Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Changes Coming Soon To Address Corrupt Towing Companies & Wrecker Drivers

This week has been somewhat productive; the Texas House of Representatives passed HB 2571 in a record vote 147 to 0. In case some of you are not aware of what HB 2571 is, its legislation aimed at addressing predatory towing practices by wrecker drivers, parking facility owners or managers and towing companies who prey on motorists daily.

These predatory towing issues is not new, rather we have known about the problem for several years, we just haven't had legislators who thought the issues were not of importance.

One of the key factors in both HB 2571 and SB 1431, is the criminal penalty has been increased from the current Class C misdemeanor to a Class B misdemeanor. This factor in itself is going have a major impact on these criminal enterprises purporting themselves as towing companies, as any law enforcement person can arrest violators immediately, instead of issuing a ticket, as done now.

Also, another request of mine, which both the Senate and House agreed, is to increase damages for statutory violation against the parking facility, from $300 to $1000 plus three times what was paid to retrieve vehicle from storage lot.

Therefore, I am quite pleased with both versions House and Senate, except to provision that would allow a registered sex offender to obtain a license.