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Attempt to Change Towing Regulations in Clark County Fails
Attempt to Change Towing Regulations in Clark County Fails

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AIR DATE: May 10, 2012

Last week the Clark County Commission voted to stick with the status quo when commissioners voted down a proposed ordinance change to towing regulations.
 
The change would have allowed insurance companies to decide where to have cars towed after an accident. Currently Metro contracts with just three towing companies but Henderson-based SNAP Towing owner Bobby Ellis sought to change that rule and said he could offer cheaper rates than those three companies. The commission shot down the proposal opting for the current regulations. Ellis lobbied and failed to get a bill pass in the legislature last year to change the rules before appealing to the Clark County Commission.
 
What could it all mean? Las Vegas Review Journal Columnist John L. Smith says not much for the average consumer who will end up paying big bucks in fees if they're towed either way. John L. Smith and Nevada Transportation Authority Chairman Andrew Mackay join us to talk about who regulates towing and its impact on the consumer.
 
GUESTS
John L. Smith, columnist, LVRJ
Andre Mackay, Chair, Nevada Transportation Authority

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COMMENTS:
It is clear that all the comments listed are from those in the towing industry. There are many documneted abuses of the tow car industry. The governing body is currently reviewing the documented abuses, however the fines leveyed against these companies is very low. I encourage all Nevada drivers to contace the NTA, Metro or the Highway Patrol.
LV ResidentMay 30, 2012 09:41:09 AM
The implication made by John L. Smith that a cash based business cant be run honestly is not only inaccurate but insulting. Towing companies keep meticulous records & are regulated by the IRS, NV Department of Taxation, the NTA, EPA, METRO, NLV Police Department, NHP, Clark County Fire Department, NLV Fire Department, etc. through statute, inspection & audit.
LV ResidentMay 8, 2012 21:03:24 PM
The notion that the business is a cash cow is not grounded in the truth. The cost of doing business, which includes acres of commercial property which must be maintained with 24 hours security, purchase & maintenance of very expensive trucks, salaries of dispatch staff & drivers 24/7, licensing, insurance, etc. is very high.
LV ResidentMay 8, 2012 21:05:16 PM
Do I feel personal empathy for someone who, through no fault of their own is involved in an auto accident with an uninsured driver & not only has to bear the cost repairing their car but the cost of a towing company, called to an accident by authorities, to clear & clean up the scene making it safe for other motorists? Of course, however, their misfortune does not turn a business which performs a service into a charity.
LV ResidentMay 8, 2012 21:06:28 PM
Do I feel sorry for the person who violates the law, parks in a handicapped area, fails to legally register their vehicle, renew their drivers license, is jailed on a DUI or an open warrant? No, I dont. I pay my taxes through DMV fees, follow the traffic laws & act responsibly. There is a cost to driving without a license or without registration. The fact that it takes some people longer to obtain their vehicle is oft times due to them not having the proper documents to prove ownership. Having a set of keys does not, under the law, prove ownership that a towing company is required to verify before releasing a vehicle.
LV ResidentMay 8, 2012 21:08:06 PM
The recent attempt to, though the state & then the county, force all towing companies to transport insured vehicles to a lot in Henderson where Bobby Ellis would collect the storage fees. Mr. Ellis tried to legislate himself a slice of guaranteed income by striking a deal with insurance companies who would (wink, wink) pass the savings on to their customers. A crafty move by someone who understands the business well.
LV ResidentMay 8, 2012 21:09:42 PM
I HAVE OWNED MY TOW CO FOR 34 YEARS, IN ALL THAT TIME, I HAVE NEVER HAD JOHN SMITH OR ANYONE ELSE EVER SHOW UP TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE BUSINESS, IT WAS EVIDENT AT THE COMMISSION HEARING OF 4 HOURS THAT THEY ONLY UNDERSTOOD 10% OF IT. THE ONLY TIME THE PRESS OR GOVERNMENT GETS INVOLVED IS TO AIR SOMEONE'S COMPLAINT.SINCE 4-1-96 WE HAVE PROCESSED 118,296 CALLS. IN THAT TIME, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A FORMAL COMPLAINT TO NTA.
CLIFF ZIMBELMANNMay 8, 2012 10:09:50 AM
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