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New rule aims to curb predatory towing

(File Photo)



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PROVO — City officials in Provo adopted a major rule change which they hope will help end the practice of predatory towing.

City leaders have received a lot of complaints about aggressive tow truck operators for a long time.

"That's where, I think, the term ‘predatory' comes from. A lot of people feel [tow truck operators] are just waiting for somebody to make a mistake and they're waiting around the next corner," said Mayor John Curtis.

Curtis said people have also complained about a lack of signs that clearly mark tow-away zones.

Now, people towing a car must prove an infraction was made. The new rule requires operators to take a picture of the alleged violation. They must show it to the vehicle's owner before they can ask for payment.

"They have to take the picture before they hook up for either the boot or the tow and document what they've got," Curtis said.

If the operator doesn't follow the new rules, they would be guilty of a class B misdemeanor and could face fines.

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"It's not a difficult request. I actually think it's in their best interest. Why wouldn't they want to document it to show to the individual that a violation has been made?" Curtis said.

He doesn't believe this regulation change will fix the problem entirely. He said the city is mulling other potential changes but is not ready to announce those yet.

"I view that this is something we're not going to fix with one single ordinance but a series of different things that will gradually improve the towing situation," he said.

Video contribution: Shara Park

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