Indianapolis—Reaction is overwhelmingly positive after Mayor Greg Ballard backs a proposal to restrict how towing companies operate in Indianapolis. Fox59 News first exposed how some of the companies could be breaking the law earlier this month. Tuesday, the Mayor responded with a plan he said he hopes will offer both businesses and drivers some protection.
The proposal would require tow truck operators to become licensed through the city and to follow the city’s rules.
The current proposal according to the mayor’s office would:
- Cap towing fees for passenger vehicles at $150.
- Cap storage fees at $30 per day
- Requite detailed receipts listing all charges
- Prohibit payments from tow operators to property owners/lot managers per vehicle towed
- Signs listing lot hours and vehicle redemption information must be approved by the City
- Vehicles must be towed directly to secure storage lot inside Marion County, unless within 10 miles of pick up
- Motorists must be able to claim their vehicle 24 hours per day, seven days a week
- Towing operators and their storage lots must accept cash or credit cards
- Representative of property owner, not affiliated with the tow company, must sign tow order for each vehicle prior to towing
Manuel Salazar has been spending his weekends warning people in Broad Ripple about possible predatory towing companies. He said he's glad to see his work is starting to pay off.
"I think it's pretty good," he said.
Ryan Vaughn, the president of the city council said he got a lot of complaints about this issue. The complaints started about a year ago in Broad Ripple and around the city.
"Clearly there was an escalating predatory towing problem where certain companies were seeing opportunities to increase their revenue by engaging in these activities that were unregulated," Vaughn said.
Larry Niehaus is a manager at Broad Ripple Tavern. He said the problem was affecting more than just the drivers.
"It affects business overall in Broad Ripple because people don't really know what the procedures are. It's hard enough to find parking spaces in Broad Ripple," he said.
Mayor Ballard said he hopes these regulations will provide protection for drivers and help for businesses.
"These standards are reasonable for any company that tows vehicles in our city without the vehicle owner's consent," he said.
As for Salazar, he said he’s still planning on continuing his work until the new proposal becomes law.
"Just basically do the same thing with me and Joe, putting up and signs and warning people where not to park."
Councilman Vaughn will present the proposal to the full city council at the next meeting June 6. He’s hoping it will become law by July 1.