Bill on predatory towing goes to governor

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Senate gave final passage Wednesday to a bill designed to give consumers a bit more protection against tow truck companies that charge high fees and whisk cars away quickly from no parking zones on private property.

It voted 28-0 to pass HB115, and sent it to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.

Its sponsor, Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, earlier said it is a watered-down compromise that for now will require tow companies to accept credit or debit cards and distribute a bill of rights to people whose cars were towed. It will also require a state study of what fees are reasonable — with limits possible in the future.

It grew out of an experience by Provo Mayor John Curtis when he asked residents through his blog for any bad experiences they had with towing. He expected to receive a couple dozen stories, but received more than 700 in 24 hours, and had to shut down his blog.

Curtis told a committee earlier that the punishment does not fit the crime when cars are towed for illegal parking. He said it often costs owners $250, while a city parking ticket costs only $15.

Lee Davidson