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City Council Moves Forward With Bill To Rein In Wreck Chasers

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(Philadelphia City Council members James Kenney, left, and Frank Rizzo.  File photos)

(Philadelphia City Council members James Kenney, left, and Frank Rizzo. File photos)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Discovery Channel has a new program, “Wreck Chasers,” that puts Philadelphia in a poor light by highlighting the city’s many rogue tow truck operators.

On Tuesday, a City Council committee okayed a plan to give the Philadelphia Parking Authority control of the issue — but not before that program prompted some verbal sparring among councilmembers.

(Clip of two truck driver on TV show:)  “Wreck chasing is about being the first one to hear the call, the first one to respond to the call, the first one to get there.”

A segment of the cable show “Wreck Chasers” prompted a heated debate between councilmembers Jim Kenney and Frank Rizzo on Tuesday over how bad the problem is.

Kenney says current efforts to deal with wreck chasers are broken; Rizzo says the TV program was outdated.

(Kenney:)  “What we viewed here is pretty recent…”
(Rizzo:)  “No it’s not.”
(Kenney:)  “Yes it is.”
(Rizzo:)  “It’s months old!”
(Kenney:)  “Months, yeah.”
(Rizzo:)  “Months, months!”
(Kenney:)  ” ‘Recent’ is not years old.”
(Rizzo:)  “…before the administration…”
(Kenney:)  “By the way…”

Kenney is pushing a bill that would put the Philadelphia Parking Authority in charge of the city’s rotational towing system, a system aimed at restoring some order.  Rizzo objects to Parking Authority involvement.

Reported by KYW City Hall Bureau Chief Mike Dunn.

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