TAMPA, Florida - City Council discussed predatory towing practices Thursday, following a recent 10Investigates series exposing how some wrecker companies unfairly penalized drinkers who chose not to drive home
As a result, council members are asking city attorneys to revise a current ordinance meant to restrict when tow trucks can impound vehicles in private parking lots outside of establishments that serve liquor, so that patrons can leave their car in the lot until noon the next day without fear of being towed if they don’t feel comfortable driving.
City council officials told Senior Assistant City Attorney Rebecca Kert they would like property owners to have signs in their lot that inform patrons of their rights regarding the city ordinance.
Kert said the ordinance could help cut down on excessive predatory towing because it would also require property owners to submit a signed order to tow, complete with make and model of the vehicle.
According to Kert, this will make property owners think carefully about each car before towing instead of giving companies blanket permission to haul cars away after a certain hour.
Tampa city officials recently issued a memo to wrecking companies reminding them of the current ordinance.
City attorneys will present a revised ordinance on May 7.
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