SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- It’s a busy season for tow truck drivers with winter conditions on the roadways, but there’s also people parking in places they shouldn’t, to be closer to their destinations.
22News recently got a few phone calls from people upset they’ve been towed from the Post Office Parking Lot in Springfield. In fact we even witnessed a woman about to be towed today. But the signage explicitly states you will be towed if you do not have business at the post office. This woman got off the line because her mother was inside the post office.
Tow truck companies have contracts with state police and private companies, so many times the parking lot that you are parking in you can see on the sign, the name of the company that could have towed you.
In Massachusetts, the Department of Public Utilities sets the rate for a non-consensual tows, whether by police or a privately owned parking lot.
Ben Scott, of Red’s Towing in West Springfield said, “Any non-consensual tow is $90 for the hookup fee, $3 a mile round trip, you get five miles free. The mileage is computed from the home base shop to the location of the tow back to the shop again. And there’s a state fuel surcharge. It fluctuates by month and it’s currently 2.6%.”
So what if you run out and see your car getting towed away? “That becomes a private tow at that point where you can negotiate a fair rate to drop the vehicle,” Scott said, and it will almost always be cheaper than going to pick it up.Below are links on the laws regulating towing and storage of towed vehicles:
- Towing Storage
- Federal Driver Privacy Protection Act
- Vehicle Recovery, Notification of Owner
- Storage Charges