A committee in the City of Ottawa has approved rules aimed at preventing drivers from being hit with unpredictable towing bills or having to track vehicles towed to unknown storage facilities.
The new licensing scheme, which was laid out by city staff, was unanimously approved by the local community and protection committee on Thursday and, if waved through by the city council next week, would take effect on January 1, 2022.
Under the new statute, all towing companies – including those in Quebec – had to apply to Ottawa City for a business license to operate.
The same would apply to owners of storage facilities who, for security reasons, had to keep regular opening hours from kl.
The city has heard many stories where people are unable to pick up their vehicles, and staff say the new rules are intended to prevent incidents, such as when a woman faced a $ 2,900 inventory bill after trying 26 times to reach the company.
No towing without written consent
Truck drivers like Ali Awada say this step has been many years in the making.
“Thank God you’re really putting something in place,” said Awada, who owns Express Towing.
“There are good apples in every business. There are bad apples too.”
These bad actors have attracted a lot of attention over the years and made the drivers feel the prey, councilors said.
“Many truck drivers look like sharks and circle vulnerable people who have been in collisions, who are disoriented, and who could be injured,” River ward Coun said. Riley Brockington.
“The industry is ripe for regulation. It’s really gone out of hand.”
The Ontario government passed new tow legislation in June, but it may take some time before it becomes law, so city staff want local rules that can deal with the problems faster.
Avoidance of surcharges
The city will set more fixed tariffs. A standard tow from a collision would cost $ 300, while a tow that does not involve a collision would be set at $ 175. Being towed from a ditch would cost $ 125, while storage would cost $ 60 per day.
Surcharges for things like cleaning and waiting time have been a major issue, city staff told councilors, causing a deduction bill to rise.
All tugs must already remain 100 meters from a scene unless someone requests their service. Under new rules, no vehicle can be connected to a towed truck until the customer or a police officer or on-site official accepts it in writing.
The approval form for a trailer will contain many details, including the truck driver’s license number and the destination of the vehicle.
The staff estimates that there are between 200 and 250 tow truck drivers in the city and 40 tow companies.
The committee also approved a proposal from Coun. Jeff Leiper aimed to ask staff to investigate the locations where trucks wait for their calls to tow vehicles. Leiper wants to find out if any gaps in parking and traffic rules need to be closed so trailers don’t idle near schools and parks.