Towing Laws Update

Tuesday May 29th, 2018

Have Towing Laws Changed?


Yes they have.


In response to a Sunday Mail campaign the rules around the towing industry have been tightened considerably.
But what does that mean for bodies corporate?
NOTHING.


Bodies corporate still need an order from the Commissioner’s Office to enforce by-laws before they seek to tow a car, as we first wrote about here in 2014.


For those of you that are interested, the laws around tow trucks that have changed include:-
* private property towing may only be performed in regulated areas by drivers and assistants who have the necessary certificates and are using licensed tow trucks;
* tow truck licensees must have towing consent evidencing an arrangement with the occupier to remove vehicles from the property and to notify the police as soon as practicable after removing a vehicle from private property;
* conduct requirements being imposed on tow truck licensees, drivers and assistants including prohibiting intimidating, abusive or insulting behaviour, and requiring reasonable steps be taken to locate the motorist before loading a vehicle onto the tow truck;
* vehicles removed from private property may only be taken by the most direct route to the licence holder’s nearest holding yard
maximum towing charges for a standard private property tow ($250), the on-site release of a vehicle ($150) and storing a vehicle ($25) and prohibiting the charging of call-out fees and charges for separate activities incidental to the towing service such as administration fees;
* safeguard motorists’ privacy by restricting the disclosure of information about the removal of a vehicle from private property and expressly protecting personal information about a vehicle’s owner, driver or other party connected to a regulated towing service;
* increase the maximum penalty that may be imposed under the Tow Truck Regulation from 20 penalty units ($2523) to 80 penalty units ($10,092).

This article was contributed by Frank Higginson – Director, Hynes Legal.