Saturday, October 18, 2008

Newark, Delaware Curbs Predatory Towing, Newark, Delaware

According to a relatively recent article in the Newark Post, click here, some towing "horror stories" contributed to a city effort to crack down on predatory towing...

Newark is just the latest example of "predatory and abusive towing consciousness" busting out all over, with government entities and ordinary citizens asserting their right to be free from these civil rights violations. This is my first post about a situation in Delaware, and it's a great way to put that state on the "Towing Utopia" map, even if Newark is usually a place name we associate with...New Jersey. I guess there's one in Ohio, too.

Well, here's what's new in Newark, (Delaware) and maybe other cities might use some of this stuff as a model for their own ordinances:

1.) All towing companies have to be licensed by the city. Yeah, no more prowling the streets with your 1970s muscle car and a filthy tow strap, calling yourself a wrecker-for-hire. Goodbye good ol' days.

2.) Limits on non-consensual towing charges.

3.) No storage fee for the first 24 hours, on federal holidays, or on days when the tow company's storage lot is closed.

4.) Individual towing requests must be faxed during business hours.

5.) One hour grace period before vehicles can be towed from private property during non-business hours.

6.) Be still my foolish heart! A DROP RULE. Vehicle owners who catch their car being towed can reclaim their vehicle on the spot and pay a lesser tow charge. Yeah, better demand a receipt or that stuff will go in the driver's pocket.

7.) Failure to adhere to the rules could cost towing companies AS WELL AS THE PROPERTY OWNERS WHO HIRE 'EM a $500 fine. Gee, I hope that's per violation.

City Councilman Paul J. Pomeroy said it was time to "bring down the hammer" due to the horror stories told by residents. So take courage, citizens of Towing Utopia! Tell your horror stories and hope for "the hammer" to result, though it may take a while.

Unfortunately, some good proposed rules fell by the wayside, including property owners being on site for all tows and a requirement to photograph the parking violation. But it sounds like excellent progress in Newark. I sure hope the rules get ENFORCED, however. The passage of the rules is only a first step. Predatory and abusive towing companies will violate the rules wholesale if nobody is minding the store.

No comments: