|Vaughan, Ontario may cap towing charges|
|News - Collision Repair|
|Friday, 15 June 2012 16:16|
Vaughan, Ontario -- July 13, 2012 -- Though the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) says that Vaughn’s new caps on towing fees are necessary to protect consumers, not everyone feels this way. According to one tow truck industry insider, the city’s new caps will cripple local businesses.
Rob Mileto, owner of Streetpro Roadside Assistance says, “We’re spending over $15,000 to $20,000 a year on insurance per tow truck, how do you justify that? It’s going to put a lot of people out of business.”
The recommendation still requires council approval during the next council meeting on June 26, though should it happen, tow truck operators will only be allowed to charge a maximum of $125 for a non-collision tow, and that includes the use of dollies and other equipment used for towing.
The maximum storage fees will be set at $55 a day for outside storage and $60 a day for indoor storage over a 24 hour period. In addition, the amount charged for waiting at the Collision Reporting Centre will be capped at $67 an hour. However, the city has boosted the rate of travel time outside city limits from $2 per kilometer to $3.58 per kilometer. These new rate caps are to be added to the existing bylaw, which states that the maximum charge to tow a vehicle from a collision is $250.
These changes have resulted from complaints of several drivers who claimed to being slapped with huge towing bills, reaching even thousands of dollars.
“Consumers do rely on towing services when their cars breakdown,” said Elliot Silverstein, CAA’s government relations manager for South Central Ontario. “Their focus is getting out of danger safely and being in vulnerable states, these consumers must be protected. This document helps enable that.”
In actuality, the CAA proposed lower storage rates and does not entirely support the rate that the city staff has recommended for travel time outside city limits, adds Silverstein.
The city has also introduced a new towing authorization form, which includes information about customers’ rights before being towed as well as indicating the distance to the tow truck company’s pound, if it is outside the city limits, so customers are aware of additional charges that will be imposed.
However, Mileto feels that these are the latest in a series of motions by the municipality, designed to drive local tow truck operators out of business. “The City of Vaughan every year comes up with new rules, so we spend more money,” he said. “It’s going to hurt a lot of people.” He even says that they are willing to hold a protest in order to repeal the decision. “We’re going to camp out at city hall. We’ll go and sit there and sleep there. We’re even willing to get arrested.”
Hopefully it won’t come to that, but maybe the council and the tow truck operators will be able to come to a compromise with regards to this matter.
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