Waterloo, Ontario — August 17, 2017 — In February, a by-law designed to crack down on predatory tow truck drivers who offer unsolicited services after a collision was introduced. Since then, 41 charges have been laid against tow truck drivers and towing companies who have violated this by-law.
The by-law, with a fine of up to $390 for the driver or company, states a tow truck cannot be within 200 metres of a collision scene without permission from either police or someone that is involved in the collision.
Staff Sargent Mike Hinsperger of the Waterloo Regional Police traffic division says the by-law is aimed to help protect people when they are in a vulnerable position.
“They are involved in a collision and quite frankly are at a very vulnerable state at the time, but a lot of these people were being harassed by tow truck operators pestering consumers for their business.” said Hinsperger.
Hinsperger further noted that he has seen numerous cases where tow truck drivers over charge for their service and customers end up paying hundreds and even thousands of dollars more than what is appropriate.
”We’ve had issue with what consumers are being told as far as rates go, and how much it costs them ends up being a totally different situation when they actually get their bill, and now they can’t get their vehicle back until the bill has been paid.”
According to Hinsperger most local tow truck companies have complied with the new regulations, and only a few operators routinely disregard the by-law.
If you are in a collision Regional Police will contact an accredited tow company for you, or you have the option to contact one yourself.
If you are approached by an unsolicited towing service after a collision Hinsperger recommends telling police.