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Towing reform bill filed in North Carolina to combat predatory practices

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After years of WBTV Investigations highlighting predatory and criminal towing practices, several North Carolina lawmakers filed new legislation Thursday to bring new regulation to the industry.


The bill filed in the house proposes significant new regulations including requiring towing businesses to acquire a permit to operate, create a system for consumers to lodge complaints against companies through a new Towing and Recovery Commission and allow the new commission to set maximum fees for towing and booting.


The deadline day submission of the Nonconsensual Booting and Towing Reform legislation comes after a recent WBTV Investigation into the Wild West of Towing in Charlotte. WBTV’s reporting revealed the industry is flooded with felons and fraudsters who are making big money towing cars and booting trucks with little regulation, oversight or accountability.


“This bill provides a regulatory framework where none existed before,” Rep. Laura Budd, one of the bill’s sponsors, told WBTV. “It is supported by the towing and trucking industries and will go a significant way in protecting North Carolinians from predatory towing practices as well as companies conducting business in our state.”


WBTV interviewed Charlotte resident and truck driver Rdele Olive in January after he was chased down I-485 by men claiming to work for a tow truck company. Court records show he was assaulted and bashed in the head with the butt of a gun.


“A new law is needed in North Carolina because the industry is largely unregulated, which has led to significant abuses for both citizens in passenger vehicles and professional drivers in commercial trucks,” Greenberg wrote to WBTV.


“The NCTA is pleased that this issue is being looked at and looks forward to working with the sponsors on the legislation.”


The booting and towing reform bill was introduced by four members of the North Carolina General Assembly, two republicans and two democrats – Rep. Laura Budd, (D – Mecklenburg) Rep. Carson Smith, (R – Onslow/Pender) Rep. A. Reece Pyrtle Jr. (R – Rockingham) and Rep. Carolyn G Logan (D – Mecklenburg).


Records obtained by WBTV show tens of thousands of vehicles are towed in Charlotte every year. WBTV has reported dozens of stories about tow truck companies assaulting drivers, charging exorbitant fees, and exhibiting other predatory practices.



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