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New bylaw to regulate tow trucks at accident scenes

Posted February 3, 2014

A Collision Towing License provision is being written into New Tecumseth's Business Licensing and Regulation bylaw that sets protocols for tow truck companies operating within the tri-party Nottawasaga OPP jurisdiction, dealing with accident scenes, and sets tow rates.

According to the draft fee schedule, the range of fees licensed tow truck companies can charge in the initial draft range from $350 plus $3 a kilometre for any distance towed in excess of distance to the owner's vehicle storage compound; to $60 per day for impound storage.
  • The highlights of the proposed by-law include:
  • photo licences to be obtained for the company and each driver;
  • mandatory liability insurance coverage of $2 million;
  • storage compound to be located in the service area;
  • fencing requirements for storage compound;
  • defined appeal process for refusal to issue licences, suspensions, notice of hearings;
  • mandatory inspection powers for enforcement personnel;
  • safety requirements for vehicles;
  • schedule of collision tow rates and vehicle impound program rates, meeting insurance industry fee guidelines;
  • fair licence fees- $200/owner; $200/tow truck; $50/tow truck driver
The move to create a new licensing category was sparked by a request from Nottawasaga OPP, with the goal of establishing policies that could be implemented in each of the three communities - New Tecumseth, Adjala-Tosorontio, and Essa Township. Meetings were held with representatives of local tow companies, and the draft is a mix of their contributions.

Among the reasons for establishing the new guidelines include complaints about public safety, execessive fees, and standards.

"This concern relates to towing companies aggressively seeking business at accident scenes, sometimes at the peril of the public and emergency personnel. The concern is that some drivers disrupt accident scenes by disturbing and/or moving people and vehicles that shouldn't be moved. Within the proposed by-law, the Incident Commander at the scene will decide which licensed collision tow truck company will be used," according to the draft on tonight's council agenda. "Several complaints received by the Police Services Boam from members of the public who were charged in excess of the standam fees charged by the towing industry. The proposed by-law addresses this concern through the implementation of set fees. Standards related to the appropriate vehicles, equipment, training, and safety measures were also reviewed in depth. Once again, the proposed by-law addresses these matters by setting out specific requirements for both owners and drivers."

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