Transport Minister Rita Saffioti has approved amendments to road traffic regulations in a bid to stamp out dodgy practices within the towing industry.
New amendments to the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014 mean stricter standards will apply to tow truck vehicles, the conduct of operators and compliance checks.
The Department of Transport undertook significant consultation with stakeholders and industry to review the regulations and ensure public and industry feedback was considered in any changes being made.
Results from the consultation reflected a majority agreement and, after discussion with industry representatives and minor revisions, gained overwhelming industry support.
The department is now progressing amendments to the regulations, which will create new requirements, including:
- Operators must provide the maximum tow and storage fee payable on a signed statement provided to the consumer before their vehicle is towed;
- All tow trucks are to be fitted with number plates identifying it as being a licensed tow truck;
- Ensuring all first time registered tow trucks are built to comply with relevant Australian Standards; and
- New mandatory annual roadworthy and safety inspections for all licensed tow trucks.
The amendments relating to tow trucks within the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014 will come into effect in late 2020, while further moves to protect consumers that would require specific legislation is being scoped by Consumer Protection.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“For some time now, the community have been asking for changes to make the tow truck industry safer and this is the next step in making that happen.
“Most people would have all heard stories or witnessed questionable conduct by parts of the Western Australian towing industry.
“This simply isn’t a sustainable situation for consumers and it’s not fair for those in the towing industry who are doing the right thing.
“These regulation amendments will ensure regular checks on tow truck vehicles and make it compulsory for operators to provide a maximum fee prior to taking a vehicle.
“It is important all Western Australians have safe access to towing services and that dodgy behaviour be stamped out.”
Minister’s office – 6552 5500