Boing Boing mentioned a New York Times story (use BugMeNot for a login and password) about bad tow truck drivers around here. The local news channels have covered the subject before as dependable ratings fodder, but it’s interesting to see it being written about from out-of-town:
In one case here, a church’s pickup was towed from its own parking lot; in another, a 4-year-old boy was towed away in his mother’s car after she went inside her apartment for a few minutes to drop off groceries and a younger child.
And a man who ran alongside a tow truck, pleading to get his vehicle back after it was towed from a fire lane, died when he slipped and was run over by the truck and then his own Chevrolet Suburban.
Spurred by cases like these, the authorities in Southern California are trying to rein in so-called predatory towing by truck drivers who are said to lurk around parking lots, snatching up cars in an instant on the slightest violation – or sometimes when there is no violation at all.
Similar complaints have reached state, local and federal officials across the country. And as part of the new federal highway bill, Congress approved legislation that allows states to enact certain restrictions on towing and orders a federal study of towing practices.