Taking the rogue out of Philadelphia tow trucks

The finishing touches are being put on new tow truck legislation in Philadelphia.  The goal is to cool off some of the cut-throat competition over picking up prime wrecks but there was still plenty of arguing at the hearing between tow operators and council and even some council members.

Councilman Jim Kenney says his bill is designed to stop the fighting over wrecks and would have all cars towed to a parking authority impound lot until the owner finds a repair shop.

“If we can continue to fine them heavily for showing up at the scene when not dispatched or revoke their license or impound their trucks they will stop coming to the scene and then we can have an orderly discussion on how to impound it and then release it,” said Kenney.  “Right now it’s a mad dash to try to get a car and control it,” he said.

Councilman Frank Rizzo says Philadelphia body shops will lose money if drivers have the freedom to choose where to get their cars repaired.

“Most of these wrecks will be picked up by the insurance companies and taken to Bensalem across city lines where they can get the job done as cheaply as possible,” said Rizzo.

The bill now heads to the full city council for a vote.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.