London city staff to hold public meeting to regulate ‘chasers’

London city staff officials have recommended a public meeting to regulate what they call “accident chaser” tow trucks.

Back in January, city staff were asked to collaborate with emergency services and the towing industry to craft a bylaw that would prohibit “chaser” towing services from rushing to collisions before being contacted by customers or police. The regulations would also combat high-pressure tactics used to secure business and unregulated tow charges.

A report completed by London city staff recommends the city take action as a matter of consumer protection and public safety following consultations with OPP, EMS, CAA, local police and the surrounding tow truck industry.

These problems have also been expressed by some professionals in the towing industry, as some companies have high-volume contracts to handle police tow requests. Even so, customers have the right to call whichever company they choose.

While some are fine with the idea of new regulations, the feedback has been mixed. It appears some operators feel that the stricter regulations take work away from their duty roster.

Several municipalities — such as Waterloo, Hamilton and Mississauga — already have similar regulations that use minimum distances from accident scenes.

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