Governor Pritzker signs law protecting motor vehicle accident victims from rogue towing companies

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Governor JB Pritzker on Friday signed legislation that will provide drivers with greater protection from unscrupulous towing companies.

The legislation was an amendment to Illinois House Bill 3124. It calls for a “tow rotation list,” in which, essentially, police departments will call an approved list of tow companies whenever there is an accident.

If a random tow driver stops at the scene and has not been requested by the car owner or agent, they will not be permitted to tow the vehicle.

Legislation requires any towing service working within the jurisdiction of a given police service to submit an application to be placed on that police service’s tow rotation list.

Two divers will also need to go through background checks, insurance and licensing.

This was a direct result of reports from CBS 2 investigators on the matter.

For years, CBS 2 investigators have exposed how private towing companies deliberately hold up vehicles. We discovered in six months how a towing company racked up $150,000 with just 54 invoices.

Daniel Cohen got into a run-in with one of those companies after a 2019 car crash in Chicago.

While on the phone with his insurance company and talking to the police, he recalled that “all of a sudden a towing company pulled up.”

The Get It Towing Inc. driver gave Cohen a business card with the logos of the auto insurance companies they accepted insurance from.

“(They) said they were there to pick up the car, get it to its destination — and then, in the process, it never reached its destination,” Cohen said.

Instead, Cohen spent countless hours calling and looking for his car, and when he finally located it, there were new problems. The towing company slapped Cohen with a bill not just for the two, but for a hefty charge for storage. He said it was up to almost $5,000.

Cohen told CBS 2 investigator Dorothy Tucker in September 2019, “These people are crooks.”

Lisa Young also turned to CBS 2 investigator Dorothy Tucker after getting into trouble with a rogue tow truck driver in 2019.

Young’s car was towed after an accident. She searched for him for days and even filed a police report.

When she found her car, her insurance company had to pay $2,900 to get it back.

And after our investigations, lawmakers finally took action.

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