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New laws are not stopping predatory towing in Provo

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) -- Although a new law was recently passed in Provo aimed at curbing predatory towing practices, some drivers are still having problems.
PROVO (ABC 4 UTAH) - Last December the Provo City Council changed the ordnance that would eliminate predatory towing. The decision was unanimously passed and two resolutions came from it.

Now, if property owners want tow companies to initiate the tow, car owners will have to pay $175.00.

If the owner calls the tow company then car owners could pay a a bigger fine.

Jessica Mitton is eight months pregnant and one of those car owners. She decided to have a girls' night out on Center Street.

"All the parking was taken up on the street, so I had to see if there was parking behind and it was a parking area so we went ahead and parked there," said Mitton. "There was some empty poles that didn't have any signs on them so we figured we could park there."

She got to the restaurant and asked the server of it was OK to park there and he told her she was going to get towed.

"I booked it down center street ran and grabbed my keys and ran around back and by that time max 20 minutes my car was gone," Mitton said.

"I feel them. I've been towed twice in this city so I know," says Provo's Deputy Mayor Corey Norman.

The mayors office says they get hundreds of calls and emails about towing practices.

Practices that are affecting businesses.

"Some people don't come back. We do have regular customers so we are happy for that but there are some issues with it," says Christi Millen with Two Jacks Pizza.

There are issues because Jessica had to pay $225.00 after everything was said and done.

"If somebody is getting towed and they do not feel there is adequate signage, they need to come to the city and make sure that we are aware of it."

That's not the only issue.

"On the receipt they gave me they said the tow time was between 7:01 and 7:25 so they had my car in like 6 minutes of me being there," Mitton added.

According to city ordinance tow truck drivers must take a time-stamped picture of the car they are towing.

"There has to be a photograph taken. They are required to have a photo," says Norman."If they don't have a photo then we have other issues."

The city says if you are towed, ask for the picture with the time stamp before you pay. The tow truck company does have to show you when it towed your car.
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