Photo Courtesy of Sen. Peralta’s Office
Peralta is distributing a pamphlet detailing the rights of automobile owners as they pertain to towing in the five boroughs.
By Forum Staff
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) is now distributing a pamphlet to constituents detailing the rights of automobile owners as they pertain to towing situations.
Peralta said he wanted to protect consumers after fielding complaints from constituents who had to pay hefty fines to towing companies after their vehicles were removed from private parking lots.
The senator noted that in 2015, more than 1,400 drivers filed complaints with the City reporting that tow trucks operators had illegally removed their vehicles. A year earlier, the Legal Aid Society and the City Department of Consumer Affairs were able to obtain approximately $30 million in fines and restitution for consumers, Peralta said.
“The goal of handing out this pamphlet is to ensure drivers know their rights when their cars are being towed by private operators, who at times use intimidating tactics. We must ensure these operators act accordingly with the law and don’t rip off or try to rip off New Yorkers,” the senator added. “Simply put, this is about letting the public know about their rights and ways to fight back against abusive predatory towing operators.”
According to the Know Your Rights: Towing pamphlet:
• A tow operator can remove improperly parked vehicles and can collect up to but not more than $125 for removal and the first three days of storage, combined.
• No vehicle shall be removed by a tow operator from private property without expressed written authorization by the owner of the private property. Such authorization shall be required for each vehicle removed.
• A vehicle which is removed shall be taken directly to a facility for storage maintained by the person licensed to engage in towing.
• Within 30 minutes of the vehicle’s arrival at a facility for storage, they must notify the local police precinct.
• If the owner or operator arrives at the scene prior to removal of vehicle and it’s con