Missouri bills would set towing rotation lists

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 3/11/2015

Towing rules under review at the Missouri statehouse cover rotation lists.

One Senate bill would set up a rotation list for towing. The Missouri State Highway Patrol would be responsible for setting up rotations to tow or remove disabled vehicles at accident scenes.

Tow operators already on the scene of wrecks when law enforcement arrives could be dismissed in favor of a listed wrecker. Additionally, towers who stop and tow a vehicle from the scene of a wreck without having been called by the vehicle owner or contacted from the rotation list would face fines and the possibility of the tow truck being impounded.

Critics say rotation lists result in truckers and others paying more to get towed. Some say it’s not uncommon to see a tow bill for a large truck reach the tens of thousands of dollars.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is on the record at the statehouse in opposition to setting up rotation lists.

Mike Matousek, OOIDA director of state legislative affairs, said the Association receives no complaints about existing rules on arranging for towing services from its nearly 7,200 Missouri members.

“In fact, based on available data the Highway Patrol’s non-consensual towing policies appear to treat truckers fairly, at least more so than in other states,” Matousek said.

“Our concern is that the legislation, without the addition of numerous provisions to protect consumers and regulate this segment of the towing industry, will create more problems than it solves.”

Sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, SB232 is in the Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee. The House version, HB581, is in the House Emerging Issues Committee. It is sponsored by Rep. Dave Muntzel, R-Boonville.

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