Koob Auto helps bring Spirit Ride to Monticello

     The very professionals who earn a living from highway accidents are now taking to the streets to promote highway safety and help safeguard the lives of fellow first responders. The American Towman Spirit Ride is continuing on its journey, relaying a colorful, ceremonial casket from tow truck to tow truck across the nation. The casket honors first responders who have been killed on the roadside and carries the message: “Slow Down, Move Over.”

     About 300 towing companies across the country are relaying the casket to promote their state’s Move Over law with processions involving 10,000 tow trucks and emergency service vehicles.

     The Ride, which began in June of 2017, will pass through Monticello, Iowa, with the Spirit casket being relayed to Koob Automotive & Towing, Inc. A ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, followed by a procession of tow trucks and emergency service vehicles through Monticello.

     The Move Over law is unknown to many motorists. According to the National Safety Commission, 70 percent of American motorists do not know the law exists. The law is on the books in all states of the union and requires passing vehicles to move over one lane when approaching an incident where emergency lights are flashing and tow operators, police, fire fighters and emergency medical technicians are working.

     The ceremonial casket, named “Spirit,” was custom painted by artist Cecil Burrowes who specializes in painting intricate designs on trucks and wreckers. Painted on Spirit are a dozen scenarios depicting first-responders at the scenes of highways incidents.

     The casket was built by a lifelong singer-songwriter, Mike Corbin, who composed the Spirit Ride’s anthem, “Bless the Spirit Riders,” which he performs at the ceremony to honor fallen first responders. The ceremony precedes the procession of emergency service vehicles.

     Hundreds of roadside professionals are casualties each year of roadside incidents; about 100 of them are fatalities. Among first responders killed, 60 percent of them are tow operators.

     According to American Towman Magazine President Steve Calitri, the Ride is the greatest towing project since the first tow truck was built in 1916. “The Ride,” said Calitri, “is generating public awareness of the perils first responders face and galvanizing police resolve for enforcing the Move Over law.”

     The Spirit Ride was founded by American Towman Magazine and B/A Products and is a project of American Towman Spirit, Inc., a non-profit corporation, born to promote highway safety. Scores of sponsors have pitched in with funds to support the coordination of the Ride and its media outreach campaign. All the towing companies participating are contributing their services.


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