Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Carmel on the Case: Sunrise Towing
The City of Sunrise continues to get tough with tow companies. It's a crackdown that started after a 7 News investigation revealed abuses during the Christmas shopping season. Carmel Cafiero has the latest developments.
Carmel Cafiero: "The city want to make sure motorists get a fair shake in Sunrise. So, tonight the Commission has taken additional steps to make sure tow companies toe the line."
It started with a 7 News investigation that revealed hundreds of shoppers around the Sawgrass Mills Mall were towed on Black Friday.
Brianna Rhue, Towed Shopper: "I felt really taken for, going into the mall to try and save some money around Christmas."
Instead of overnight bargains they ended up at tow lots where cash only was demanded and no change provided.
Brianna Rhue: "It was just a very sad sight. You have young kids with their moms who were supposed to have fun with their kids on Black Friday."
The Sunrise City Commission acted quickly passing new regulations to protect the public, and now commissioners are back with more.
Michael Ryan, Sunrise Mayor: "To really deal first and foremost with the public safety issue. These vultures, this mass exodus of cars out from underneath people at the worst hours. Then what we need to do is make sure once we defined what appropriate behavior was that we only had responsible companies working in Sunrise."
The latest changes to the towing ordinance include:
-The requirement that tow tuck operators get a permit from the police department.
-That they take pictures of a vehicle before it is towed.
- And provides fines up to $500.
That's in addition to earlier regulations that require:
-Tow truck companies accept two forms of payment.
-And that they must provide change.
The Sunrise Commission has been of one mind on all this and passed all measures unanimously.
Mayor Ryan: "With the responsible tow companies I've heard from they're happy with this because they know how to abide by the rules. They also know the companies that aren't, and so for them this levels the playing field and allows them to compete as well as anybody else, but to do it in the right way.
Carmel Cafiero: "The Mayor says he hopes these new regulations become a model for the rest of Broward County."
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