DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for the Standard
DURHAM/KAWARTHA: The Ontario government has announced some changes coming to the tow truck industry. One of the measures announced, on Tuesday, March 2nd, was launching a tow zone pilot project.
“These tow zones will be defined stretches of highway, where a single tow truck company will be contracted by the province to remove vehicles [which] require a tow. This means no other towing company can tow vehicles within this tow zone, except upon permission or request from the [Ontario Provincial Police] or [Ministry of Transportation],” Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney explained, during a press conference. “This approach will eliminate the practice of accident chasing within the tow zones, which has been a dangerous trend in the industry.”
The provincial government will also be introducing legislation which, if passed, would require licensing for tow truck drivers. Minister Mulroney stated this would ensure drivers “have the specialized skills required to do the job.”
In order to curb the concern of violence in the industry, the government is also setting up a Joint Forces Operation team. The team will be made up of Ontario Provincial Police members and representatives from municipal police services. The purpose of this team, according to a provincial press release, will be to “investigate criminal activity in the towing industry, with the goal of enhancing consumer protection and public safety.”
The government hopes this new team will help eliminate an issue of violence which has been plaguing Ontario for some time. “This new joint operations team will support our government’s plan to create a safer working environment for legitimate towing businesses, by reducing the opportunity for fraud, corruption and criminal activity,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said, at the press conference.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]