Predatory Practices

In Florida - A tow company does not have to let you know before or after they take your car.It's Illogical, Unconstitutional and Dangerous

It's Theft!

Taking your property when it does not pose harm to society is unconstitutional. Predatory towing serves only to make tow company executives rich by preying on the community.

Predatory Towing

We Can Eliminate:

  • Booting

  • Roam Towing

  • Plain-Clothed "Spotters"

Involuntary towing is when your car is removed from its parked spot without notifying or warning you. The practice is not only illogical, but it also creates daily mayhem for the people of Florida. The Commissioner of Agriculture has the power to end predatory towing while expanding the industry by portraying it in a positive light.

The problem arises from chapter 715 of the Florida Statutes, which says a tow company does not have to let you know before or after they take your car. Our law is lagging compared to the rest of the country. In 37 states, the tow company must notify the owner of the car's new location, but not in Florida. [1]

 

Our law specifies that the company must inform local authorities, not the owner. It demonstrates that it is important to notify someone when a car is towed in order to limit the amount of distress caused, but why would they not notify the owner? The answer is clear: predatory towing companies only care about profit, not the public welfare. As of 2022, the automobile towing industry is worth over 11 billion dollars and hopes to continue growing at the expense of Americans. [2]

 

This desire for profit has proliferated the practice of roam towing, or the hunting of parked cars. It benefits off those who have to park in reserved or time-limited spaces to work, study, or shop. Nobody deliberately chooses to park in a restricted parking spot; often, they are forced because of a lack of spots or information. People assume that there should be no issues, because they will likely only leave their car for a short time. However, they are typically towed within minutes of leaving. [3][4] Some tow companies have even taken up the practice of hiring employees ("spotters") to wait in parking lots and watch for people leaving their cars. These employees have no markings from the companies on their attire and then call a tow truck waiting around the block or apply a "boot" to the car.

 

It is illogical to fine and tow someone when there are many open spaces, and they are not harming anyone. It also contradicts the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as cars are being seized when they pose no danger to society. Finally, predatory towing is dangerous to the most disadvantaged citizen. They will either forgo what they were going to accomplish by parking, find another route (possibly more dangerous, time-consuming, or costly), or even take the expensive fine.

 

We must acknowledge the property rights of Floridians by ensuring that no one should be disadvantaged by someone blocking access to their house, place of work, or handicapped parking spot. These property rights are also required for the automobiles of the people of Florida.

 

[1] https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a36322854/towing-rules-vary-by-state/

[2] https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/market-size/automobile-towing-united-states/

[3] ​​https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/your-money/car-tow-companies-fees.html

[4]https://www.gainesville.com/story/news/guardian/2017/03/29/roam-towing-issue-continues-to-plague-city/21790724007/

Education

So, What Can We Do?!

By chapter 507, section 37 of the Florida Statutes, the Commissioner of Agriculture has the power to protect consumers from these practices. The Statute outlines that if “the interests of the consumers of this state have been damaged or are being damaged, or that the public health, safety, or welfare is endangered or is likely to be endangered by any consumer product or service, to commence legal proceedings in circuit court to enjoin the act or practice or the sale of the product or service and may seek appropriate relief on behalf of consumers.” [1] The Commissioner not only has the ability to put an end to predatory towing, but provide relief to those affected.

 

The goal is not to limit the towing industry and those that earn a living off of towing but to end predatory towing that hurts citizens. The Commissioner must understand that towing is an important service, with many benefits and the potential for expansion. We need to utilize towing to assist people in parking, protect scenery from large parking lots, and even provide a service if someone is intoxicated and needs a ride. [2] We need to portray towing as something that is beneficial for society instead of an attack on citizens. The commissioner of agriculture can enable this transformation through statements, proclamations, and regulations. [3]

 

[1]http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0500-0599/0570/Sections/0570.07.html

[2]https://www.winknews.com/2022/06/30/aaa-tow-to-go-aims-to-prevent-drunk-driving-in-swfl-july-fourth-weekend/

[3]http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0500-0599/0570/Sections/0570.07.html

Expanding Industries

We need to utilize towing to assist people in parking, protect scenery from large parking lots, and even provide a service if someone is intoxicated and needs a ride.