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July 31, 2005



About the predatory towtruck story:
My approach would be a strictly Republican market based approach. The towing companies obviously find these towing agrements with property owners to be a cash cow. They charge $300 for grabbing a car in the dead of night and there is nothing the car owner can do about it. People have actually been killed.

I would support a law that says the towing company can tow cars parked illegally on private property, but the owner or manager of the property must actually be present to initiate the tow, and must sign a form personally. The property owner would then accept complete liability for towing the car in addition to the towtruck operator's liability.

If not, the tow company can tow the car, but can only charge a maximum of $15 for all charges including storage, etc. And would have complete liability.

Ken Maddox

State law says the owner or their rep. has to be there to sign for the tow. A local tow company fought this law in federal court and won. I know because I was sued for enforcing state law. The courts said federal interstate commerce statutes superceded state law. The tow companies found protection in this decision. The tow company in which I had the most contact kept a second person in the cab wearing a jacket emblazoned with Security in case a resident complained. Bottom line--these tow companies prey on the poor who in this area often have limited English skills. They don't rip cars in Tustin Ranch and Irvine etc...They are crooks who victimize the poor. I hope there is a very special place in hell for them. Finally, the Feds took notice and fixed this problem.


So Ken, why isn't something being done about it?

I like my Republican approach. They can only charge their full ridiculous prices in concert with the legitimate property owner or manager. Otherwise they are strictly limited in what they can charge.

Someone parks illegally in the opinion of only the tow company, the tow company can make only $15. If the owner agrees, they can make more.


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