Colorado towing group attempts to remove consumer protections OOIDA helped create

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line associate editor | 2/28/2019

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is pushing back against a petition that could negatively affect consumer protections regarding nonconsensual tows in Colorado.

OOIDA sent a letter on Wednesday, Feb. 27 to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in opposition of a petition for rulemaking filed by the Towing and Recovery Professionals of Colorado. The petition would remove some of the towing carrier rules that OOIDA helped establish. For instance, the petition’s plan would remove the maximum rates for nonconsensual tows, which generally include all law enforcement dispatched tows to clear the roadway after a crash. In these situations, truck drivers aren’t afforded the opportunity to negotiate prices or services with tow companies.

“This would effectively gut the reasonable rate caps currently in place for the towing, storage, and vehicle release fees specific to law enforcement ordered tows, which would fundamentally weaken the collective rules,” OOIDA Manager of Government Affairs Mike Matousek wrote. “In other words, the petitioner is seeking to repeal arguably the most important protection that the authorizing legislation and subsequent PUC proceeding were enacted to address.”

OOIDA and the Colorado Motor Carriers Association worked extensively to create rules and regulations regarding nonconsensual heavy-duty tows. The full implementation of the rules went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Members of the Towing and Recovery Professionals of Colorado also want to limit the release of personal property to normal business hours. OOIDA argues that such personal property as prescription medication or medical equipment could be needed immediately. The Association also said the petition attempts to limit the amount of time a trucker can file a complaint.

“This is a blatant attempt by the petitioner to weaken consumer protection rules for our nation’s truckers,” Matousek wrote. “We urge the Public Utilities Commission to reject the petition.”

 

 

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