LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Professional Towing and Recovery and Operators of Illinois

CONCERNS REGARDING HB3265 Introduced by Rep. Zalewski and SB2041 introduced by Sen. Haine

5/11-208.7

This bill concerns police towing:

  • Notification must be made to the owner and lienholder within five days of the tow. If notification is not made within five days of the tow, no storage may be charged until 3 days after notification is made.
  • c-6 The storage rules are very troubling to us as we are being, for the most part, held responsible for the duty of another entity, namely law enforcement . There are various times that law enforcement will not make an immediate notification due to an investigative hold, an evidentiary hold, a hold for other reasons, or if the vehicle is about to be seized. If a car comes in late on Friday, Monday is the earliest that it will be processed and that is not very likely. Illinois does not provide electronic access to vehicle files. We must be paid for our storage as this costs us to have the vehicle sit there.  We pay insurance, mortgage, property tax, security and much more. There are also issues such as out of state vehicles, vehicles with titles in transit, and lienholders and owners that do not submit their paperwork to the SOS on a timely basis that create delays in obtaining information. When all the above is considered, we believe that the notification requirements are reasonable as stated in current statute.
  • This proposed law requires a cap on storage of $20.00 per day for the first 5 days and $35.00 per day thereafter.
  • Regarding the cap on storage, that is totally unreasonable. First, the cap amount is based on what the City of Chicago charges. Chicago and other municipalities do not pay property taxes on their own property. Also, at least one of the properties that Is home to a Chicago auto pound sits on a former dump site where garbage was burned. Which makes us believe that the property was obtained for next to nothing. Any business can work for less if they are not required to pay mortgage or property tax. Further, with the volatility of fuel and insurance( I just came into an article that states many insurers have left the towing market thereby reducing competition), to name a few items, we are handcuffed to these caps without any choice but to wait for legislative help to raise the rates and we could be out of business before help comes.
  • This proposed law states that if a hearing officer overturns a vehicle impoundment, there will be no towing or storage charge.Stating that no tow or storage fee shall be applied if a hearing officer overturns a vehicle impoundment is not an issue that should involve the towing companies. We were requested to provide a service, that service was provided, how can we be forced to work for no pay. While I am not a lawyer I believe reasonable suspicion is enough to make an arrest and impound their vehicle. In addition to that, many municipalities generally overturn the administrative hold fee, but not the tow.
  • This law does not apply to Chicago.To state that this proposed law does not apply to Chicago is unfair, particularly to towing companies that are based near Chicago. It is an unfair competitive advantage. If this law is bad for Chicago how can it be good for the rest of the state. Further, if this law is being used to combat the wreckchasers , 90-95% of the wreckchasing in Illinois is done in Chicago, therefore excluding Chicago makes no sense at all.

In conclusion, towing is a necessary service, used by law enforcement, property owners and the public. Towing is also a business, and like other business we pay payroll, bills and taxes. Storage is a revenue center for towing companies as it helps pay many of their bills. When it comes to law enforcement towing, cutting our storage revenue will result in towing companies not being able to provide the equipment, fast service or expertise they do now. If it takes us longer to get to the crash because we have less help and less equipment, law enforcement will have to stay on the scene longer(at the taxpayer’s expense), and there will be an increased risk of secondary crashes. If the vehicles are just left there unattended, they would be subject to theft or vandalism. Traffic would be brought to a crawl and the streets of the town would be congested. When this happens the quality of life will decrease. Is that what anyone really wants?

For the full text version of this law go to:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=3265&GAID=14&LegID=104948&SpecSess=&Session=

.When reading this or any law read the full text and any amendments, not just the synopsis

 

Professional Towing and Recovery and Operators of Illinois

 Concerns regarding SB 1694

1.This bill says that for “any commercial vehicle relactor or any other private towing service providing removal or towing services”…”seeking to impose fees in connection with storage” shall not charge storage until notification is made.

This will become a consumer issue as we must write letters immediately(if SOS does provide info immediately) due to the fact that we are having to incur the expense on vehicles we did not have to make notifications on in the past as they were picked up in a few days. For police tows it is the duty of law enforcement to send notification letters to owners and lienholders. For relocators and other towers, it is impossible to comply with this law as the Secretary of State does not provide immediate information.

2.This bill allows that if a lienholder finds a tower in possession of a vehicle, by any other means than the tower’s notification, the lienholder may retrieve the vehicle with no storage being charged. 

If a tower is waiting for written, rather than electronic information as in the case of an out of state vehicle, they should not be punished if the lienholder finds out that the tower is in possession by other means(owner or watchdog service.)

3.This law gives lienholders and owners the opportunity to sue in court over storage, but also allows the tower to be liable for court costs and legal fees, while refraining from giving the tower the opportunity to recover similar fees if the tower should win the case.

If suit is brought against the tower under this provision, they should not be required to pay the opponents legal fees or court costs as it does not comply with the American rule. In addition, this will generate a multitude of frivolous lawsuits which could put the tower out of business.For the full text of SB1694 go to Current Legislation.

For the full text version of this law go to  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1694&GAID=14&DocTypeID=SB&LegId=104535&SessionID=91&GA=100

When reading this or any law read the full text and any amendments, not just the synopsis

You need to contact your State Senator and  your State Representatives,  with respect to the above pending legislation and tell them that YOU ARE STRONGLY OPPOSED TO THIS LEGISLATION.  TELL YOUR FAMILY, EMPLOYEES, FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS TO CALL THEIR RESPECTIVE SENATOR TO TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE OPPOSED TO THIS LEGISLATION AND YOU WANT THEM TO VOTE NO.  THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT – THIS LEGISLATION WILL DEVASTATE THE TOWING INDUSTRY IN ILLINOIS.

ILL Senate Transportation Committee Mar 2017 with contact info

 

 

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