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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NJ Towing Fee Bill Clears Hurdle

Here's the NJ.com story:

TRENTON A bill sparked by the death of a Mantua Township man took a step forward last week.

The bill would cap automotive towing fees at $100 for the first three days following an accident in which the owner was killed or seriously injured.

Sponsored by Senator Stephen Sweeney, the bill is aimed at protecting families who suffer the loss of a loved one from being taken advantage of by towing or storage facilities, according to Sweeney.

The bill, S-564, was approved by the Senate Law, Public Safety, and Veteran's Affairs Committee

Sweeney said that, if it is signed into law, the measure will be named Daniel Mackay's Law, in memory of the 18-year-old man who was killed in a traffic accident on I-295 in June 2006.

"When Daniel's family went to retrieve his car, they had trouble tracking down the location where the car was being stored," Sweeney said. "When they finally located the vehicle, the family was hit with a bill of almost $650 for towing and storage."

The bill would require the law enforcement officer responsible for notifying the next of kin to provide written information for contacting the vehicle storage facility and obtaining a copy of the accident report.

The measure would also cap storage fees at $100 for the first 72 hours after the vehicle is placed on the premises.

The bill passed the Assembly in February. It now heads to the Senate for a full vote.

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