Thursday, November 20, 2003

Sue Booters

A few days ago Rachel got booted and I got the call to go down and pay for it. I asked to see the guy's business license and he said he didn't have to show me his license to tow my car. I called 911 and the police came. He also told me that the guy didn't have to show a license. The cop said that if I wanted to see a business license then I could get in another car and follow the tow truck back to their place of business and look at it then.

I thought that was incredibly stupid. That means that if *I* have a truck then I could just tow anyone's car without showing them a business license that I do not have. Something seems wrong there.

So Jason and I did some investigation on how to fight against booters and we found that almost all Provo towing companies are NOT in compliance with Provo law. If you live in Provo, print this out and keep a copy of it in your car. (http://www.provo.org/council/citycode/Ch09.pdf)

Look in section 9.32.140 entitled "Reports for Motor Vehicle Booting and Non-Consensual Towing." Here is a list of their violations:

Section 5a: [The sign shall] be at least eighteen inches (18") by twenty-four inches (24") in size
Section 5b: [The sign shall] give warning, in large reflective lettering, that unauthorized vehicles will be booted or towed,
Section 5d: [The sign shall] give the name, telephone number and location of the firm(s) authorized to boot or tow vehicles
Section 5f: [The sign shall] be posted within five (5) feet, more or less, of each entrance to a parking lot.
Section 8a: The parking enforcement or towing company shall accept payment offered in cash or by major credit card, but shall not be obligated to accept checks or payment in coins and shall maintain sufficient cash on hand to make change of up to forty dollars ($40).

I asked the police officer if I could pay by credit card and he said "Just like any other business, they are not obligated to accept checks or credit cards." HE WAS WRONG! Section 8a says they MUST accept a "major credit card."

Their sign also did have "reflective lettering" and did not give the "location" (address) of the firm authorized to boot/tow the vehicle. I noted Section 5a 5f as well because most signs are not posted appropriately and are too small.

Print a copy of that PDF and hilite these sections. If you get booted then show the booter where they are in violation - they must take it off if they break any ONE of these rules. If not, then call the Provo Police - it is their duty to enforce the Provo Code - and the punishment to towing companies is considered a Class B misdemeanor according to Section 11 as follows:

(11) Violation of any section or provision of this section is a Class B misdemeanor. (Am 1997-064, Am 1998-063, Am 2001-37)

By the way, a Class B misdemeanor has a penalty of a $1000 fine and 6 months in jail. Sorry booters, you lose.

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