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Virginia Politics
Posted at 07:52 AM ET, 01/25/2012

Tow truck drivers to photograph vehicles before towing in Fairfax

Tow truck drivers will be required take photographs before towing vehicles, under a broad revision of rules adopted Tuesday by Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors to regulate trespass towing.

The board also voted 10-0 to increase towing rates to maximum levels similar to those set by the Virginia General Assembly in 2006. County officials said the new rates -- $125 for a tow, $75 for a boot, and $50 for daily storage -- are in line with those in neighboring jurisdictions
including Arlington and represent the first increase since March 1994.

County officials also characterized the revisions as a benefit for consumer protection. Reflective red-on-white signs the size of standard “No Parking” signs will to be posted at the front of restricted areas. Tow operators will have to take snapshots clearly showing the reason for the tow and the vehicle’s condition before connecting to the vehicle for its removal.

Towing operators also must obtain a signature from the property owner or the owner’s agent before every tow to ensure there is a paper trail.

The new regulations also ensure that motorists can retrieve their vehicles at any time of the day; and pay with cash, credit cards or debit cards. If card devices are inoperable, a personal check must be accepted. Receipts must contain information explaining the reason for the tow, the time of the tow, and any fees assessed by the operator.

Tow operators also must have their own storage lots.

County officials said the new rules have been endorsed by the Tenant-Landlord Commission, the Consumer Protection Commission and the Trespass Towing Advisory Board. The new ordinance takes effect immediately.

By  |  07:52 AM ET, 01/25/2012

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