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Speedy service costs tow-truck driver his vehicle


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News Report from March 2008:


A quick response turned expensive for a tow-truck operator Sunday afternoon while travelling on Highway 11, near Sand Dam Road.

The tow truck was en route to pick up a vehicle impounded by the Ontario Provincial Police after officers stopped the vehicle for travelling 50 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit of 90 km/h.

The rapid response backfired when OPP clocked the tow truck travelling at an excessive speed.

Const. Carolle Dionne said the tow-truck driver was found to be travelling at more than 140 km/h.

"Another tow truck had to be called, which made it three tow trucks responding to the scene," she said, adding both drivers were handed seven-day licence suspensions.

Both vehicles were impounded for seven days and each driver faces a court date where they will be handed fines of between $2,000 and $10,000 or face jail time.

"We're laying a lot of these charges," Dionne said. "It's become a normal occurrence."

She said officers impounded six vehicles during a five-day blitz in October and another five in January.



Twinbuls said:

"""She said officers impounded six vehicles during a five-day blitz in October and another five in January."""

And one was the Tow truck ???? dont sound like they are working to hard !!! if thats there Blitz.....Its a wonder they get anything done ....LOL

I am sure they plea down the fine !!!


PGhrist said:

That's ashame... police dispatchers tell us all the time to hurry, vehicle is in bad spot and needs moved ASAP! Not fair sometimes! I too have gotten a speeding ticket for trying to hurry and get to a turnpike call... told cop why I was speeding (62 in 45) and he said that I was in HIS territory! Oh well... another day, another dollar... spent!
lstyba said:
I believe you all are missing the point of the post!

1. If the Police dispatcher said "hurry and jump off the bridge" Would you? It is the driver's who decided to break the law.

2. The maximums are 10 g's....Look at our justice system or look at the US justice system. A guy in florida (and it was posted here) got run over and killed on the side of the road by a teacher! and look what he got! no where near the maximum, well I am sure here the drivers will get no where near the maximum.

3. I am only guessing on this but maybe the tow truck was a chaser? that may make a difference?

4. Here in BC Tow trucks are not an emergency vehiclke and there for are not allowed to break the MVA rules when enroute to a call of any nature. If the police want response like that, they must meet up with the tow truck and provide a police escort. When in escort the tow truck driver and company still have no legal rights to break the law and no insurance as the insurance policy would be voided.

Maybe the tow truck driver has to speed as to save time so he can do more calls to make more money!!!! If it is true, that is a shame! Shame on the industry!
Cya In the Ditch
Larry Styba
Unknown Member said:
In Ontario a few months ago a law was passed that anyone going 50km over the posted limited will be fined anywhere between $2000-$10000 and will lose their vehicle for 7 days and have their license suspended.

The idea of this is to try a stop the racing and deaths on the highways.

As for ETA's, in our area we have to respond within 20 mins for a OPP call and I have in the passed had the OPP dispatch call and ask how much longer my driver was going to be to get on scene. We had only had the call for about 15 mins and they mentioned that if we weren't there within 5-10 mins we were going to lose the call and they were going to call another company.
Towmaster B said:
When asked by law enforcement dispatch on eta, my response is always the same - asap depending on traffic, road conditions and speed limits. Responding to law enforcement requests does not give tow trucks the right to violate traffic laws and speed limits. If they want me to get there quicker, they can change the laws to let towtrucks have red and blue lights and sirens. Until then, I'll go as fast as the sign allows me to.
Lstyba said:
I have on occasion, when asked at the scene why I was so long. Simple response was I had to obey the speed limit. this usually was the end of the conversation.

It is unfortunate that the police departments all over North America do not use more common sense!

When I was dispatching, and the poloce dispatcher asked what the eta would be, I always tell them the driver's location and say driving time. For example. "The driver is at 224th and Lougheed Hwy driving time to your location" This way the info can be relayed to the officer and since he drives the area he can make his own assumption as to how long it should take as if he were to drive it.
Cya In the Ditch
Larry Styba
bigwolf said:
the bad part is the officer who got him is also the one that rants about what took you so long to get here had a friend of mine get a ticket on christmass eave one year for going 3mph over the limit after dispatch called and asked him to hurry up i told him dont get mad get even even if the call was across the street from him take the maxium response time allowed 45min sooner or later he would get the same officer and if he was lucky it would be cold and raining and the officer would have to direct traffic when the officer asked what took so long just look them in the eyes and say the last time you got in a hurry some a--hole wrote you a ticket .two weeks later he got the chance and boy talk about leaving an officer speachless it shut them up real fast they wint from screaming to what took so long to sorry i wrote you a ticket
ExpressTowAaron said:
I have been pulled over and ticketed by a state trooper while literally at the same time being told to "expedite" to the scene by HIS sargeant because the vehicle was blocking the mountain pass. Doesn't seem to make much sense does it?
auto rescue said:
It all boils down to "don't do the crime if you can't do the time" in the worst case scenario if you have an accident and end up in court no one but no one is going to cut you the least bit of slack because you were on a police call and I bet this judge or whatever they call them in that jurisdiction in question will cut this driver any slack either.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Great comments Larry and a great topic for tow owners to re-evaluate their business practices or that of their tow operators. Without being disrespectful to any tow company experiencing poor eta's, if you're eta's are suffering and driver's are having to come from long distances, perhaps you should look at your business model to determine if a dedicated trucks with experienced tow operator should be delegated to your law enforcement contracts and STAGED at mid-point locations centralized to beat areas. Example: For those Southern California tow companies that stage their tow trucks, their average eta's are far better than running across town. But, I too realize that not all companies have the personnel or assets to have trucks at staged location. We talk about "expedite" all of the time and it's not worth the risk of killing someone simply to get to law enforcement eta's. Do consider that, when several tow companies experience a crash that injures or kills someone, the monies that are ultimately paid out as awards come from the pool all towers pay into. That being said, take a few minutes to read this website link of a 10-million dollar lawsuit having to due with hurry-up response and relate that narrative to how your respond to law enforcement calls.   

Randall C. Resch

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