LETTER: Tow truck tactics put young driver in a difficult situation

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Re: LETTER: Tow truck tactics put young driver in a difficult situation

My daughter was in a first time accident at an intersection recently. She called me and I made my way there. What do I find?

The police and two tow trucks are there. Shivering, in shock, her nose bleeding from the air bag , she’s being pressured by the towing company and the police to use their service. “Don’t worry, the insurance company will pay for it.” She has a CAA membership. We say no thanks, CAA is on the way in 10 minutes.

Fourteen minutes go by while the tow truck lurks 100 yards away. The police come to us and say “ok, it’s been 14 minutes, if he’s not here in 3 minutes I’m having this towed. We have a mandate to clear a site in 20 minutes.”

By the way, this is not a busy intersection at all. Thank God Flanagan Towing arrived just in time. It turns out my daughter didn’t have collision on the car – often young drivers opt for the cheapest insurance not understanding the possible consequences. Flanagan’s told us it could have cost her between $2,000-$3,000.

I am certainly not trying to paint our fine police force with one brush here, but the behaviour of the towing company that miraculously arrived instantly and these particular officers’ pressure tactics were disturbing and shameful toward a young driver trying to cope with her first accident.

Greg Foulkes


1 thought on “LETTER: Tow truck tactics put young driver in a difficult situation”

  1. I just finished Drivers Ed and wasn’t told about any 20-minute rule. We were taught to get the vehicles off the roadway if that was possible and safe. He also told us that we should call the tow truck ourselves so we can control where it’s towed to. Apparently some tow trucks have agreements with certain garages and will take your car there whether it’s convenient for you or not and regardless of the fact you may use (and trust!) a particular garage. They will then charge you for ‘storage’ until you can get there and make repair arrangements.
    The Ministry’s Drivers Handbook says very little on the subject. It tells you that, if your car has to be towed, you should get the name of the tow truck company and their license and to “(m)ake sure you understand where your vehicle is being towed”. That sounds like it’s the tow truck driver, not you, that’s choosing the place you’re about to spend what could be a considerable amount of money.
    People should have a plan in place for what to do if they get in a collision including getting your car removed from the scene. When you’ve just been in a crash and may be in shock and/or injured is no time to figure out how to get your car towed. The tow truck driver who appears within three minutes of the crash is working on behalf of himself and/or the garage he has a deal with and is unlikely to provide you with good information.
    You should also check with your insurance company and find out what they expect you to do.

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