Stacy Mills now runs the tow-truck company, Mils Towing, her husband, Eddie Mills, started more than 20 years ago.
“He paid very good attention, so I thought that would keep something like that from happening,” Mills said. “I didn’t think of somebody else not paying attention.”
But, that’s what happened on November 5 of last year when Mills was responding to a stranded motorist on the side of Interstate 85 in Spartanburg County.
The family said they realized at his funeral what a big problem this was for tow-truck drivers. Many of the drivers shared their close-call experiences, and that is why the family started trying to amend the current “Move Over Law.”
The law as it stands only protects law enforcement, EMS, and fire departments.
Mills’ brother, Ben, started working with State Rep. Bill Chumley on getting the current law amended. The amendments which are part of HB4394, nicknamed “Eddie’s Law,” went to a House subcommittee on Tuesday, which would have been Mills’ 43rd birthday. It passed unanimously. Rep. Chumley said now the amendments go to the full committee which could hear them in the next two weeks.
Rep. Chumley said the amendments “define authorized vehicles” better. It would include tow trucks along with emergency responders which Chumley said would have no fiscal impact on taxpayers. Another amendment to the law includes putting red and blue lights on tow trucks, so people can see them more easily on the side of the road.
“Every car moving has an amber light except for police, fire, and EMS, so people tend to disregard the amber light,” Ben Mills said.
If the law passes and cars don’t move over, drivers could face fines up to $500 and possibly even jail time.
The family said they are working hard at getting the law passed and enforced because they don’t want to see other families suffer.
“There’s nothing we can do about what happened to my husband, but if I can prevent that from happening to somebody else that would be good,” Stacey Mills said.
The family is asking people to support the legislation by contacting their local representative.