OOIDA testifies in support of Missouri towing reform bill

March 29, 2018

Mark Schremmer

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association testified on Wednesday, March 28, in support of a Missouri bill that would create consumer protections for truckers who are forced to have their tractor-trailer towed after an accident.

Mike Matousek, OOIDA’s director of government affairs, explained the need for HB2496, which would establish a Towing Task Force, during a Transportation Committee hearing in Jefferson City, Mo. Rep. Bill Reiboldt, chairman of the Transportation Committee, introduced the bill in February.

For the past several years, OOIDA has been working with states to establish regulations that will protect truck drivers in the event of a nonconsensual tow, which is when law enforcement requests a tow without the truck owner’s consent. Since the trucker is not able to check the price of the towing service, the trucker is at the mercy of the towing company when it comes to the cost. Currently in Missouri, there has not been an avenue for truckers to file a complaint if they believe they were overcharged for a nonconsensual tow.

Matousek said the bill, which is still undergoing changes, will have the Missouri Highway Patrol take the lead in establishing regulations to protect truck drivers against overpriced tows. The bill was introduced at the request of OOIDA.

“The bottom line is that Missouri doesn’t really have any consumer protections for truckers when it comes to nonconsensual towing,” Matousek said. “The bill will provide the ability to create regulations for nonconsensual tows, provide a complaint process, and give the highway patrol direction on how to handle a complaint.”

The task force would include representatives from the towing, trucking and insurance industries.

“I think it’s fair to say that there’s quite a bit of support from the members of the transportation committee,” Matousek said.

Matousek said he would like to thank the Missouri Trucking Association and Rep. Reiboldt for their support on the bill.

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.