TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Thursday night, the Terre Haute City Council passed its first non-consensual towing ordinance. The city law regulates how towing companies remove vehicles illegally parked.
Signs, signs, all over downtown: towing signs.
They're meant to protect businesses' private property.
Some signs are right out in the open and others are a bit hard to find. Regardless, however, if you disobey them, you can get towed. Costing you money out of pocket.
"[In] a situation where there is non-consensual towing, towing companies [could] charge whatever they wanted for whatever fees they wanted to," Councilman John Mullican said of the previous policy.
That loophole got councilman John Mullican to work on Terre Haute's first regulation for towing from private properties. Thursday night, the regulation passed through the city council.
"First of all, it puts a cap on what can be charged on non-consensual tows and what fees can be charged that are associated with that," he said.
That cap is set at no more than 25 percent of what the city charges for public towing.
"Now, the [way it's set up is] if your vehicle is not being towed--not lifted off the ground--you can get in and drive away," he explained.
At the City council meeting some towing companies spoke out about their concerns with the ordinance including Dennis Andrews of Andrews Towing.
He declined an interview, but told us he agrees the private towing industry in Terre Haute needs to be regulated.
He said he is happy to follow all the rules, but would like all the towing companies to be held to the same standards of operating a business.
He felt that would cut down on the unseemly tow practices as well.
It's a sign of the times, with more signs to come.
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