Bylaw Blocked: ‘Chaser’ bylaw paused following backlash from towing community

Proposed towing bylaws in London Ont. have been halted following a meeting on Dec. 4. between London’s Community and Protective Services Committee.

According to the committee, the proposed bylaw was introduced initially to  “protect accident victims from aggressive business solicitation,” as reported by CBC. However, at Tuesday’s meeting, towers arrived at London’s city hall to fight it.

Tow truck owners and operators claimed that this new bylaw would put them out of work and was unfair.

“They’re trying to squeeze out the small guy. I don’t think it’s beneficial, either, for the city…it’s a hazard to public safety to have the cars (in a crash) sit around on the road,” stated Desmond Williams, owner of 519Tow.

“I don’t deserve to get kicked out of an accident scene. There’s no problem, in my opinion, that if I see an accident, I stop [and ask if they need the service],” added Fadi Ibrahim, owner of Low Price Towing.

According to attendees of the meeting, a key issue with the bylaw is London’s contract between the police and the towing company Ross’ Towing.

The contract states that whenever a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident requests police assistance in arranging a tow (or if the driver is taken to hospital), Ross’ Towing is contacted.

“That’s inherently wrong,” Roger Caranaci, a key representative of the towing community stated.

However, David Ross of Ross’s towing claims that tow truckers have been speeding to get to accidents, creating more danger themselves.

At the meeting, Ross provided concrete evidence of this and argued that this bylaw was necessary to protect victims of accidents.

“The motoring public at the scene of an accident are in a vulnerable state–hurt and distraught–and in need of assistance. They are being preyed on by accident chasers who are out to make a lot of money,” reported Ross.

At the end of the meeting, committee members and politicians alike decided to send the bylaw back to staff, seeking further contributions from police officers and members of the tow truck community.

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