Missouri bill would put in place towing rotation lists

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Towing rules under review at the Missouri statehouse include the use of rotation lists.

A House bill would authorize the use of 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 could 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. They say it’s not uncommon to see a $2,000 tow bill for a large truck blow up to as much as a $6,000 bill.

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

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

Matousek adds that based on available data the Highway Patrol’s nonconsensual towing policies appear to treat truckers fairly, at least more so than in other states.

“Our concern is 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 Rep. Joe Don McGaugh, R-Carrollton, HB2320 awaits assignment to committee in the House.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Missouri, click here.

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