Proposed London bylaw to regulate tow truck operators moves ahead

A potential new bylaw aimed at cracking down on predatory tow truck drivers received support from London politicians on Tuesday evening.

During a meeting of the community and protective services committee, councillors voted unanimously to ask staff to prepare a draft bylaw that would require tow truck drivers to be licensed and operators to stay back from collision scenes unless they were called by someone involved in the crash.

Chief bylaw officer Orest Katolyk says the committee met with first responders, who agreed that this is a problem in the city.

“Accident scenes are already stressful — there’s trauma, there’s personal injury, there’s vehicle damage,” said Katolyk.

Katolyk says there were mixed reactions among those in the industry, with some thinking a bylaw isn’t enough to fix the problem.

“Some feel there should be separation distances at accident scenes with tow trucks, while others feel that that regulation will not fix the issue,” the bylaw officer said.

City staff will now bring back proposed new rules to a public meeting late this year or in early 2020.

Waterloo, Hamilton and Mississauga are among the 17 other cities with similar bylaws requiring tow truck operators to remain a minimum distance away from collision scenes already in place.

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