Pasco County commissioners want to put the brakes on predatory towing of vehicles.
Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore brought the matter up in February after receiving complaints from residents who chose to call a taxi or a friend for a ride home after an evening of drinks and dinner.
“Someone is being responsible,” said Moore, who discussed the problem again at the April 12 Pasco County Commission meeting. “They take Uber, or they ride home with a friend. They are not putting our citizens at risk on the road.”
But, Moore said some towing companies sweep through parking lots in the wee hours of the morning, especially on weekends, and haul off any vehicles they find.
Residents wind up paying hefty sums to get their cars back, even though they did the right thing by not driving, Moore said.
On April 26 at 1:30 p.m., a public hearing will be held to consider an amendment to the county’s towing ordinance. The hearing will be in the boardroom of the West Pasco Government Center, at 8731 Citizens Drive, in New Port Richey.
The City of Tampa and Hillsborough County have similar ordinances, and Pinellas County is considering one, county officials said.
The amendment would ban removal of a vehicle between 9 p.m. and noon when parked at an establishment licensed to sell beer, wine and alcohol for consumption on premises. The exception would be if the property owner signs an order permitting the removal of a particular vehicle.
A towing company would be required to have such an order prior to hauling off a vehicle.
“It sounds like a reasonable solution to predatory towing,” said Pasco County Commissioner Ted Schrader.
Published April 20, 2016