Monday, November 26, 2007

Ontario Stepping In to Help Towing Companies

According to this story in Today's Trucking Online, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation has agreed to pay towing companies for bills incurred after accidents when the owners don't.

Tow Trucks Off the Hook: MTO guarantees payment
TORONTO -- Doug Nelson, the executive director of the association representing Ontario's tow-truck industry, brought some good news to the recent Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) annual conference.

He said that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has decided to guarantee payment to tow truck operators, even if the people involved in an accident renege on the bill or skip town. Or don't have insurance. Or write rubber cheques.

The new policy to guarantee tow trucks payments
will speed up highway reopening: MTO
Non-payment has been a huge issue in the tow-truck business. Nelson says that in recent years, as many as 20 or 30 percent of tows never get paid for a whole variety of reasons and the result was, many Ontario tow operators were becoming reluctant to respond to callouts. Or if they did respond and couldn't get paid up front, would refuse the job.

This new MTO guarantee will end that reluctance, Nelson -- who heads up the Ontario Recovery Group (ORG) -- told the conference.

Now, if a qualified tow-truck company doesn't get paid within 30 days of the invoice, the Ministry will step in, pay the bill, adding surcharges and fees, and then will try to collect the money from the responsible parties.

To qualify for the program, the tow-truck operators must meet specific criteria. The operator must first complete and sign an MTO contract and be approved by the MTO; the tow operator has to try to collect the invoice and the effort must be documented, and the operator must promise to try to help the MTO recover the outstanding debt if the Ministry requests.

The program only applies to accidents that happen on provincial highways and for accidents involving vehicles with a GVWR of 6,000 kg or more.

According to a spokesman from the MTO, the new program is all part of the plan to speed up the re-opening of highways after collisions. To that end, the Ministry has struck a working group with the trucking industry, the tow-truckers and the police to study other ways to clear accidents faster.

1 comment:

Irene_J said...

This is a good thing, one tow license for the whole province of Ontario and stricter standards. this is start in the right direction. Towing Round Rock