Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Council moves toward easing rules on towers

Been parking in that empty lot next door? Watch out. Council on Tuesday advanced a bill that could make it easier for towing companies to haul away illegally parked cars.

Council moves toward easing rules on towers

Been parking in that empty lot next door? Watch out.

Council on Tuesday advanced a bill that could make it easier for towing companies to haul away illegally parked cars.

Currently, towers must wait for police officers to ticket vehicles before moving them. The bill, introduced by Councilman Jim Kenney, would remove that step and instead require towers to simply photograph the cars as evidence of the violations.

"In this age of technology were going to take a step back -- you have to provide the photographic evidence, keep it on file, there s a dispute mechanism, the whole bit," Kenney said. "When someone goes and they pick up their car, they ll have a picture of where it was parked ... so people won t feel that they re being abused."

The bill ironically is rooted in legislation aimed at hindering towers aggressive tactics in 2010, when the parking-ticket requirement was adopted. Police officers often do not have the time to respond to calls about parking violations, and Kenney s bill is aimed at streamlining the towing process while keeping towers accountable.

"Ticketing illegally parked cars is not and should not be at the top of their duties," Kenney said.

The Licenses and Inspections Committee unanimously passed the bill, which was supported by the Police Department, representatives of the towing industry and the Apartment Association of Philadelphia.

The bill could come up for a vote as early as Thursday s Council meeting.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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