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Friday, April 9, 2010

Kenney Bill Would Change Towing Practices In Philadephia

Here's the Philadephia Inquirer story:
The towing of vehicles in Philadelphia will come under strict regulation if City Councilman James F. Kenney's new bill makes it into law.

Kenney, saying he was fed up with illegally towed cars and tow operators who ignore a city requirement to accept credit cards, proposed a bill Thursday to forbid the towing of cars that have not been ticketed and to require towing companies to provide a list of all their signs on private property in the city.

Kenney said in an interview that many signs that tell people which company towed their cars still say "cash only." That leads people to believe they can't use credit cards to retrieve their cars, he said. Council passed a Kenney-sponsored bill in June 2008 requiring tow-truck operators to accept credit cards.

Kenney said listing the signs would establish exactly which areas are permanently marked as no-parking zones.

That information ideally would be posted online by the Department of Licenses and Inspections so people could verify whether they had parked in an illegal zone, Kenney said.

"This legislation will address these problems by providing a basic level of protection for those who are towed," he said in a news release Thursday.

Requiring vehicles to be ticketed by police or the Philadelphia Parking Authority before they could be towed would be a dramatic change. Currently, companies can tow any illegally parked vehicle from private property with the property owner's permission.

Kenney's bill will be scheduled for a public hearing.

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