NC House bill would crack down on predatory booting and towing more

CHARLOTTE — Drivers in North Carolina may see more of a crackdown on predatory towing after state lawmakers filed a bill that would create new rules for booting and towing companies. More people complain to Action 9 about these businesses than almost any other.

Kyrah Radney says she thought she picked a parking spot in South End that was OK. But she says when she returned to her car, she saw not one boot but two, and a hefty bill to get them off.

“He was like, ‘It will be [$]250, but we’re saving you a deal because, if we towed you, it would be [$]350,’ she told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke. “I’m wondering how they came up with their pricing.”

Radney says she didn’t want trouble, so she paid the $250, but that it still eats at her. “I’m thankful that I had that to pay that, but I know that a lot of people wouldn’t have [$]250 on hand to get the boots off their cars.”

North Carolina lawmakers are considering a bipartisan House bill addressing predatory booting and towing.

If it becomes law:

- Companies would need a permit to do this kind of work and would be required to get it renewed every year. “You have to have more training and certification to be a barber in the state of North Carolina than you do a tow truck driver,” the bill’s primary sponsor, N.C. Rep. Laura Budd (D-Meck. Co.) told Stoogenke. “Just pause a second and think about that piece.”

- Every time companies booted or towed a vehicle, they’d have to put certain information into a database, including the address where it booted/towed the vehicle, address where it stored the vehicle, fees, name of the owner/supervisor who authorized the boot/tow, name of the person who booted/towed the vehicle, reason, and vehicle information.

- Companies would have to post clear signs about the parking rules.

- They couldn’t tow your ride more than 25 miles away.

- The bill would create a commission. “The commission that we’re setting up will set the maximum rates for the type of tow,” Budd said.

Budd also says the towing and truck industries support the legislation.

The City of Charlotte has towing rules, but this bill goes further in a lot of ways and would apply to the entire state.

If it passes, it would go into effect on Dec. 1.

VIDEO: Drivers say tow company chained their car to the car next to it