Notifying Police Before Hooking Up
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New NC Bill Requires Contacting Law Enforcement
RALEIGH l Lawmakers in the Tar Heel State are considering a bold change to recovery work aimed at helping motorists locate their towed vehicles faster. The law would require operators to notify local police before each removal along with a description of the vehicle, where it was towed from and where it’s being stored.
Some North Carolina shop owners say this would only add another costly layer of bureaucracy to an already-burdened process.
Rep. Tim Moffit (R) has lead the charge, saying police should be aware of such details. His bill has passed the House and is currently being debated in Senate committee before put to a vote.
Current law mandates that towing firms notify the owners of in-state vehicles of a removal within 24 hours, allowing for 72 hours for cars registered outside North Carolina. There is no requirement to notify law enforcement.
Some areas across the country do require an immediate notification to police when a car is towed. Proponents say it helps ease the frustrations of drivers not knowing what has happened, and would also reduce police man-hours involved in such matters by streamlining the information.
Searching for a towed vehicle can be a tense and costly endeavor, Moffit reminds, as storage fees typically begin accumulating immediately.
“There needs to be some way for motorists to know where their car has been towed to,” said AAA spokesman Angela Vogel Daley, speaking with Black Mountain News.
“I would have to hire somebody to do it and that might mean we have to raise rates,” said Howard Lyda of Asheville’s Lyda Enterprises, running 18 trucks in and around the mountain community .
Concerns of local towing professionals will be heard next week as the Senate Transportation Committee holds a hearing on the proposed changes.
Two exceptions to the notification would be any police-directed tows, or vehicles removed from a lot with posted signage offering contact details.
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