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.