Hamilton city council not ready to enforce towing license bylaw

By CTAR Staff

Hamilton, Ontario — October 22, 2013 — Uncertainty surrounding the number of towers in the city has prevented city council from enforcing its licensing regulations for the towing industry.

The bylaw, passed in 2012 to regulate tow truck drivers working for the two biggest towing companies in the municipality,  has stalled because the City needs to know the exact number of tow trucks currently operating in the city; this is required to determine break-even licensing fees.

City staff initially motioned to mandate licensing fees of $490 per tow truck, in addition to $118 per driver. These calculations were based from an estimation by city staff that there were 100 vehicles currently in service with over 150 operators across Hamilton.

During a recent city council meeting about a dozen operators questioned the city’s statistics, believing the estimates to be wrong. In response, Subcommittee chair Brad Clark moved to request staff to present Ministry of Transportation data relating to the number of operators in the city, as well as an audit of city-related towing revenue.

Clark believes the bylaw needs to be passed as soon as possible to protect consumers from being preyed upon .

CTAR reported in March 2013 that Brad Park of Park Towing believes the bylaw isn’t needed due to the existence of other tow truck chasing bylaws, and that the true issue at hand is one of enforcement.

The purpose of the bylaw was to prevent chasers–operators who arrive at collision scenes and solicit for towing or repair services–from descending upon vulnerable consumers post-accident.

Under the pre-existing bylaw anyone who is found soliciting for towing and repair services within 200 metres of a collision can be charged.

Read the 2012 bylaw at this link.

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