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Southern Colorado towing companies share concern over new law

Southern Colorado towing companies share concern over new law

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., (KRDO) -- A new bill signed into law Tuesday requires Colorado towing companies to give vehicle owners 24 hours' written notice before removing a vehicle and impounding it.

Sponsors believe the new towing bill of rights increases protections for car owners, while some towing companies believe these new rights could affect the way they do business.

The current law requires a towing carrier to notify law enforcement within 30 minutes after towing an abandoned vehicle, of the carrier's name, the storage location, and description of the vehicle.

This new law may protect those who can't afford to pay hundreds of dollars to pick up their vehicle from an impound lot. Jonathan Collins, President of Collins Towing says these new laws could even impact those who pay for their parking spots.

"These communities at night are completely full--with that being they should have the rights to be able to call a towing company and tow them out of their parking spot," said Collins.

The bill also requires companies to notify law enforcement of the location they plan to move the car to before removing it, rather than waiting until it’s already been impounded.

For Zachary Gresl, owner of Walt's Towing he believes this is will affect towing companies and their pockets.

"Even for us a company that doesn't do a large amount of those tows, it is still going to cut into 25 percent of our revenue," added Gresl.

The law also says tow yards will have to return a car if the vehicle owner can pay 15% of the fees, capped at $60. Though, they have to still pay back the rest they won't be required to do so immediately.

"The turnover for the amount of people who will likely pay is not going to be great," said Gresl.

Representative Naqetta Ricks, a sponsor of this bill says actions have to be in place to protect Coloradans from financial strain.

"This legislation is a win for vehicle owners, who for years have had to contend with a guilty until innocent system in towing. This will even the playing field," added Ricks.

The law also prohibits towers from removing cars with expired plates, unless ordered by police.

If companies decide not to comply with the rules, car owners can now file complaints with the state public utility commission office and have their fees waived.

For more on the new changes click here.

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Jasmine Arenas

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