Wednesday, October 15, 2008

NC Towers Face New State Regulations on Jan. 1

Here's the Eyewitness News 9 story:

By Arthur Mondale
Published: October 13, 2008

Drivers will soon no longer have to guess how much a tow will cost them--that’s because starting next year everyone in our state will soon be paying the same price.
The Highway Patrol says it’s a way to protect the public from being over charged.
This has tow truck drivers in the east fuming and telling drivers to prepare for greater costs.
Towers like Alton Tate, prides himself on getting drivers out of the occasional sticky situation in no time, all at a fair price of course.
But that may soon change.
“This tow right here is probably about $50,” said Tate. “Versus if the Highway Patrol would of got called to this. It would have been $500 the way they’re trying to set it up now.”
Which has other drivers seeing red.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol wants uniformity on the roads when it comes to how much towers like Tate charge drivers like you and I.
Some troopers say they’ve seen single tows exceed $1,200.
Towers say the high patrol is asking for collision totals, non-collision totals and cost of labor per hour from every tow truck driver in our state, in an effort to produce a median which will be used to keep companies from robbing customers.
Towers say the mandate will in turn rob drivers and the towing industry.
“Everybody’s cost expenditures are different,” said John Nightingale. “They want one price that fits all.”
But prices aren’t in stone, each year during the month of November, towing companies will have to re-submit the numbers.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol’s Wrecker Policy goes into effect January 1, 2009.
The highway patrol will also mandate that companies which store vehicles charge a $10 fee per day.
Most tow truck drivers we spoke with are already charging between $25 to $40 dollars on average to store a vehicle for a day.

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