SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill to crack down on predatory towing by creating a new board with the power to investigate complaints, impose civil penalties and revoke a tower’s authority to do business in the state.
The Statesman Journal reports the bill is supported by the Oregon Tow Truck Association and many tow company owners.
“Over the last 40-plus years, I’ve seen many towing companies come and go, and many standards change along the way,” Gary McClellan, vice president of Ray’s Towing in Eugene, said during a public hearing Monday. “I’m disappointed and embarrassed to hear and see the lack of ethics and values that are practiced in our industry today.”
Senate Bill 1569 would create a nine-member, governor-appointed Towing Board within the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The board would have rule-making authority, and authority to issue civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation, to remove a tower from a rotation maintained by the Oregon State Police, and to file suit against a tower in Oregon’s circuit courts.
The bill, which passed out of the Senate Committee on General Government and Emergency Preparedness, will now go to the Joint Ways and Means Committee before heading to the Senate floor for a vote.