Local News

Raleigh Hopes To Hook Up With New Towing Ordinance

Posted October 5, 2004 6:22 a.m. EDT

— The Raleigh City Council looked over a new proposal to resolve towing problems downtown. The new ordinance, called unconsensual tows, sets limits on what tow truck drivers can do.

Charles Bullock said he does not take part in predatory towing, yet under a proposed Raleigh ordinance, he believes he will be punished anyway.

"I don't see how they can tell us what we can charge when they don't tell McDonald's or Burger King what they can charge," he said.

Some operators like Bullock charge $125 for a tow. The proposal would limit the price to $85. Impound lots would have to be well-lit and manned 24 hours a day. If you walk up as your car is being lifted up, the operator would have to give your car back at no charge.

"I hope this will be the approach that we can deal with. The nonconsensual towing, as it's called. Because it has been a challenge," he said.

Bullock said the new rules would be the real challenge. He believes setting a cap will "boot" some tow truck operators out of business.

"By the time you are done, you are working for nothing at that rate," he said.

Other tow truck operators said they feel the proposed ordinance is discriminatory. They may join forces and sue the city. A public hearing is now set for Oct. 19.