Vehicle towing regulation bill stuck in committee

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Legislation that would further regulate towing on public and private property in the state is stuck in committee.

House Bill 351 would govern several controversial practices, such as towing a car away even if its owner is at the property, setting maximum fees for storing vehicles, accepting credit cards and allowing those unable to pay the towing bill to retrieve personal items.

Commercial landlords and managers who want to ensure that parking remains available for customers are expected to oppose the bill.

Complaints about “predatory towing” have long been aired. In some areas, where spaces are at a premium, tow trucks have been known to stand by and cart away vehicles if the individual leaves the property or stays too long. The bill would forbid searching for vehicles to tow.

Complaints years ago in Newark led to ordinance changes, although towing is frequent in cases where students or others park their vehicles and are seen leaving a property.

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The bill’s sponsors and co-sponsors are House and Senate Democrats. However, the measure did not get enough signatures and remains in committee.

Click here for the text of the bill.

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