From the Desk of Lance Haver, Director of Civic Engagement for Philadelphia City Council.
These reports include:
- Drivers who say their cars were legally parked but towed anyway;
- Drivers who say their cars were held hostage after an accident;
- Drivers who went to pick up their cars at tow yards only to discover the tow companies did not comply with the law that requires the yard to provide a picture of where the car was before it was towed and/or to accept a credit card to pay for the tow and storage.
At first, these complaints seemed improbable but investigations appear to confirm the complaints. Drivers have also reported their cars being towed from legal parking spots to illegal spots so the pictures could be taken and the cars towed. Others have reported signs appearing after they parked. And many who have had their cars towed after an accident report being charged literally thousands of dollars, in cash, to get their cars back.
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez (7th District) has introduced a bill that would require cars to be ticketed before they can be towed. It is is a part of a comprehensive towing reform plan to prevent towing companies from preying on vulnerable drivers.
Council President Darrell Clarke (5th District) and Councilman Bill Greenlee (At Large) have introduced a bill that would clamp down on the illegal tows after an accident. The bill, if enacted, will revoke the tow licenses of any tow trucker drivers who don’t follow the law that limits what can be charged for a tow after an accident. The bill would also allow the city to impound any trucks used in activities that violate the law.
We need your help to get these bills passed. Please sign the petition calling on the City to stop the predatory towing.
And if you have had your car illegally towed, or have been charged an outrageous fee after an accident, and would be willing to testify at a hearing, please send me an email, Lance.Haver@Phila.gov.
The hearing for both bills will be Tuesday, November 29th at 12:00 noon in Philadelphia’s City Council Chambers, Room 400 of City Hall.
We believe these bills are a step forward and ask for your support. No one should be priced gouged after a car accident and no one should have their car illegally towed.
Photo used under Creative Commons license.