Licensing London: City’s Police Service board recommends new tow regulation scheme

London, Ontario — The London Police Services Board has recommended implementing a towing business licensing system in order to reduce the number of tow truck drivers seeking out roadside collisions.

The board’s position, which has no impact in law, was part of a series of recommendations released in its report on towing in the Southern Ontario city. Other recommendations included a new law preventing tow trucks from stopping within 200 metres of a vehicle unless invited by a vehicle operator.

The board also criticized certain practices it says are widespread, including the addition of towing services to auto repair bills. According to the LPSB, this practice means customers are frequently unaware of the true cost of towing services.

It also called for police to take stricter measures against tow trucks using police scanners to track accidents.

The report has been criticized as unfair by members of London’s towing community.

Some towing professionals are particularly upset by the LPSB’s decision to continue its policy of exclusively recommending Ross’s Towing Services to drivers.

According to the LDSP’s website, drivers who request police assistance in arranging a tow can receive special rates from Ross’s Towing Services.

“Fees listed are for Ross’ Towing Services and are only applicable if a driver has requested police assistance in arranging a tow. Drivers may make their own private arrangements with any tow company.”

Close to 40 towing businesses operate in the London area, though the vast majority of businesses are single-vehicle operations. The LPSB says Ross’s Towing Services conducted more than half of all vehicle recoveries in 2020.

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