|Published:||Dec 11, 2010 1:19 AM EST|
|Updated:||Dec 10, 2010 7:42 PM EST|
CAPE CORAL, Fla - The City of Cape Coral is putting the brakes on so-called predatory towing.
The issue reached a fever pitch this summer when people say they were being towed illegally.
Now Cape Councilors could pass an ordinance to keep this from happening again.
"I get mad every time thinking about it,"said Kathleen Shoemaker.
Shoemaker's car was towed two years ago.
"They came around and towed me right out of the parking lot. This had no sign anywhere," she said.
It cost a bundle to get it back.
"They towed me for $250 dollars, two weeks before Christmas," she said.
Kathleen believes she was the victim of predatory towing
Stories like hers have the City of Cape Coral taking action.
After six months of working with tow trucks and the Community Redevelopment Agency, the parties agreed on new rules and regulations that would go into effect if approved by council.
"It took a while to get the ordinance together, but I'm glad it took some time because it's well constructed, so well drafted, so many safeguards," said Helen Ramey, Economic Redevelopment Manager at the Community Redevelopment Agency.
She says predatory towing is a big problem in the Cape.
Wes Dale, owner of Napa Auto Care agrees.
"Predatory towing has gotten out of hand. The fees are unregulated," Dale said.
Here's some of what the ordinance would change:
It would cap the towing fee at $100 dollars, which will save you money.
It would also mandate private businesses have more visible "tow zone" signs.
More importantly, it's going to require tow truck companies and their drivers to have certain licenses and certification.
City leaders hope this will help eliminate towing troubles in the Cape.
City Councilors will discuss and vote on the ordinance on Monday, December 13th.
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