Thanks to the Douglas County Commission for moving forward on a plan to control the prices charged by towing companies who transport vehicles from an accident scene.
Last week, commissioners agreed in principle to a resolution that would place a ceiling on how much companies on its towing list can charge for basic towing services. The action was prompted by reports of unreasonably high towing bills received by local residents. When towing is required, the county’s policy has been to ask motorists if they have a preference about which company does the job. If not, emergency dispatch would simply call the next company on the county’s rotating list of about 10 area companies regardless of the charge. Earlier this year, the Journal-World talked to a county resident who had paid $1,110 to have a minivan towed about six miles after an accident.
Under the county’s new plan, that tow would cost as little as $200. The resolution outlines maximum charges for basic towing as well as per-mile charges and vehicle storage. The proposal was formulated by an advisory panel, headed by Commissioner Jim Flory, that looked at similar policies in other Kansas cities and sought input from towing companies.
The plan is fair to companies and protects motorists who already are dealing with the stress of a traffic accident. It may not be the most important action the commission takes this year, but it is a positive step for county residents.