The Ontario government is looking to introduce legislation that seeks to “strengthen the province’s oversight of the towing sector,” along with measures to protect vulnerable road users and increase penalties for those engaging in high-risk driving behaviours.
Through the newly introduced Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021, the Ontario government has proposed to establish a certification system that would require tow truck operators, tow truck drivers and vehicle storage operators to require a provincial certificate.
The provincial government also seeks to introduce a Standards of Practice for the industry, with the intention of protecting customers. This will include vehicle and equipment requirements, invoicing practices, roadside behaviours—such as how far back a tow truck should be if not requested at the scene—and penalties for avoiding the regulated standards.
Finally, the province looks to appoint a Director of Towing and Vehicle Storage Standards to oversee the certification process and to appoint towing inspectors to enforce the Act and investigate any complaints. “The Provincial Towing Association of Ontario has been leading the towing industry through a provincial licencing model to elevate professionalism in towing,” said Mark Graves, president of the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario. “The legislation Premier Ford and Minister Mulroney are announcing today is the framework required to implement a towing industry licencing system. The PTAO supports this legislation and looks forward to working directly with the government for implementation.”
The towing regulations come as part of the new Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS), which, if passed, will create tougher penalties for drivers caught engaging in unsafe and high-risk driving, such as street racing or stunt driving.
According to the government, street racing and stunt driving offences have been trending upwards since 2015—but Summer 2020 saw an even greater spike. Proposed measures to combat stunt driving include increasing vehicle impoundment from seven days to 14 days; increasing roadside driver’s license suspensions from seven days to 30 days; lowing the threshold for laying street racing/stunt driving charges for those traveling 40 km/h or more above the posted limit on roads where the speed limit is less than 80 km/h and implementing stronger post-conviction license suspensions for repeat offenders.
Dara Carpenter, CEO of Torontobased E.L.C Towing Dispatch Solutions has been nominated for a second time for the 2021 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.
“For those that know me I am not one to brag or tout my personal achievements however this award nomination is special to me so please forgive a little self-indulgence,” Carpenter wrote in a LinkedIn post. “As I am sure you are aware It has been an interesting journey navigating through a male dominated and challenging industry. It is truly rewarding to be nominated and recognized for all the hard work and effort that has gone into making ELC Towing Dispatch Solutions a national success. I am honoured to even be mentioned in the same breath as the other nominees and the previous award recipients.”
E.L.C Towing Dispatch Solutions was founded by Carpenter in 2015. The company manages the logistics and dispatch of a tow throughout Canada and the U.S. but also mediates between insurance companies and towing businesses, repair facilities, and auto recyclers in the automotive industry. The company helps prevent unnecessary expenses and provides towing and storage logistics.
Carpenter has had to overcome several obstacles while building her business—such as having to navigate through an extremely male dominated industry. So, she is very thankful to see her hard work recognized in this format.
“It’s an honour that my peers are recognizing my hard work and to see that people are taking notice,” Carpenter told Collision Repair Magazine.
Carpenter hopes to inspire other women to take up space in predominantly male industries.
“Don’t give up. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not worthy or that you’re not good enough or that you don’t belong.” The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards is a national awards program celebrating the achievements of female entrepreneurs in Canada.
For 29 years, the awards have shone a spotlight on Canada’s most accomplished and impactful women who have demonstrated excellence—from economic growth to social change, from local to global reach, across multiple sectors.