A number of complaints have been filed in South Florida pertaining to tow truck operators. In some cases, drivers have complained that tow truck operators have towed their vehicles to far-off lots, have towed their vehicles from legal parking spots, or have charged exorbitant fees. The Broward County consumer affairs department has seen 102 such complaints filed against towing companies since 2009.
Local police in Broward County enforce Florida laws which govern where tow zone signs can be placed and where tow trucks can place cars for storage. Broward County also has specific rules which require towing companies to file a business tax receipt locally. Unlike other counties in Florida, Broward County does not require badges or background checks for tow truck operators.
In Broward County, there are non-consent towing fees. This means that if a driver is parked illegally in a place where they can be towed, Broward County permits tow truck operators to tow that car and charge a flat $100 towing fee. However, some motorists in Broward County have complained about tow truck operators charging additional fees or higher fees. Broward County has reclaimed towing fees in 35 cases where consumers complained about excess fees. Refunds ranged from less than a dollar to $350 in extra fees in each case.
Additional towing charges and being towed from a spot that is not clearly marked as a towing zone is frustrating for motorists. However, it can also be potentially dangerous. Tow trucks who ignore County regulations and tow cars to distant locations for storage in order to collect extra fees spend more time on the road and can increase the risk of truck accidents.
As well, unnecessary towing could potentially be a risk for increased Broward County truck accidents. When tow truck operators tow a vehicle, they can slow down traffic. The process of towing can also create a risk of an accident. While in some cases towing is necessary, in cases where it is not necessary it could be contributing to road congestion and the risk of accidents.
Tow truck operators perform an invaluable service in Broward County. They help motorists whose cars have broken down and they keep tow-away zones clear for emergency vehicles and other important traffic. However, it is important that tow truck operators obey all County laws to ensure that no unnecessary risks are taken. Every step taken to prevent Miami car accidents — and accidents across Florida — is a step worth taking.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Broward County or Miami-Dade County, contact the experienced legal team at the Flaxman Law Group. With law offices in Homestead, Miami, and Hollywood, the Flaxman Law Group serves personal injury plaintiffs across the entire South Florida community. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligtation consultation to discuss your case.