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Tow-truck drivers chasing wrecks in Philly could lose vehicle

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Philadelphia Councilman Bill Greenlee proposes a crackdown on 'wreck chasers' who violate Philadelphia's system of assigning crashes to various towing companies on a rotating basis. (House of Digital/Bigstock)

Philadelphia Councilman Bill Greenlee proposes a crackdown on 'wreck chasers' who violate Philadelphia's system of assigning crashes to various towing companies on a rotating basis. (House of Digital/Bigstock)

Tow trucks of rogue drivers who ignore city regulations could soon be impounded by Philadelphia authorities. 

City Councilman Bill Greenlee said his proposal is designed to crack down on “wreck chasers” who violate Philadelphia’s system of assigning crashes to various towing firms on a rotating basis. They just show up, he said, often racing to an accident scene.

“If police respond and [tow-truck operators] still out of the rotation system try to take a vehicle, their tow truck can be impounded,” Greenlee said.

In the past, some tow-truck drivers have gotten into fights over who gets to remove a wreck.  Greenlee said he doesn’t want to see that repeated.

“Oftentimes, these situations are very serious for the driver of the vehicle, they could be personally injured,” he said. “We want as much of a reasonable calm atmosphere out there as we can.”

Greenlee said the system the city has in place is the only fair way to handle the situation.

“There still seems to be some rogue towers who try to violate it so anything we can do to legally tighten that process up … is fair,” he said. “If somebody is openly ignoring a police order, well, they’ve got to pay the price of possibly having their vehicle impounded.”

The measure now heads to a city council committee for review.

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