TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg that would clarify language in the “Predatory Towing Prevention Act” to include commercial motor vehicles was released from the Senate Transportation Committee today.
“When Governor Corzine signed the Predatory Towing Prevention Act into law in 2007, the intent was to stop towing companies from targeting vehicles parked in private lots and towing them either without cause or virtually holding those vehicles hostage until owners came up with large amounts of cash,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “Since the law went into effect there has been a need to amend or tweak it. This is a clarification that makes clear whether it’s a private vehicle or a commercial vehicle, a towing company cannot just seize it. And if they do, it would be the predatory tower that ultimately pays the price, not the vehicle’s owner.”
The Predatory Towing Prevention Act requires private property owners to clearly post restrictions for parking, including hours and the name and address of the towing company that would remove vehicles. Additionally, there are restrictions on how far a towing company’s lot can be from the site of the tow.
Before the act was made law, it was not uncommon for individuals to come back from a store and find their car either being towed or been towed. In some cases, the vehicles were towed substantial distances and owners were required to pay cash to retrieve their vehicles with little protection from price gouging. It was also not uncommon for vehicles that were parked legally to have been towed.
The bill, S-2316, was released from committee by a vote of 5-0. It moves to the full Senate for further consideration.