Every day, drivers of tow trucks perform their duties to ensure a smooth running of the roads. They help disabled vehicle drivers and motorists out of the way to allow easy movement of other cars. However, some challenges have been registered in cases where people have impersonated the tow trucks to do the work for their selfish gains. For this reason, the legitimate drivers have had to face questions regarding their credibility which has consequently gotten them arrested and prosecuted for offenses they have probably not committed.
Therefore, this presents another serious problem for drivers. How do you know that it is a genuine tow trucker that pulls you? How can you tell whether the company has illegally towed your car? The following are some common illegal practices that will help you solve your dilemma.
The One-Hour Rule
The one hour rule is one of the most significant ways you can use to tell an illegal tow trucking incidence. Ideally, it means that cannot be owed if you have not gone beyond the limit of one hour. Well, there are instances when this rule will not apply, especially if you are deemed to have committed an illegality. For instance, when you park your car about 15 feet from a fire hydrant, this will be one of the exceptions of the application of this rule. Likewise, do not park at an entrance or exit point which may disrupt the free flow of vehicles.
Each towing company has a limit of ten miles. This means that if the company has towed your vehicle, it should not be taken for a distance of more than ten miles from the point you had parked. Any attempt to do this should be treated as illegal.
According to the laws that govern the towing companies, written consent from the property owner must be provided before the process of taking away the vehicles begins. After the consent, they should wait for one hour to elapse. Additionally, as the owner, you are required to sign that indeed your vehicle was not within the 17×22 inches from any entrance or exit. Also, look around to ensure that the place does not allow public parking and that as the owner; you are responsible for all the related expenses. Finally, before you conclude the signage, ensure that the name and number of the associated company are noted.
If the owner manages to pay his dues within 24 hours after the vehicle has been towed, the vehicle should be released. In cases where the facility’s operation is questionable such that it is not active during normal working hours, no extra charges should be imposed apart from one day’s fee. Due to the increased cases of illegal towing, most jurisdictions have enacted new laws that aim to protect drivers from illegitimate towing practices. For example, if you find a tow trucker taking away your car that is on the premises of private property, your vehicle should be released immediately and unconditionally. If you feel that you been overcharged, you can present a restitution case in a court of law.
Therefore, understand your rights as a driver. Compliance with the law can help you avoid falling victim to illegal towing.