Ottawa, Ontario — May 4, 2015 — Ontario’s new auto insurance act will directly impact the towing industry, but will not address Ottawa’s issue with “collision chasers,” according to the head of the province’s towing group.
Bill 15’s regulatory framework is yet to be finalized, but Provincial Towing Association of Ontario (PTAO) President, Joey Gagne, told Metro News the legislation does not cover incident management — such as unauthorized towers racing to arrive first on the scene of an accident.
Sgt. John Kiss told Metro earlier this year the number of tow operators in violation of Ottawa’s bylaw — prohibiting tow trucks from parking or offering services within 100 metres of a collision — has become unmanageable, leading to the staging of fake collisions in order to ticket competing towers.
While local towers don’t dispute the danger and existence of “tow truck wars,” they have also voiced concerns relating to police playing collision site favourtism and unfair ticketing practices.
The Ontario government passed Bill 15, the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, in December 2014, aiming to protect consumers by regulating licensing and lowering insurance rates.
The bill has been a source of controversy for the industry, with many anticipating a negative impact, citing enforced workday restrictions and price hikes. An estimated 1,500 drivers surrounded Toronto’s Queen’s Park and around 100 gathered at Brampton City Hall to protest the legislation in December 2014.