Dem tries again to regulate tow trucks

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Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and two other Democrats have reintroduced legislation giving states the authority to regulate tow truck drivers, which some say have been allowed to aggressively tow cars away without any regulatory check from government at any level.

Moran has introduced this bill four other times over the last decade, but it has yet to move in Congress. In prior years, Moran has pointed out that a 1994 law defined the tow truck industry as an interstate carrier, and that a 1995 law eliminated the federal body that regulated tow trucks.

"With no federal regulator and confusing restrictions and conflicting court rulings on what states and localities are permitted to regulate, no level of government has been able to adequately regulate the towing industry," he said in 2009. "This lack of regulatory authority has led to more than a decade of major consumer abuses by some unscrupulous towing companies across the country.

"These bad actors have continued to taint an otherwise much needed and respectable profession."

Past complaints about tow truck drivers include aggressive towing on private property. Moran has said states are the best level of government to regulate tow truck operators.

His bill, H.R. 4131, is cosponsored by House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).

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