Buffalo common council passes reforms for tow-truck operators

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The Buffalo Common Council is taking steps towards changing rules for tow-truck operators in the city. 

It is an effort to make it easier for you to get your car back if you’re towed in the city. 

The council adopted a policy on Tuesday, February 5, that looks at forms of payment, added fees, and hours for pick-up at private lots. 

South District council-member Chris Scanlon is helping to lead the charge. He said he has heard complaints on both sides – from nieghbors and from police about the process for private tow companies. 

Councilman Scanlon said it seemed like tow-truck companies make it as difficult to pick up your car. 

With the bill, the city will now enforce penalties when tow-truck drivers don’t report to police when cars have been moved. 

People would call deputies believing their car had been stolen and then diverting police resources. 

You’ll also now see the end of weekend fees, or at least, added weekend pick-up hours. 

“Most importantly, what this does is it requires tow-truck operators to be open on the weekends if they want to charge for storage. We were hearing about about a car being towed on a Friday afternoon or evening sitting in a tow lot for the weekend without the ability for the owner to retrieve it but they’re being charged for the storage. Now, they will not be allowed to charge for storage,” said Scanlon. 

Under the new law, if a company fails to to notify police about moving a car, they could be fined.  

Part of the resolution includes payment options beyond cash. 

The council adopted the policy on Tuesday and was passed with a unanimous vote. 

It now goes to Mayor Brown’s desk to be signed within a ten-day period. 

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