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Issues like accident chasing plague the tow truck industry, creating rising tensions between tow truck companies, and posing a risk to consumers already under stress. In 2017, rules were introduced to protect consumers in the industry. Now, in a continuing effort to protect consumers and tow truck operators, the Ontario government is introducing a new set of rules and regulations in the province.

Keep reading to learn more about the new rules for tow truck operators in Ontario.

New rules for tow trucks

Following bouts of violence and property damage in 2020, the provincial government formed a task force to address issues in the towing industry. Its recommendations included a pilot which requires a licence to operate a tow truck, a police task force to investigate ongoing criminal activity, new legislation to provide oversight, and restricted tow zones.

Beginning this summer, four sections of the highways in the GTA will become restricted tow zones. By rolling out this pilot , new tow zones will only allow a single company to operate within the designated areas. The idea is that limiting the competition in each zone will prevent dangerous activity like accident chasing — when tow truck operators race to the scene of a collision to get the business. Additional tow companies will only be able to operate within the restricted zone with the approval of provincial police or the government. The pilot will run until 2022, with the potential for one-year extensions moving forward.

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Here’s a full list of the four restricted towing zones to be implemented this summer:

Restricted Tow Zone 1: Highway 401 from Highway 400 E. to Morningside Avenue

Restricted Tow Zone 2:

  • Highway 401 from Highway 400 W. to Regional Road 25
  • Highway 427 from QEW to Highway 409
  • Highway 409 from Highway 427 to Highway 401

Restricted Tow Zone 3: Highway 400 from Highway 401 to Highway 9

Restricted Tow Zone 4: QEW from Highway 427 to Brant Street

Protect your rights

A collision or incident that brings you to a halt on the road can be scary and disorienting, making you vulnerable to predatory towing companies. Knowing your rights if you should ever need a tow can help keep you safe, save you money, and protect you from unscrupulous towing companies.  With more legislation in place to protect consumers, it’s important to stay up to date on all the rules. After all, the side of the road isn’t the ideal spot to look up the latest laws around tow trucks.

Fortunately, you can find all you need to know in our Know Your Tow Truck Rights article. We cover everything you need to know, from a Towing Bill of Rights to outline the basics, details on “chasing,” as well as whether your insurance provider will foot the bill for towing and repairs.

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