Ontario pilot project to provide safer, faster towing and standard rates

by Today's Trucking

Ontario truckers will benefit from faster service and standard towing rates when they require a tow in a designated tow zone, as part of a pilot project to be rolled out this summer.

“We are thrilled to see the results of the provincial towing task force, including the introduction of a tow zone pilot that will provide faster and safer towing services to truck drivers traveling on some of Ontario’s busiest highways,” said Geoffrey Wood, senior vice-president, Ontario Trucking Association. “With the introduction of this tow zone pilot, truck drivers in the Greater Toronto Area will see benefits such as faster service and standard rates for towing services.”

The pilot stems from the province’s towing task force recommendations, which will improve oversight into the towing industry, which has been marred by violence in recent months.

“We commend the Ontario government for developing a plan to increase safety and oversight for the towing industry that responds to the needs of the industry,” said Mark Graves, president of the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario. “Today’s announcement is a positive step towards consistent oversight and improved safety for Ontario’s tow truck drivers who work hard every day to provide professional service to drivers on roads and highways across the province.”

The pilot will introduce restricted tow zones on designated sections of provincial highways, where only a single approved tow company will be allowed to provide services. The province says the tow zones will allow faster, safer towing at standard rates.

(Source: MTO)

The locations of the pilot are:

Restricted Tow Zone 1: Hwy. 401 from Hwy. 400 east to Morningside Avenue

Restricted Tow Zone 2: Hwy. 401 from Hwy. 400 west to Regional Road 25; Hwy. 427 from QEW to Hwy. 409; Hwy. 409 from Hwy. 427 to Hwy. 401

Restricted Tow Zone 3: Hwy. 400 from Hwy. 401 to Hwy. 9

Restricted Tow Zone 4: QEW from Hwy. 427 to Brant Street

In addition, the Ontario Provincial Police and municipal police services will form a Joint Forces Operation team to investigate violence in the towing industry.

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  • We need to have min and max hourly rates for tow trucks. If we do this the Ontario gov should cap towing truck insurance rates with the Ont gov providing insurance for towing companies.

  • As an owner of a towing company for 30 years, I have seen the OPP have tow zones and it didn’t work very well as the municipal areas are licensed and the OPP have to enforce it . I tried working with the system and after 34 years I was frustrated with the amount of trucks that would pop up and drive like crazy and cause accidents and then started threatening other operator’s, now the police have to find the officers that play vaveriots and take kick back’s from the body shops that put out the one’s that are very creative with the pen when it comes to making out the invoice. The other problem with a lot of the big companies that have offices and tow pounds in 3 or 4 different areas. The other problem is with the customer request for a transport companies, how will this work ,do the OPP have the time to get the customer the tow company they have a price cap on the service. I have been out of the industry since 2014 and I have only seen it worse now than it was when I started in 1980 . They have to be a true towing company with NO connection to a body shop.