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Ontario to Regulate Towing And Vehicle Storage

Web posted on April 15, 2014

Ontario is taking steps to strengthen consumer protection and further reduce auto insurance rates, by introducing legislation today that would, if passed, regulate the towing and vehicle storage industries. There are approximately 1,200 tow truck operators and 3,000 tow truck drivers in Ontario.

The province intends to introduce legislation, that if passed, would help Ontario's over nine million drivers make informed decisions and protect their money when getting their vehicle towed or having it held in a storage facility.

"We are strengthening consumer protection for drivers involved in traffic collisions or in need of roadside assistance. Drivers should have the confidence that the tow truck operator helping them is reputable and will treat them fairly." Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Consumer Services.

The proposed legislation and supporting regulations would require tow truck operators and storage providers to:

--> Have permission from a consumer or someone acting on behalf of the consumer before charging for towing and storage services

--> Publicly post prices and other information, like the operator's name and contact information

--> Accept credit card payments from consumers

--> Provide an itemized invoice listing the services provided and the total cost.

Ontario is also proposing to include tow trucks in the province's existing Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration system to improve road safety through government monitoring and enforcement measures. The proposed changes and additional oversight would contribute to lower costs in Ontario's auto insurance system.

"This proposed legislation is good news for consumers in Ontario. If passed, it will deliver real results for people who use tow trucks and vehicle storage facilities. As the MPP for Don Valley East I know motorists will appreciate this initiative to enhance consumer protection in our province." Michael Coteau, MPP for Don Valley East.

Protecting Ontario consumers is part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths -- its people and strategic partnerships.