Lawmakers Trying To Put Predatory Tow Truck Drivers On The Hook


UPDATED: Wednesday January 29, 2014 11:37 PM

State lawmakers are taking action after a series of reports by 10 Investigates on predatory towing.

Many of the complaints center around over-charging, with additional charges tacked onto the tow.

For months, 10 Investigates uncovered incident after incident, where people challenged the actions of tow truck drivers, including one man who says he put his life at risk to keep his SUV from being hauled off.

"He tried to pull away, so I ended up having to stand in front of his truck," said the man.

There is now a bill to combat predatory towing in the Statehouse.

"I think we're close to the wild wild west. I mean, we're clearly behind other states in terms of, what parameters exist to ensure that there is fairness," said Republican Rep. Mike Duffey of Worthington.

Rep. Duffey says his goal for House Bill 382 is to tackle bogus towing fees, require towing companies to document their actions with pictures, and clarify signage.

"And one of the things that's most unclear about current Ohio law is, 'how does the tow get authorized?'" said Duffey.

If this bill becomes law, it would affect tow companies all across the state.

In Columbus, students at The Ohio State University feel they're being preyed upon and want change.

"You know, on campus, it's often said you're not an Ohio State student until you've been towed," said OSU Undergraduate Student Government President, Taylor Stepp.

"I was blown away by how quickly they managed to tow a car," said another woman testifying for the bill.

"It's really an inconvenience for students, when they come out and see their cars on a hook from the tow truck company," said former OSU student, Louis Johnson.

The owner of one of the prominent towing companies, Shamrock Towing, attended the proponent testimony.

10TV asked him to speak on camera, on behalf of his company, but he declined.  Before leaving, he said he was in favor of some parts of the bill and against others.

He said he plans to speak during opponent testimony.  That date is yet to be scheduled.

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