CAA sponsored survey indicates strong support for provincial towing regulation

According to a survey by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), nine in ten Ontario drivers support enhanced provincial regulations.

“Wait time, costs related to tow, and lack of full disclosure are the major concerns for the residents of Ontario from tow/roadside assistance experience” according to the survey, completed by Campaign Research Inc. between April 21 and April 24, 2020.

The CAA survey found that among drivers that have used towing services, approximately one in five reported being misled by the tow operator, receiving a bill that exceeded the estimate provided, having a vehicle towed to a different location or being charged for unauthorized work or service fees. Public safety is also a serious concern, with 16% of respondents reporting harassment or assault in their interaction with tow operators following an accident.

When asked to consider options for regulating the industry, 95% indicated support for a provincial licensing model and 98% support mandatory training and certification for drivers, according to the CAA survey.

The Province of Ontario is currently considering options to enhance regulation of the towing industry. Premier Doug Ford announced a provincial task force on June 29, 2020, with a mandate “to develop a regulatory model that will increase safety and enforcement, clarify protections for consumers, improve industry standards and consider tougher penalties for violators.” The City of Ottawa is participating in this process and will keep residents informed through the Engage Ottawa webpage, engage.ottawa.ca.

The full CAA survey is available (in English language only) at: moresafetows

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