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Lawmakers Get Update On Towing Pilot Program

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(credit: CBS3)

(credit: CBS3)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG (CBS) — State lawmakers recently heard testimony about a pilot program which has state troopers turning over emergency towing arrangements to a private contractor, a program state police say could protect your wallet.

State police officials updated lawmakers on the pilot program which has been operating in the northwestern part of the state, with an eye toward expanding statewide – though in the city of Philadelphia, towing arrangements would continue to be handled by the Parking Authority.

By having a contractor handle dispatching and dispute mediation, Lt. Colonel George Bivens says troopers save manpower and costs.

The advantage to motorists is elimination of gouging.

“You can have one tower that comes out and charges $200 for a certain tow job, and another tower that comes out and charges $800 for the same tow job,” Bivens said.

 

Pa Towing photo -- Bivens (2nd right) testifies before state House committee. photo credit: Tony Romeo

Pa Towing photo — Bivens (2nd right) testifies before state House committee. photo credit: Tony Romeo

But towers participating in the pilot program are subject to a maximum fee structure.

Towers and some lawmakers expressed unhappiness with the program, complaining in particular that towers were not consulted about its development.

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