A bill aimed at addressing the issue of nonconsensual towing passed the Missouri Legislature on Friday, May 17 and is awaiting a signature by Gov. Mike Parson.
HR749, which creates a towing task force to make recommendations in matters relating to the investigation of towing companies overcharging truckers for nonconsensual tows, was rolled into a larger omnibus transportation bill.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and Missouri Trucking Association supported the towing bill, which was introduced by Missouri Rep. Nate Tate. OOIDA has been a staunch proponent for creating consumer protections for truck drivers who have to have their truck towed away after a crash. Currently, there is no process available for a truck driver to contest an invoice when they believe they were overcharged for a nonconsensual tow in Missouri.
“It’s a first step in a long process to bring about some reasonable regulations for heavy-duty nonconsensual towing in the state of Missouri,” OOIDA Manager of Government Affairs Mike Matousek told Land Line Now’s Terry Scruton.
Matousek said he hopes the towing task force will be created in the fall. Part of the task force’s duties will be to make recommendations regarding what information should be included on every invoice with respect to a nonconsensual tow.
A nonconsensual tow is one that is initiated by law enforcement with no opportunity for the trucker to negotiate services or compare prices. Without the ability to shop around, OOIDA says it is common for the price of these tows to be inflated by thousands of dollars.
“This issue is getting after the bad actors while mitigating the impact on those who do things the right way,” Matousek said.
OOIDA will work with the Missouri legislature again in 2020 to implement the recommendations.
“In my personal opinion, I think the hard part is done,” Matousek said. “We now have a structure and process to move the ball forward and hopefully finish our work in 2020.”
Matousek said Gov. Parson is expected to sign the bill soon.
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