The entire Port Arthur City Council agree their citizens and visitors are under assault by dishonest tow companies, property owners, business owners and property management companies. By the end of June, this new ordinance will regulate both consent and nonconsent towing or booting fees, establish guidelines, require the issuance of a Port Arthur PD Tow or Boot Operator’s Permit, in addition to a city towing-booting company and vehicle storage facility permit, set fee caps for consent, nonconsent, incident management towing and boot fees.
Unknown to Port Arthur elected officials, is the Federal Stop Predatory Towing Act signed into law by President Obama effective January 1, 2016 that returned the regulations of the Towing Industry back to the states and political subdivisions for both “consent” and “non-consent” towing.
The meaning of a “consent” tow, is when someone calls a tow company to tow their vehicle to a specific location versus a “non-consent tow is when someone is arrested or their vehicle is towed without their permission. The benefit of having the regulatory authority to set the price of consent tow within a jurisdiction prevent price gouging of your citizens.
This new ordinance will not please every tow company or tow truck operator, but they have no choice in the matter, as they have long enjoyed the right take advantage of the public and businesses by price gouging and not having to answer to nobody.
The benefits to this new ordinance, will require any vehicle towed without the owner or operator consent be stored at a licensed vehicle storage facility within the city limits of Port Arthur, require a city issued tow truck operator permit to restrict certain types of felonies, lower the tow fees dramatically instead of allowing the state cap to be charged, prohibit drop fees being charged, require any vehicle storage facility that accepts vehicles 24/7 to release vehicles within a hour’s notice, prohibit a vehicle storage facility from charging the $50 notification letter fee until after a vehicle remains in storage for 48 hours, instead the 2nd day rule, being such some storage facilities will charge this fee on a Sunday when the post office is closed, require city licenses for both tow companies and vehicle storage facilities, regulate incident management tow fees for when vehicles are involved in traffic accidents and include a high enough penalty for any violation of the city ordinance ($1072) so there is a deterrent to make tow companies and parking facilities obey the ordinance, something many are doing with State Law as it is now.
The citizens of Port Arthur, Texas are encouraged to contact your city council representative and Mayor are encourage them to vote for these changes, to protect the public from the predatory towing taking place now….