CAA Urges Ontario Government to Regulate Towing Industry

CAA renews call for towing regulation during Tow Safety Week.

CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is asking the province for help; they'd like the Ontario government to make regulating the towing industry a priority.

"Long wait times, unscrupulous tow truck drivers and sky-high towing bills will continue to be an issue for motorists unless the Ontario government makes provincial towing regulation a priority," said Teresa Di Felice, AVP, government and community relations at CAA SCO. "Doing so would ensure Ontario motorists have certainty when it comes to towing services, regardless of when or where they require support. It will also help to earn respect for the many men and women who work hard to provide an important service on our roads."

The request comes during Tow Safety Week, an awareness campaign developed by CAA and the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario which is in its fourth year.

"Calling for a tow truck on the side of the highway can be a stressful experience for motorists, provincial towing regulation will make certain that the standards of training, service and equipment in the towing industry are kept high," added Di Felice.

Towing Bill of Rights

Last year CAA released their Towing Bill of Rights (TBR). Based on Ontario laws, the TBR outlines what motorists can expect, as well as their rights, when calling for a tow:

  1. You have the right to decide who can tow your vehicle and to what location, unless otherwise directed by police.
  2. You must sign a permission to tow form before towing starts, unless you have an auto club membership.
  3. The towing company must provide you with an itemized invoice before receiving payment.
  4. Your final bill cannot be more than 10% above the quoted price.
  5. If you choose, you can pay by credit card.
  6. During business hours, you can access your vehicle to collect your personal items, while it's stored at a towing facility.
  7. A tow operator must tell you where your vehicle will be towed.
  8. Tow operators must disclose if they are receiving a financial incentive for towing your vehicle to a particular storage facility or repair shop.

At the time the TBR was originally released, Di Felice explained why it was necessary: "It can often be very stressful for motorists after a collision or vehicle issue, and the Towing Bill of Rights is a quick and easy reference guide to help put the power and knowledge back in the hands of consumers."

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