Due to an alleged epidemic of “rogue tow truck operators,” state Rep. Dom Costa, D-Stanton Heights, is looking to force all towers to register with the state and hand over operation decisions to municipalities.
According to CBS News in Pittsburgh, towers would not be allowed to rush to the scene of an accident. Instead, municipalities could establish rotation lists in which the licensed operators will take turns.
“We are seeing major problems involving rogue towers in Pennsylvania, most notably in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia,” Tim Lynch, director of government affairs at the National Insurance Crime Bureau, told CBS.
“Rogue” towers got their name by rushing to accidents and towing cars to undisclosed locations. The operators then send vehicle owners bills for hundreds of dollars in fees.
The Pennsylvania Towing Association is concerned about Costa’s legislation.
“The PTA was not contacted about the bill, nor did we play any role in the procedure of drafting legislation,” PTA President Ron Bressler told Watchdog in an email. “Certainly, if legislation is to be drafted that will [affect] every tower across the state, we should’ve been involved as the major stakeholder.”
He admitted that predatory towers are an issue in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, but said the problem is regional, not statewide. Bressler added that he thinks the issue should be dealt with by local law enforcement, not more regulation.
“This law would probably have little to no effect on the rogue towers as they have no regard for the laws already in place that protect the consumer,” he said.