Rep. Hugh Shine meets with tow operators to promote 'Slow Down or Move Over' law

Posted at 5:51 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:20:03-04

Ever since a tow truck operator was killed while working on the side of a Central Texas highway back in May, his widow and another driver have made it their mission to raise awareness of the law, 'Slow Down or Move Over'. 

Stephanie Bowles, the widow of Scott Bowles and Matthew Jarma met with State Representative Hugh Shine for nearly an hour to discuss ways to promote the 'Slow Down or Move Over' law throughout Central Texas.

"I decided to reach out to Rep. Shine this past Sunday, sent him an email early Sunday morning. I figured I'd get a response sometime this week," Matthew Jarma, a tow operator for Temple Towing, said. 

But less than 30 minutes later, Shine not only replied via email but personally called Jarma and told him he'd be happy to meet with him and Stephanie this week.

"To have somebody here locally that'll be as dedicated to it as we are as operators in getting awareness out there for people to Slow Down and Move Over, and not just for police, EMS and fire... but for tow truck operators and TxDOT, it means a lot," Stephanie Bowles said. 

The three brainstormed for nearly an hour. 

"We can go ahead and start getting some type of legislative language drafted that we can have prepared and ready so we can submit it next legislative session," Rep. Hugh Shine said. 

The group also plans to hold an event with local law enforcement and first responders along the highway next week to show the importance of the 'Slow Down or Move Over' law. Rep. Shine then said he's going to take that video.

"I'm going to make that available to my colleagues in the House and encourage them to do the same thing in their communities."

Rep. Shine is the first government official to speak with Bowles about the law since her husband was killed. 

"If we'd had this meeting in the summer, I would've had this bill drafted and sponsored in the Special Session," Rep. Shine added. 

"We're not just fighting for just one county, we're going statewide to where everybody knows," Bowles added. 

 Matthew Jarma and Stephanie Bowles both agree the meeting was productive. They just wish they would have reached out sooner.

Representative Shine is also looking to meet with the Texas Towing and Storage Association in Austin next week.

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