A tow truck driver risks his life daily trying to assist a stuck motorist. Until lately, lack of proper federal laws granted the lines of the profession to be intruded by dishonest drivers who practice predatory towing. The worst-case being the patrol towing. This is where a tow truck driver tows away your car illegally. This is due to a spotter giving the driver a tip where the car is. They tow your car just because you happened to park on private property or a no parking bay. As a result, the car owner has to pay for all the costs incurred to get the car back. A representative from Auto Towing recently agreed that this is a big problem in their city of San Francisco. They said it makes it hard for legitimate companies to get towing calls with this type of activity.

guy in handcuffs

In California, under the article AB 2210, a consumer is protected against any illegal towing. A tow truck driver who breaches this law is liable to a fine of US$2,500, or serve a 3 months sentence in jail. Below are some of the changes in the law on illegal towing.

1-hour Rule to not be predatory towing

Before towing a vehicle, it must be parked for one hour unless it is parked in a way that is affecting the entrance or the exit., or parked within a 15 feet fire lane. The fire lane curb must be clearly labeled and painted in red.

Categorical Release

A vehicle owner has a right to demand the release of his/her car immediately if it is being towed and yet it is not on a public road. Certainly, the driver does not have to produce a driver’s license.

Mile Limit on predatory towing

In case of an illegal towing, the tower is not supposed to take your vehicle for more than ten miles from where it was parked

Towing Permits Must Be Valid

It is by law that the towing company possesses a motor carrier permit that is valid. They also need to make records of the tow available; as well as not share profits with the property owners who acted as a spotter.

Excessive Charges Penalty

Charging a vehicle owner at an excessive rate is prohibited and the tower is liable to the vehicle owner four times the money charged.

Check out our other article on tire quality of a towing wrecker. It has some great tips for tires.