What do these changes mean for you? Keep reading for all the information you need.
New year, new regulations: What Ontario drivers need to know
As a courtesy to Ontarians, the provincial government revised regulations that standardize its approach to the towing industry. They also ensure that all consumers across the province share the same rights when it comes to towing services.
Drivers will have more control over:
- Choice of towing company and destination: Drivers now have the right to decide who tows their vehicle and where it is towed. The autonomy empowers motorists to make decisions aligned with their needs.
- Transparent documentation: Drivers are entitled to receive and review the Consent to Tow form and Maximum Rate Schedule. Notably, the towing company cannot alter the form and its recommended not sign if it appears blank. This ensures full transparency in the towing process.
- Flexible payment options: The regulations grant drivers the flexibility to choose their preferred payment method. Whether it’s credit, debit or contactless payment through phone, drivers have the freedom to decide. Additionally, they should receive an itemized invoice before making any payments, ensuring fair billing practices.
- Insurance representation: Auto insurance representatives can now engage directly with towing and storage operators to expedite the claims process. This includes the right to consent to towing services, access vehicle and request their release. This streamlined interaction aims to enhance efficiency and support drivers during stressful times.
- Verification of tow operator: Drivers can ask to see their tow operator’s name and certificate number. This ensures further transparency and allows drivers to verify the certification of the tow truck driver before accepting the tow.
Code of Conduct for towing and reporting violations
In tandem with the regulations, the government has established a Code of Conduct. This code sets standards for towing and storage operators, emphasizing professionalism, courtesy, fairness, customer safety and transparency.
To expand on that, the new regulations require tow operators, tow truck drivers and vehicle storage operators need to:
- Act with professionalism, integrity, courtesy, good faith and fairness in all interactions with the public and fellow professionals
- Meet the standards of learning, competence and conduct that reflect the high-quality services provided, and ensure tasks taken are within their expertise.
- Prioritize public safety above all else, recognizing the responsibility to creating a secure environment.
- Comply with all applicable laws where services are offered.
- Honestly and accurately represent services, ensuring transparency and trustworthiness in all relations.
- Adhere to the Code of Conduct and notify the Director of any actions or omissions that they believe are contrary to the code.
Drivers can anticipate a more secure and transparent towing experience, backed by their enhanced rights and the government’s move to foster ethical practices in the industry.
Should drivers believe a tow truck driver has violated these regulations, an anonymous reporting service is available.