The NSW Government is cracking down on rivalries between rogue tow truck companies that has seen anti-social behavior spill onto the streets of Western Sydney.
Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the turf war has drawn the attention of NSW Fair Trading and NSW Police who recently issued notices to 35 trucks from the Blacktown, Mt Druitt and Penrith regions to present for inspection following an increase in anti-social incidents on Sydney streets.
Several trucks were issued with breaches for offences under the Tow Truck Industry Act, while NSW Police identified issues relating to work diaries and vehicle defects and NSW Transport issued 23 minor and 2 major defects for mechanical issues.
“We have strong laws to regulate this industry and we won’t hesitate to use them,” Mr Anderson said.
“These inspections are a warning to any tow truck company or driver thinking of engaging in anti-social or criminal behavior that we are watching and will call them in if we have to. The party’s over.
“I intend to keep these operations running for as long as they are needed to remind these rogue operators that bad behaviour will not be tolerated.
“The Tow Truck Investigation Unit will continue to closely monitor this situation and if needed will team up with law enforcement to come down hard on anyone doing the wrong thing.”
Criminal behaviour has pervaded the tow truck industry for decades, with the Act first being introduced in 1998 following an escalation of violence among companies.
“Motorists who’ve broken down or been in an accident don’t deserve to be harassed or pressured by operators looking get their car onto the back of a tow truck,” Mr Anderson said.
“And they shouldn’t be put in the middle of a stoush between rival operators looking to be first to the scene.
“We have worked hard to push out rogue operators in the last decade and to build a safer and stronger NSW and I won’t allow this type of behavior to creep back into the industry.”
In addition to holding tow truck drivers and operators accountable, NSW Fair Trading is also warning motorists to be aware in the instances where their vehicle requires towing:
- Do not be bullied or pressured to sign a towing authorisation form and always remember that you as the customer can refuse a tow for any reason.
- Always contact your insurance company before signing a towing authorisation and therefore agreeing to have your vehicle towed.
- Never be pressured by a tow truck driver to have your car towed to a particular smash repairer as they are often affiliated with particular repairers.
- Never accept a hire/rental car from a tow truck driver without first contacting your insurance company as you may be liable for the cost.