'Bad road to go down,' warns driver who was towed by a 'good Samaritan' then charged $400

A CITY council member has helped pass new regulations regarding towing companies after he was charged $400 for 30 minutes of work.

Brice Stewart, a lawmaker in Independence City, Kansas, fell victim to a towing company's vague business practice when he had an accident in 2023.

A lawmaker's experience with a tow truck company prompted him to enforce new rules and regulations against towing businessesCredit: GettyIndependence City Council Member Brice Stewart was taken aback when a tow truck driver charged him $400 for 30 minutes worth of workCredit: City of Independence

Stewart explained to the Kansas City Star how his vehicle slid off an icy road last year, and a tow truck that happened to pass by stopped and assisted him.

The lawmaker was taken aback when the tow truck driver, whom he thought was being a good samaritan, asked him for a $400 payment for a job that took 30 minutes.

Stewart went to a nearby bank and eventually paid the tow truck driver the fee in cash.

"I had the money back then, but what if I wouldn't have had it?" Stewart told the outlet.

Read more in The U.S. Sun

"There's a lot of people, they can't come up with $400 cash, especially in the middle of the night.

"And if they don't have any friends or family that'll loan it to them, their car could be sitting in the tow lot for a couple of days, racking up even more fees.

"I think it's just a bad road to go down."

Aurora Paolicchi gathered with friends in the River Market for an afternoon outing in mid-March.

Unbeknownst to Paolicchi, the get-together coincided with the season opener for the Kansas City Current MLS team.

Paolicchi paid $25 for a spot in the stadium's nearby parking lot, but when she returned to retrieve her vehicle, it was gone.

The other vehicles that parked in the lot were also towed.

Paolicchi eventually located her vehicle and learned the company Autobot Towing had impounded her car.

The company told her her vehicle was parked in the lot after hours.

When Paolicchi finally recovered her car, she had to pay a storage fee.

Shocked and angry, Paolicchi argued why she had to pay storage fees if her vehicle was only in the impound lot for less than an hour.

“It ended up being $350, and the car was parked there for less than an hour,” she said after paying the fee.

After Stewart's experience, he helped pass new rules and regulations for tow operators in Kansas City.

The new legislation requires tow truck companies to clearly label their vehicles with a proper name and phone number for their business and take payments by cash, card, or any mobile payment service.

Tow truck companies must also store impounded vehicles at a facility where owners can pick them up 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The companies must also provide written, itemized receipts and keep a detailed towing log that city officials or a vehicle owner can inspect.

"Putting some protections in for consumers and just helping tow companies operate on the same level playing field," city manager Zach Walker told the outlet.


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