Despite years of effort, the complaints about rogue tow truck drivers in Philadelphia are not dying down.
City Council is considering bring police back into the mix.
Currently tow truck drivers only have to take a picture of illegally parked vehicles before towing them. If the bill before city council is approved, a police or parking enforcement officer would have to write a ticket first. Then drivers can tow away the car.
Semi-retired attorney Robert Price says he took the time to testify at the City Council hearing in order to drive home why he believes the tow truck drivers are operating outside the regulations. He claims he was towed from what was a driveway leading to a now empty lot.
“there is no way to get onto the property you’d have to go through a chain link fence and on the other side of the chain link fence now is an abandoned lot there’s nothing there that could possibly be a driveway.”
Fran Healey, who’s a special assistant to the police commissioner says it’s a few tow operators who are violating the regulations constantly.
“as a result many vehicles are being removed to locations and pictures are taken so they have the required photograph and there isno one else has been there to confirm that these cars have been in fact legitimately towed.”
Tow operator Lew Blum came to the hearing to argue against the bill.
“I represent homeowners, small business owners and parking lots. If a vehicle is blocking anyone, this could cost them lost income or their right to come and go from their property. Our police force should be concerned about higher priority crimes. Taking our police officers away to answer these tickets is a crime itself.”
He says the problem could be addressed by educating tow truck drivers.
The bill cleared committee and moves on to full City Council next.