Colorado aims to regulate nonconsensual heavy-duty tows

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 4/14/2017

Colorado is one step closer to having rules and regulations regarding nonconsensual heavy-duty tows.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission released a proposed set of regulations on Wednesday, April 12. The commissioners will soon vote on the proposal.

A nonconsensual tow generally includes all law enforcement-dispatched tows to clear the roadway after an accident. In these situations, truck drivers aren’t afforded the opportunity to check the prices and services offered by multiple tow companies.

“The key point of this proposal is that heavy-duty nonconsensual towing will be regulated by Colorado,” said Mike Matousek, OOIDA director of state legislative affairs. “Hopefully these rules will deter companies from overcharging. If not, our members will now have the ability to file a complaint with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.”

Matousek said the Colorado Motor Carriers Association played a big role in getting a 2013 law passed requiring the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to create rules and maximum rates for heavy-duty nonconsensual tows.

“The Colorado Motor Carriers Association was instrumental in this effort,” Matousek said. “We appreciate everything they’ve done in this matter.”

Greg Fulton, president of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, told Land Line in September 2016 that some towing operators were overcharging by thousands of dollars.

“We need to provide some sort of protection, particularly to owner-operators, so that they aren’t thrown to the dogs just because they break down in this particular place.”

OOIDA has also been heavily involved in the effort to protect truck drivers from inflated bills from towing companies. However, Matousek stressed that OOIDA isn’t in a fight with the towing industry. Rather, the Association is taking on a small portion of bad actors within the industry. OOIDA has discovered numerous towing bills that were later found to have overcharges of $10,000 or more.

The proposed regulations, if adopted, would essentially go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

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