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Jun-03-2009 13:03printcomments

Oregon Senate Cracks Down on Predatory Towing Companies

House Bill 2578 prohibits this practice except for in cases where public safety or access is compromised. The bill would also require a tower to take photographic evidence of a parking infraction before towing a vehicle

Illegal towing takes place all over the nation.  This photo was taken in New Jersey.
Illegal towing takes place all over the nation. This photo was taken in New Jersey. Courtesy: 3.bp.blogspot.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - Legislation that creates protection from predatory towing companies passed in the Senate this morning with a unanimous vote.

House Bill 2578 requires a tower to contact a property owner or tenant before towing and allows the vehicle owner to move their vehicle without fees beyond the initial hookup. The bill also requires that parking rules be clearly posted by a landlord.

“This bill is for anyone who has felt that sinking feeling of going out to your car and finding it missing without notice,” said Senator Suzanne Bonamici (D-Washington Co./NW Portland), Chair of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee.

“Given the opportunity, most people want to follow the rules – but those rules need to be enforced in good faith – not just for a towing company to make a profit.”

Patrol towing generally involves an agreement between a property owner and tower to allow any unauthorized vehicle on the property to be towed without notice.

House Bill 2578 prohibits this practice except for in cases where public safety or access is compromised. The bill would also require a tower to take photographic evidence of a parking infraction before towing a vehicle.

“Because tow-truck drivers work on commission, they’re motivated to act quickly and this can result in errors,” said Senator Ginny Burdick (D-Portland).

“Taking a quick photo will provide solid evidence that a violation did in fact occur. It’s a simple requirement, but one that should give both parties some solid ground to work with when dealing with disputes. ”

HB 2578 was introduced in the House by Representative Chuck Riley (D-Hillsboro) and Representative Michael Dembrow (D-Portland). The bill will now go to the House for concurrence.

Source: Oregon Legislature




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