Toronto, Ontario — December 9, 2014 — Tow truck drivers from across the GTA are gathering at Queen’s Park in protest of Bill 15, the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 2014.
Coming from Steeles Avenue and Highway 404, Bovaird Drive and Highway 410 in Brampton, and Mavis Road and Highway 401 in Mississauga, City News Toronto reports an estimated 1,500 drivers are expected to arrive at the legislature this morning.
According to the report, towers take issue with the new act, voicing concerns related to anticipated price hikes and workday restrictions.
Tow truck drivers would be limited to 13 hour days and a maximum of 60 hours per week under the new legislation—working under the authority of the Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration—which they say will hinder their ability to provide services and maintain a quick response time. This is of special concern as winter approaches.
Bill 15 was passed by the Ontario legislature Nov. 20, and was constructed to ensure motorists would be protected when they are most vulnerable—during a breakdown or after a collision.
The legislation is also intended to improve safety standards essential for tow truck operators on the shoulders of busy highways and motorists who travel those same roads.
Brampton’s City Hall was also home to a similar protest on the morning of Dec. 8, with close to 100 local towers in attendance.
Amid the recent protests, the Canadian Automobile Association South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) has expressed support of the newly adopted act, stating it will work towards providing drivers and the towing industry as a whole with greater security.
“Bill 15 establishes a framework to help provide additional consumer protection measures for motorists, and elevate safety and standards for the towing industry,” says Elliott Silverstein, Manager of Government Relations, CAA SCO, in a release. “CAA will continue to advocate on behalf of motorists and the towing industry, as the government develops the required regulations to enact Bill 15.
“In addition, CAA has long advocated at Queen’s Park for additional safety measures for tow truck operators who provide service on Ontario’s roads. We are pleased that Bill 31 (Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act) includes Slow Down, Move Over provisions that would extend to tow trucks.”
Throughout the development of Bill 15, CAA says it has participated as a consultant with key industry stakeholders, and has tirelessly worked with industry associations and tow operators to address issues related to the act.
CAA SCO says it looks forward to working with the Ontario government in the coming months to both protect consumers and help acclimate towers to the new province-wide industry standard.