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TowNews last won the day on May 18

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  1. With only 10 days remaining, only 380 bills have gone through the entire process and are on the Governor’s desk. The last time the Texas Legislature passed fewer was in the 1800s. We filed several bills, but it was really a session that was weighted toward killing bills. This session, we tracked 80 bills that could have had an impact on the towing and storage industry. Below are some of which we were actively involved. HB 61 by James White relating to the use of certain lighting equipment on escort flag vehicles. While this bill was centered around escort flag vehicles and the lights they use during the course of their work the changes made to this bill will also allow for tow trucks to use amber and blue lights. We worked with the Texas Municipal Police Association on this measure, and our member Geoff Nienstedt worked hard with local law enforcement officials to gain support in allowing tow truck drivers to use blue lights. HB 61 was signed by the Governor on May 7th and will become law on September 1, 2019. HB 625 by Neave relating to notice and request for a hearing regarding a vehicle that has been towed or booted, would have allowed a person to submit a written request for a hearing concerning a towed car within 60 days of the date the vehicle was towed, excluding weekends and holidays, provided that the vehicle that had been released from the vehicle storage facility to which it was towed within 20 days. We know what you are thinking. That is extremely convoluted and doesn’t make much sense. Southwest Tow Operators opposed this bill in committee and member, Tasha Moore, testified in opposition to the bill. HB 626 by Neave relating to notice of a person’s right to a hearing placed on a sign prohibiting unauthorized vehicles on a parking facility. Southwest Tow Operators legislative team worked to oppose this bill. The bill never received a hearing. HB 1140 by Tracy King relates to fees for vehicles stored at vehicle storage facilities; authorizing fee increases and decreases; eliminating a fee; eliminating a minimum fee. Southwest Tow Operators was very supportive of this measure as it moved through the process. HB 1140 would allow TDLR to adjust the storage fee for impounded vehicles. This bill was passed out of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee today and will be heading to the full Senate for debate and final passage. HB 2807 by Guillen relating to regulation and liability of certain vehicles on a highway. Representative Guillen filed this bill on behalf of Southwest Tow Operators. HB 2807 would have changed the penalties for move over violations. This bill was heard in the House Licensing and Administration Committee but was faced by opposition in the Local Calendar Committee by some members. Representative Guillen amended the language on one of his other bills, but that bill died in the Senate, unfortunately. The legislative session will conclude on Memorial Day, but our work does not end there. We will set our agenda for the next 18 months so that we will be ready to fill bills in the next session. Southwest Tow Operators will continue to work hard on your behalf in Austin.
  2. Towing & Recovery Association of South Carolina Press Release: Thanks to all that attended the TRASC meeting last night at the Myrtle Beach Tow Show. Sergeant Catoe with the SC State Police was an entertaining speaker for sure. He provided our attending members with information that clarified a lot of confusion in our industry, and we are so grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with other organizations. And, we welcome Wes Wilburn as our newest Honorary TRASC member. We are proud of his commitment to educating South Carolina towers to work safer and smarter.
  3. The Empire State Towing & Recovery Association Tow Show is once again held in Lake George. Tow trucks from all over northeastern U.S. will be on display during the Tow Show, set for Friday, May 31 through Sunday, June 2. Featured will be tow trucks decked out with custom paint, decorative lighting and elaborate accessories. Antique tow trucks will also be on display. All will be vying for prizes in the Tow Show’s annual “Beauty Contest,” in which vehicles’ exterior and interior appearance as well as engine detailing are judged. The ESTRA event also includes a trade show featuring dozens manufacturers and suppliers serving tow operators, plus technical and safety seminars. The tow show’s hours are from 2-6 p.m. on Friday, May 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 2. TOW SHOW PAGE: https://www.estratowshow.com/
  4. Majestic Towing was able to lift the tractor off the woman within 15-20 minutes of emergency responders arriving. RESOURCE LINK with video
  5. Wrong-way driver on I-280 nearly hits tow truck in 80 mph close call. For Anthony Archibald, the sight of a wrong-way driver speeding toward him on a highway in Morris County was too much to process. “I’m like are you kidding me?” Archibald, 40, of Hopatcong, said on Monday. “It was coming at me 80 miles an hour, six inches away from my truck. It was surreal.” Archibald said the close call occurred about 3:20 a.m. Sunday as he drove his tow truck on Route 280 East in Parsippany looking to make some money helping stranded motorists. “He was in the fast lane traveling in the opposite direction as the rest of traffic. People were pulling over to get out of this guy’s way,” Archibald said. “It’s a miracle nobody was killed,” he said. Archibald, who works for Ajaco Towing, said his newly purchased dashboard camera captured the glaring headlights of the wrong-way driver coming at him. He said he got the camera in case he’s involved in an accident “or for something crazy like this.” “I watched it after I pulled over. It was incredible,” he said. But first Archibald called New Jersey State Police to report the driver. The call was also recorded on his dashcam. “There’s a guy on the east side of 280 racing up the highway in the wrong direction onto 80,” he told a State Police dispatcher. “I don’t know what kind of car it was, but he passed me (going) at least 80 miles an hour.” Archibald said his dashcam later captured a driver pulled over on Route 80. He believes the traffic stop involved the same driver. A State Police spokesman said a driver had been arrested and charged with DWI after driving the wrong way Sunday morning on Route 80 East in Roxbury Township. However, the spokesman could not confirm the man was the same driver Archibald reported traveling the wrong way on Route 280 East in Parsippany. RESOURCE LINK with video
  6. $250K Lottery Win Leads to Hollerin', Tears and Jubilation For Burlington Couple Jerry Hughes says him and his girlfriend Donna will use the money to take a cruise, go to Hawaii and place into savings. BURLINGTON, N.C. — A Burlington man says some good karma led him to a $250,000 lottery win last weekend. Jerry Hughes and his girlfriend Donna were riding their motorcycles in the Duffy Charity Ride on Saturday when they stopped for gas. Hughes bought four 20X The Cash tickets at Huff's Interstate on East Maple Avenue in Burlington. Just before the ride started back up, Hughes scratched the first ticket and saw he had won. A celebration broke out with some “hollerin',” some tears, and then congratulations. “All of our friends were there saying, ‘If anybody deserves this, it’s you, Jerry,’” said Donna. “He’s helped out so many people.” "Karma,” Hughes said of why he won. “You do good, you get good. You do bad, you get bad. And I believe it.” Hughes, who owns and runs a tow truck company, took home $176,876 after taxes. Hughes says him and Donna will use the money to take a cruise, go to Hawaii and place into savings. RESOURCE LINK
  7. New Haven man dies after forklift falls on top of him at Branford auto repair shop
  8. A tow truck driver died in a crash on Interstate 35E in Dallas Monday morning. A sedan and a tow truck crashed on I-35E about 2:45 a.m. and the tow truck left the roadway, across the southbound N. Stemmons Freeway at Empire Central. It crashed through the guardrail and into trees in front of a Taco Bell, police said. The tow truck driver was killed in the crash. Dallas County Sheriff's Office is investigating. RESOURCE LINK with video
  9. The Story I will add below is poorly written, the video is more detailed. Tow Truck Driver finds suspicious vehicle and alerts police. The headline is the Tow Truck Driver finds body inside the trunk of a car in northeast Harris County. However the Tow Truck Driver actually found the vehicle with the doors unlocked, noticed blood around the trunk area and called police who found the mans body inside. I do not believe the Tow Truck Driver actually opened the truck, though I could be wrong. The story does not confirm that to be the case. Click the resource link for a news video. One will be added here when available. Does anyone know the company & driver? Authorities are investigating the death of a man found in the trunk of a car in northeast Harris County. A tow truck driver made the discovery around 3 a.m. off of Furay Road near Mt. Houston Road. The tow truck driver saw dried blood near the trunk of the car and call 911. Deputies arrived to find a man dead in the trunk. RESOURCE LINK with video
  10. This unit is lately already at one of the ports by now. But Florida Towers keep your eyes open in case they are attempting to move it as one piece or in parts.
  11. Florida man arrested for striking Virginia tow truck driver on I-95 6:47 am, April 30, 2019, HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — An 85-year-old Florida man was arrested for a hit-and-run that injured a Virginia tow truck driver on Interstate 95. “After an extensive follow up investigation [law enforcement] identified and charged the suspect driver in the April 20, 2019 hit-and-run in Henrico County. On April 29, 2019, Trooper S. Martin charged Robert Lee Longnecker, 85, of Panama City, Fla., with one felony count of hit-and-run and reckless driving,” a Virginia State Police spokesperson said. “Longnecker was transported to Henrico County Jail, where he was released on his own recognizance. The incident remains under investigation.” Longnecker, according to police, was driving the vehicle that hit a tow truck driver on northbound I-95 north of the Parham Road exit in Henrico County on April 20. “The preliminary investigation reveals that the wrecker driver was assisting a disabled 2019 Newmar RV located on the right shoulder when he was struck by a vehicle,” a Virginia State police spokesperson said. “The striking vehicle did not stop and may have continued northbound I-95 or took the exit to I-295.” The tow truck driver was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. An update on his condition has not yet been released. RESOURCE LINK
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