RALEIGH - Drivers who feel victimized by tow truck drivers would gain new legal protections and authority to recover their cars under a bill that the N.C. Senate approved Thursday.
The bill moves to the governor for her signature.
The new law was sponsored by Sen. Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County because one of his constituents had difficulty finding his car after he illegally parked it in a private parking lot. The man's car was towed to a storage lot 40 miles away, Rucho said, and it took him about a day to find it.
Rucho's bill says that the car may not be towed more than 15 miles (unless the nearest lot is further away, in which case the maximum distance is 25 miles).
The bill also:
Requires the name and phone number of the towing and storage company be published on a sign warning drivers not to illegally park in a private lot.
Bans towing and storage companies from forcing a driver to sign away his right to sue before he can get his car back.
The law would apply in 13 counties, including Cumberland and Robeson counties, and all municipalities in those counties, plus Durham and Jacksonville.