Philadelphia angers tow truck drivers with new legislation

Philadelphia City Council has approved a controversial towing bill, despite opposition from tow truck drivers.  The legislation changes the expensive–and sometimes baffling–procedure for getting cars back after accidents.

Under the legislation, vehicles that crash on city streets will be towed to Philadelphia Parking Authority lots–unless the driver asks for the car to be taken somewhere else.  Right now, it’s up to tow truck drivers to choose an impound lot.

Councilmember James Kenney said he’s heard horror stories, and he wanted to make the towing process simpler and fairer for drivers.

“This is a huge win for consumers,” said Kenney.  “There’s no reason in the world why a person should have to go to some remote location with a fortress-like impoundment lot and deal with a person that maybe isn’t all that friendly, demands cash and won’t take a credit card and is charging additional fees that are not allowed by the city.”

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Councilmember Darrell Clarke, who voted against the legislation, says he knows there are problems with the current system. 

“I frankly speaking think that there was a way that we could have gotten to where we needed to be as it resulted to changes in some of the regulations associated with the towing industry without having the Parking Authority take over a significant portion – particularly the impoundment part,” said Clarke.  “That’s a significant part of their business.”

Towing companies are promising to challenge the legislation in court.

03LFCLARKE         :18            “…of their business.”

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