s life. “It’s not an easy job being in a relationship with a tow truck operator. It takes a lot of understanding and dedication and patience,” Meaghan said.

To better engage with other towing families and first responders, Meaghan started a Facebook group called SDMO Canada to create an open conversation about the importance of the Slow Down Move Over law.

The Light it Up Ceremony and Parade in-person event is a great opportunity to spread awareness about tow truck operator safety, meet with peers, and engage with the local community. The event will start at 10:00 a.m. and run until 8:00 p.m. For details about this event, reach out to Meagan Reimchen.