Towing reforms for Ontario

If you’ve ever been in a car accident and require towing services at roadside, then you might be interested in the Ontario government’s latest announcement about the industry.

The Ontario government recently announced it is launching a Joint Forces Operation team to address violence in the towing industry and introducing a tow zone pilot on designated sections of provincial highways.

Additional actions have also been recommended to better protect customers and improve towing industry safety, including establishing an oversight model for the industry, exploring licencing for tow truck drivers, and introducing clearer equipment standards.

“The ongoing violence in the towing industry is unacceptable, which is why our government is taking action to make the towing industry safer through strengthened oversight and standards,” said Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney. “Ontario’s towing industry is a vital service on our roads and highways every day, and these actions will help to improve safety for all drivers.”

In response to the recommendations of the task force, the province is also forming a new technical advisory group made up of representatives from towing companies, consumer advisory groups, automobile insurance companies, municipalities, and law enforcement organizations.

“We are thrilled to see the results of the provincial towing task force, including the introduction of a tow zone pilot that will provide faster and safer towing services to truck drivers travelling on some of Ontario’s busiest highways,” said Geoffrey Wood, the Senior Vice President of the Ontario Trucking Association. “With the introduction of this tow zone pilot, truck drivers in the Greater Toronto Area will see benefits such as faster service and standard rates for towing services.”

Many auto insurance companies have assigned or designated their own towing services to work with them for their clients in order to avoid the confusion or “wild west mentality” when car accidents happen and the first tow truck on the scene comes to do their business. There are concerns that some towers aren’t properly licensed or trained in what they are doing.

Having a committed set of standards for the towing industry would be a benefit to the wider community as a whole when it comes to road safety and those of us who regularly drive and require their services.

When considering having your vehicle towed, we recommend reaching out to your insurance broker or insurance company to review your options. Often your insurance company will suggest a company that they work closely with and can guarantee their service and rates. This way you can avoid the risk of dealing with unprofessional companies or shady characters.