When cars park illegally in a private property, there are federal and local laws that serve as guidelines in regulating the acts of towing san jose property owners initiate. State governments allow city and municipal authorities to have a free hand in regulating the towing industry in their respective jurisdiction. The local towing industry after all plays a significant role in helping achieve economic progress in communities.
While the majority of the towing companies operating in Silicon Valley and in Bay Area communities help in maintaining smooth traffic and road safety, the regulation of the industry helped minimize if not eliminate the proliferation of notorious predatory towing companies.
Consumer Watch Group Raises Concern Over the Possible Prevalence of Predatory Towing
Based on a report published by a non-profit consumer watch group called the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), there are tow truck companies that pay people to act as informants. The said individuals get paid for reporting in real time, motorists who illegally occupy prohibited spaces.
Such practice is being cited by the PIRG as improper because it offers monetary incentives that will promote abuse of authority, leading to the prevalence of predatory towing activities.
Sixteen (16) states including California, have already introduced legislation allowing local governments to regulate and implement measures that will deter tow truck businesses from employing predatory tactics as a means of maximizing their profit. So far, the city and local governments that oversee towing operations in their areas of responsibility have had relative success in working with the towing industry.
However, the PIRG is calling for the remaining thirty-four (34) states to follow suit. That way, a ban can be imposed on the business practice of paying kickbacks or commissions to informants who provide exclusive reports on parking violators.
Rather than focus on offering roadside assistance to those who have had the misfortune of getting stalled in non parking spaces, tow truck drivers and operators will simply load and haul stalled vehicles.
Teresa Murray, one of the members of the PIRG watch group explained that if the ban on such predatory practice is not enforced statewide, it will likely allow its prevalence in all 34 jurisdictions. Towing companies will impound cars that need only roadside assistance to help the vehicle get back on the road. According to Ms. Murray some tow companies have been abusing their authority to tow illegally parked vehicles.
They are charging between $200 and $300 as a fee for vehicle owners to pay so they can retrieve their car from the towing company’s impounding area. The individuals who acted as informers stand to receive between $20 to $50 as kickbacks or commission for passing on information.