City Council to Hold Hearing on Illegal Tow-Truck Schemes

Ever been the victim of a tow-truck bait scheme? Now's your chance to get even. | Slobo | Slobo

Anyone in Philadelphia who has ever had a car towed illegally is getting the chance to speak out.

City Council is holding a public hearing on Tuesday as part of an effort to crack down on “rogue” towers, or private towing companies that remove cars that aren’t parked illegally, creating costly and time-consuming situations for drivers. The Committee on Streets and Services will hold the hearing at noon in Room 400 of City Hall.

Concern over illegally towed cars has grown notably since May, when Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez introduced legislation that would empower the city to penalize illegal towers in an effort to save motorists time and money.

In May, Sanchez said she had received complaints about towing companies who coordinate with businesses and homeowners to create their own unregistered “tow-away zones.” Some companies will even perform “curb cuts,” she said, and illegally remove pieces of a curb to form a driveway and create the illusion that motorists cannot park there. Drivers also complained that some companies also refuse to accept credit card payments.

The issue gained even more traction in August, when a South Philly man claimed to have captured a tow-truck bait scheme on camera. Council President Darrell Clarke and Councilman Bill Greenlee have also introduced legislation that would crack down on such companies, PhillyVoice reports.

CBS3 reports that the District Attorney’s Office is investigating some private towing companies.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.