Philly to consider streamlining towing procedure
December 4, 2012By Tom MacDonald
The process for towing illegally parked vehicles could become more efficient if a bill approved Tuesday by a Philadelphia City Council committee becomes law.
Currently, vehicles parked on private property where "no parking" signs are posted can't be towed until a police officer writes a ticket.
Councilman James Kenney says that doesn't always work.
"The police are not always able to arrive on location in a manner that is timely for a property owner and tow truck driver, both of whom must wait for an officer to arrive," he said.
Kenney says his proposal would remove the requirement that police issue a ticket. Instead, it would require the tow truck driver to photograph the car showing the violation and a signed form from the property owner.
It's a good compromise, says Francis Healy, Philadelphia police special adviser.
"The legislation presented appears to provide the checks and balances necessary to protect the interests of all parties and allows the police to oversee the process and with strict enforcement provisions of any violators," Healy said.
The measure also is supported by tow truck companies.
Lew Blum, one of the major towing operators in the city, says the new regulations will help his business, which specializes in towing illegally parked cars on private lots.
"This groundbreaking concept will become a model, which other cities admire and will come to emulate," he predicted Tuesday. "We need these revisions in the towing industry."
The measure will now go to the full council for consideration.