CAA launches Towing Bill of Rights to help consumers

Thorold, ON (Aug. 22, 2018) – CAA Niagara, in partnership with its sister club CAA South Central Ontario, launches the Towing Bill of Rights this morning as a part of ongoing road safety advocacy initiatives.

The Towing Bill of Rights is based on Ontario law and outlines eight, easy to remember points for motorists if they find themselves in need of a tow.

According to research done by CAA South Central Ontario, only half of Ontario drivers feel educated about their rights if they require a tow or roadside assistance. Drivers also worry about issues such as being charged unreasonably high fees or being misled and told by tow truck operators that insurance will cover costs when it doesn’t.

“This is our opportunity to inform Niagara drivers about their rights,” says Bill Willard, Vice President of Automotive Services. “We’ve seen drivers in very stressful situations after a collision or vehicle issues, and they react to the first tow truck that arrives on scene. The Towing Bill of Rights is a quick and easy reference guide to help put the power and knowledge back in the hands of the consumers.”

The Towing Bill of Rights is an easy glove box guide designed to help ensure Ontario motorists are familiar with the provincial rules and regulations that protect consumers and regulate the towing industry in Ontario. The handy list, now broadly available in print and digital formats, outlines specific consumer rights in a digestible, consumer-friendly way.

In partnership with the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario, CAA will distribute more than 10,000 handy reference cards to motorists across the province starting today. CAA Niagara will also be distributing updated ‘Slow Down, Move Over Save Lives’ decals to local tow companies and placing them on its fleet vehicles.

“It is critical that motorists understand their rights when it comes to towing, and it is also important that tow truck operators understand exactly what is expected of them when a vehicle is to be serviced,” said Joey Gagne, president, Provincial Towing Association of Ontario. “Distribution of Towing Bill of Rights contributes to both goals, and we are happy to work with CAA to promote the protection of consumer rights in Ontario.”

CAA Niagara encourages all Ontario motorists and consumers to familiarize themselves with the specific terms of the Towing Bill of Rights:

  1. You have the right to decide who can tow your vehicle and to what location unless otherwise directed by police.
  2. A permission to tow form must be signed before towing starts, unless you have an auto club membership.
  3. The towing company must provide you with an itemized invoice, before receiving payment.
  4. The final bill cannot be more than 10% above the quoted price.
  5. If you choose, you can pay by credit card.
  6. During business hours, you can access your vehicle to get your personal items, while it’s stored at a towing facility.
  7. A tow operator must notify you where your vehicle will be towed.
  8. Tow operators must disclose if they are receiving a financial incentive for towing your vehicle to a particular vehicle storage facility or repair shop

The Towing Bill of Rights is based on specific rules and regulations set by the Government of Ontario through the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act.

Special Note: Exemptions around authorization and invoices are applied if services are provided through a membership association like CAA, where consumers aren’t charged for the specific service provided.

Cody Cabral, Public Relations Specialist
Direct line: 905-322-2018
Mobile: 289-219-0638

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