Communities finish towing cars left behind in snowstorm

Posted February 14, 2014
Updated February 15, 2014

As snow and ice began to melt and traffic got back up to speed Friday, local communities were clearing the final cars left behind by drivers during Wednesday afternoon's snowstorm.

Find towed vehicles

Within city limits, police managed the removal of cars from roadways. Outside of incorporated areas and on state highways and interstates, the State Highway Patrol was directing the effort.

State law gives law enforcement agencies wide latitude in determining when to remove cars and where to send them, especially if those vehicles have been left for more than 24 hours. In almost all cases, car owners will be charged a towing fee and may face fees for storage.

Drivers are asked to first call the coresponding law enforcement agency to locate their cars.

  • State Highway Patrol: 919-733-3861
  • Raleigh police non-emergency: 919-996-1220 or 919-996-1221
  • Durham police non-emergency: 919-560-4427
  • Chapel Hill police posted a list of towed cars online. By Friday afternoon, only eight were still unclaimed.
  • Cary police non-emergency: 919-469-4012
  • Anyone who abandoned a vehicle inside another city or town should call the local police department.

State price-gouging law in effect 

Attorney General Roy Cooper reminded towing companies that bad weather is not a legitimate reason to jack up prices. 

“If you think you’re being charged too much for towing, let us know about it,” Cooper said. The average tow fee should be in the $100 to $150 range, Cooper's office said.

Tammy Freeman was one of those who complained to Cooper's office after her towing toll totaled $400.

"I thought it was price gouging," she said. "I thought that they were trying to rip me off. Yes, it was bad conditions, I understand that. I don't know if it's because it had a female name on the car, registered to a female. That's how I felt: You're trying to rip me off because I'm female."

Freeman said she expected that the City of Raleigh would tow her car to a parking lot for pickup.She had left it on Atlantic Avenue in Raleigh after it broke down. By the time she returned, it had been towed.

Bobby Tyree, of Bobby's Towing, said he got the call about Freeman's car after police impounded it because it was in the middle of the road. He called the charges for his services a going rate.




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  • Rebelyell55 Feb 14, 2014

    Sure hope some make sure they're not being ripped off and report those who abused this situation.

  • Hubris Feb 14, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Most gave up in 3 hours? On what do you base that on?

  • smcallah Feb 14, 2014

    This is sad, during the ice storm in 2005 where people were in their cars for up to 12 hours, not this many people abandoned their cars, and many did it just because they were out of gas.

    I was in my car driving home for 6 hours during a normally 30 minute drive. I never thought about abandoning my car. Most of these people gave up about 3 hours in.

  • Jackson Smith Feb 14, 2014

    But Raleigh is paying the $100 per car fee for people having their stupid hats on. Way to spend those tax dollars Raleigh. OMG

  • Ms. Skeptical Feb 14, 2014

    Yep, the towing is necessary. Scattered cars lining the roadways are absolute death traps, collisions waiting to happen. It's just a consequence of a hysterical public jamming the roads and streets to get home. Understandable, but this is rare, so accept the result. Many people waste their money regularly on all kinds of needless stuff, so don't fret over it.

  • Kevin Oliver Feb 14, 2014

    As of Friday afternoon, there's still quite a few on Glenwood, half on the road, creating a hazard. Just sayin'...

  • Ijaz Fahted Feb 14, 2014

    Glad they included the price gouging info. Some people see someone stranded and all they see is dollar signs.

  • Billy the Kid Feb 14, 2014

    Will there be school on Monday? It's supposed to be near 50 and partly sunny. That sounds dangerous.

  • A person Feb 14, 2014

    Allot of those drivers should be fined for the manner in which the cars were left. If they were off the side, parallel to traffic, no fine. If they were left in the middle of a lane or perpendicular to traffic they should be fined $500 or more