Ontario rolls out new regulations for tow trucks and vehicle storage

By Anna Davey

Toronto, Ontario — December 18, 2015 — The province of Ontario has approved new regulations on tow truck and vehicle storage services to be implemented by January 1, 2017. According to a statement released by the province, the new regulations are designed to offer stronger consumer protection. “Ontario’s roads are among the safest in North America and this change to include tow truck operators in the province’s Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration program will continue that legacy to improve road safety through effective monitoring and oversight,” says Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation.The new regulations were built on feedback from consumers and stakeholders and will ensure tow and storage operators: * Have permission from the consumer or someone acting on their behalf before towing or storing a vehicle * Publicly disclose rates and other information such as the provider’s name and telephone number on tow trucks as well as in places of business * Accept credit card payments from consumers (and not insist on cash only) * Notify consumers where their vehicle will be towed * Allow consumers to access their towed vehicles to remove personal property at no charge * Give consumers an itemized invoice listing the services provided and costs before receiving payment * Disclose if they are getting a financial incentive for towing a vehicle to a particular vehicle storage facility or repair shop Ontario is also taking steps to improve the safety of tow operators by including tow trucks in the province’s Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration system. This will ensure government monitoring and enforcement of standards. “Consumers in need of a tow or roadside assistance in Ontario should have confidence that the tow truck service helping them is reputable, will do the work safely, and will deal with them in an honest and fair way,” says David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer services. “Our new rules will help drivers make informed decisions and protect their money when getting their vehicle towed or having it held in a storage facility.”

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