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City Council to vote on higher fines for tow trucks (PA)

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Cleaner, safer roads is the goal of new legislation that would increase the fines levied on negligent Philadelphia tow truck drivers.

 

The bill, unanimously approved Monday by City Council’s streets and services committee, triples the penalty faced by tow companies that don’t clean up after an accident. The legislation will now move to the full legislative body for a final vote.

 

“You want to resolve the one accident but you don’t want to cause another accident because of your ineptitude on cleaning up,” said City Councilman Al Taubenberger the bill’s sponsor.

 

Taubenberger’s bill increases the fine to $300 from $100.

 

The larger fine is intended to help the city recoup the cost of cleaning up after tow trucks leave the scene of an accident, said City Councilman Mark Squilla, a member of the streets committee.

 

“Debris from auto accidents affects the safety of citizens and creates a significant risk of unnecessary property damage,” Squilla said during his testimony. No one spoke against the bill.

 

Philadelphia Police Department sergeant Matt White spoke in support of the fine hike. He recalled stepping in after tow trucks left to clean up accident debris while working as a patrol officer. The work took time from more important aspects of the job, he said.

 

Taubenberger said that the bill could be voted into law as early as Dec. 13.

 

“I would say take a look around there’s a lot of debris on the street from previous accidents, particularly glass,” he said. “What would it take to take a broom, shovel it up, and put it in a container and take it away?”

 

Whenever the police respond to an accident, the city dispatches tow trucks through their rotational tow program. Tow companies in the program are prohibited from charging for anything more than towing and storage.

 

Joe Camiolo, owner of Joey C’s Towing and Collision in Port Richmond, is not a fan of the proposed legislation.

“All around it’s a losing situation for the businessman,” he said.

 

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I am assuming the rates for towing and storage are regulated.  Can someone post the rates if they are?  I'm sure the rates are nothing close to the $300 it costs the city to just cleanup the street.  Why do we let them constantly ignore our costs of doing business?  

Edited by TOWMAN27

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4 hours ago, TOWMAN27 said:

I am assuming the rates for towing and storage are regulated.  Can someone post the rates if they are?  I'm sure the rates are nothing close to the $300 it costs the city to just cleanup the street.  Why do we let them constantly ignore our costs of doing business?  

I dont know much about what goes on in Phila, we are an hour west.  Last I saw AutoReturn had something going on weaseling their way in.  Prior to that Phila was a mess with wreck chasers.  From what I understand the rotation rates are capped (and low at that), but I dont have anything other than local rumor to go on.

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"AutoReturn weaseling their way in"

 

Explanation, the door was left open by the Association. My understanding is the Tow Companies Won, then went back the their old ways. I doubt they get a second opportunity. There were several major discussions on Tow411 at the time of the hearing. Once it was over those involved in the discussion left Tow411 with their heads held high. It was a Win!

 

Fast Forward: The message board is now TowForce and the membership is mixed with New & Old Members. Auto Return learned from their mistakes and are pressing on with more communities. However, keep in mind unless the door is open even a crack then any 3rd party is working their way in.

 

So, in retrospect AutoReturn is not the Bad Guy! They are simply offering a service where there is an opportunity. Should the Tow Companies fail to get involved and correct the problem, then they have only themselves to blame. Be ProActive and not ReActive!

 

We can discuss this again, and I am sure we will. Oh and by the way since the Towing Information Network do participate or support the state forums. It is likely we will see a New Supporter on TowForce. As we take the New Force in the Towing & Recovery Industry to a new level... Thank you for being a part of this roller coaster ride!

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59 minutes ago, TowZone said:

"AutoReturn weaseling their way in"

 

Explanation, the door was left open by the Association. My understanding is the Tow Companies Won, then went back the their old ways. I doubt they get a second opportunity. There were several major discussions on Tow411 at the time of the hearing. Once it was over those involved in the discussion left Tow411 with their heads held high. It was a Win!

 

Fast Forward: The message board is now TowForce and the membership is mixed with New & Old Members. Auto Return learned from their mistakes and are pressing on with more communities. However, keep in mind unless the door is open even a crack then any 3rd party is working their way in.

 

So, in retrospect AutoReturn is not the Bad Guy! They are simply offering a service where there is an opportunity. Should the Tow Companies fail to get involved and correct the problem, then they have only themselves to blame. Be ProActive and not ReActive!

 

We can discuss this again, and I am sure we will. Oh and by the way since the Towing Information Network do participate or support the state forums. It is likely we will see a New Supporter on TowForce. As we take the New Force in the Towing & Recovery Industry to a new level... Thank you for being a part of this roller coaster ride!

I know the PA Towing association did a great job working with PSP to keep AutoReturn out when they tried to take over the entire state for PSP.   I was at the hearing, and AutoReturn was pretty scummy and they showed it plain as day at the hearing.   As for Phila, I cant say how the association has worked with things.  I havent heard much on that side of things.  The city of Phila seemed to have a real mess on their hands with towing and rotations, etc.  I do know the Association has continued to work with PSP to improve things, but now the city of Phila has apparently fallen through the cracks.

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ESC, Thanks for the great information. AutoReturn in the beginning had an opinion of the Towing Industry based on what they had been lead to believe by municipalities and others. The Towing Industry tends to let it's guard down in regards to issues such as this and one would hope they are on top of things. However, it seems the majority turned their back on Tow411 right after the Win.

 

AutoReturn, with a defeat went back and re-evaluated their approach. Realizing that each situation in regards to municipalities is often unique and a one plan does not work everywhere they now plan better. Not saying I agree with AutoReturn, I say I understand why some municiplities chose a 3rd party out of frustration.  

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