City Takes New Approach At Reining In Rogue Tow Truck Drivers

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Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City officials are throwing in the towel on a two-year effort to rein in rogue tow truck operators who haul away cars that are parked perfectly legally. Now they’re trying a new approach, given initial approval in a city council committee.

It was two years ago that Council passed, and the mayor signed into law, Councilman Jim Kenney’s original plan. It said that a police officer must write out a ticket before a private tow truck operator could take away a vehicle. Kenney now admits that plan didn’t work, because it often took too long for an officer to arrive.

“And I don’t blame them,” Kenney says. “They’ve got a big job to do in this city and ticketing cars is not and should not be at the top of their to-do list.”

So now there’s plan B, approved Tuesday in committee, in which the tow truck operator would need only to take a photograph showing the vehicle parked illegally on or off the street in order to tow it.

The photo would serve as proof that the vehicle deserved to be towed if the owner disputes it.

The measure, which has the support of the Philadelphia Police Department, now goes to the full council for a final vote.

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