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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

City Commission passes towing amendment

City Commissioners unanimously approved Monday the creation of an amendment that may close possible loopholes in new towing regulations.

Commissioners approved city staff to amend the new towing regulations passed in July. The proposed amendment will require towing companies to post a customer Bill of Rights for in their office.

The regulations, passed in July, require towing companies to take pictures of illegal parking before they perform a tow.

Lt. Peter F. Backhaus, Gainesville Police Department Support Services commander, said he has been handling most of the towing issues.

Backhaus said there was nothing in the current version of towing regulations to keep towing companies from charging to see a picture of the illegally parked car.

The proposed amendment will prohibit towing companies from charging car owners to see a picture of their illegal park.

Several Student Government officials tried to talk to City Commissioners Sept. 17 about towing companies charging car owners to see pictures of their illegal parking. They were referred to a Public Safety Commission meeting.

According to Alligator archives, Ryan Moseley, SG president, said they tried to charge him $45 to see a picture of his illegal parking.

At Monday's commission meeting Jason Lutin, a UF law school student, said towing companies did not allow him to see a picture of his car. Lutin said he was unable to see a picture of his car until he came with a GPD officer.

"We shouldn't have to call GPD down to see a picture," he said.

Backhaus said the companies he has heard complaints about were Elite Towing, Ultimate Towing and Watson's Towing charging to see a picture.

Ryan Williams, Watson's Towing manager, said they don't charge money for photographs.

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Elite and Ultimate towing could not be reached for comment by press time.

However, Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan said she doesn't expect this to be the last time they discuss the issue.

"We'll look forward to hearing from you more often," Hanrahan said.

Alligator Writer April Dudash contributed to this report.

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