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Archive for Wednesday, September 5, 2012

County supports cheaper towing charges

September 5, 2012

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At Wednesday's Douglas County Commission meeting, Evan Ice, county attorney, discusses a resolution that would limit how much towing companies on the county's nonpreference towing list can charge customers. Commissioners voted in support of the resolution. A final draft will be presented at the Sept. 19 commission meeting.

At Wednesday's Douglas County Commission meeting, Evan Ice, county attorney, discusses a resolution that would limit how much towing companies on the county's nonpreference towing list can charge customers. Commissioners voted in support of the resolution. A final draft will be presented at the Sept. 19 commission meeting.

Eudora woman Jen Middleton's son, Devin, was in an accident in the family's Ford Windstar in March. No one was injured in the accident, but Middleton was given a $1,110 bill for the six-mile tow.

Eudora woman Jen Middleton's son, Devin, was in an accident in the family's Ford Windstar in March. No one was injured in the accident, but Middleton was given a $1,110 bill for the six-mile tow.

The Douglas County Commission on Wednesday unanimously agreed in principle to a resolution limiting how much towing companies on the county’s nonpreference towing list can charge consumers.

“I’m convinced we came up with a good product that’s fair,” said Douglas County Commissioner Jim Flory. Flory headed an advisory panel formed in April to study towing charges after local residents, towing company owners and the Douglas County district attorney urged the commission to do something about the over-the-top prices some tow companies are charging motorists.

The resolution outlines maximum charges for basic towing services, such as a $150 towing rate for smaller vehicles and $250 for larger trucks. Towing companies would also be limited to a $3-per-towing-mile charge, and $30 per day for vehicle storage. Flory said the panel received input from several towing companies and their attorneys, and looked at similar policies in several Kansas cities that set maximum rates for nonpreference tow charges. No one from the public spoke about the resolution at Wednesday’s meeting.

At an accident scene, motorists can choose whatever towing company they want to haul their vehicle. But if the owner doesn’t have a preference, the county’s emergency dispatch will choose a company based on a rotating list of about 10 area towing companies.

The Lawrence Journal-World reported earlier this year about one Douglas County resident who paid $1,110 for a minivan to be towed six miles after an accident. Under the proposed resolution, such service could have cost as little as $200.

Under the resolution, tow companies on the nonpreference towing list will need to sign a contract agreeing to the pricing guidelines. Commissioners proposed a Nov. 1 start date for the policy. A final resolution is expected to be presented, and approved, at the Sept. 19 County Commission meeting.

Comments

oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 11 months ago

Who prepares the rotating list and how is it compiled?

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shaunepec 1 year, 11 months ago

It's my understanding that any towing company that meets the basic requirements (insurance, etc.) can be on the county's rotating list, as of currently. Last we heard, there were 10 or 11 companies on the list.

Shaun LJW

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somedude20 1 year, 11 months ago

For as little as $80 a year, AAA will service your vehicle 5 times/tows (up to 100 miles). Folks, that is way cheaper than one tow...get it

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Bigdog66046 1 year, 11 months ago

Yep and you have alot of time to count all the money your saving while you sit there for an hour plus waiting for the cheapest company they could find to get slow enough to come give you service. I would rather pay the $40-60 for a tow the few times i ever need to direct to the person doing the work. And not some big national company that profits off others hard work.

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somedude20 1 year, 11 months ago

Boy you are wrong. I have used them many times in the 10 years I have been out here and I get the AAA truck which takes under an hour, most time 30 or so minutes (even on highway 70). Best of luck getting a $40-60 dollar tow anywhere especially in this town!

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paulveer 1 year, 11 months ago

My pretty standard auto insurance offers better coverage than AAA for almost nothing. I think most others do, also.

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mae 1 year, 11 months ago

I had a no fault accident and the standard anywhere in lawrence was $35 at the time. same company for two blocks suddenly became $115 because the police called instead of me. some sort of systematic pricing needs to be made.

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shotgun 1 year, 11 months ago

In an accident situation, you cannot use AAA towing or your insurance company's towing coverage. The local law enforcement will have your car towed. The only input you have, is choosing from their list of tow companies. Why do you al think that this problem exists?

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shotgun 1 year, 11 months ago

In an accident situation, you cannot use AAA towing or your insurance company's towing coverage. The local law enforcement will have your car towed. The only input you have, is choosing from their list of tow companies. Why do you all think that this problem exists?

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EastCoastTransplant 1 year, 11 months ago

These towing companies take advantage of people. I am glad their prices are regulated.

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Gabe Hoffman 1 year, 11 months ago

Still a lot. A month after reading the article about the towing companies sticking it to customers, I had an axle break in Topeka. 20 minutes to show up, $56 tow on a flat bed and he threw in $10 wood charge used to keep my vehicle level. It's not often I'd say it, but, they could learn from the Topeka companies.

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Rex Hargis 1 year, 11 months ago

I think in an accident situation, it would have to do with potential evidence preservation. Just a guess.

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Kat Christian 1 year, 11 months ago

Well its about darn time the City got off their duffs and made a decision about this. I complained about the towing companies about 5-6 years ago (with a letter). And in the meantime it had progressively gotten worse because greed takes over and that is exactly what it has done. Why does it take so long for City officials to see or remedy a problem when people complain or it is so obvious it is a problem? We need more assertive City officials ballsy enough to speak up when it is needed. I'm so sick of whimy politics. Anyway THANK YOU for FINALLY coming to a decision about the towing companies greed and finally putting a stop to it.

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