Predatory towing is when a towing company waits for someone to park illegally, even for one second, and slaps a boot on their car or tows them away before the driver even knows what is happening. Provo residents and students at BYU are all too familiar with this type of practice.
Nick Flynn, A BYU student, stopped his car from being towed while he was standing in the same parking lot waiting for his friend.
Nick says, “I decided to leave my car and walk around the lot while I was waiting. After being there for two or three minutes, I looked up from my phone to realize that a tow truck was backing up to my car before I knew it, it was off the ground and I had to pay $90 just to get it off the truck.”
Ever since the mayor released his blog on the topic at http://provomayor.blogspot.com/2012/10/were-getting-carried-away-here.html, emails have been pouring in. The emails contain complaints. The most common complaint is that people leave their car for just a few minutes and that is all a tow company needs to take your car away.
The majority of e-mail complaints are about a company called University Parking Enforcement, which is not affiliated with BYU.
Michael Lamont, President of UPE, says of the complaints, “We follow all the city ordinances [and] the state ordinances to a ‘T’…I think there’s just a lot of people venting their frustration and the stories become super excessive and not necessarily true.”
Possible solutions to the towing issue include new state legislation, new city legislation or simply educating the public about towing laws.