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Sheriff's department to regulate towing rates

April 30, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Washington County Sheriff's Department plans to set uniform rates for roadside towing of disabled vehicles.

Some towing company representatives said the regulation of rates would hurt their businesses.

Sheriff's department 1st Sgt. Robert Leatherman said new department towing regulations are scheduled to go into effect Saturday. Leatherman said motorists who need a tow due to an accident or a disabled vehicle and have no preference of a towing company will be subject to the regulated rates.

Leatherman said the rate regulation, which is a "work in progress," was studied because of a disparity in what motorists had to pay to companies called to a scene by deputies.

Leatherman said the towing rates for calls made by deputies will be:

  • Light and medium duty tow (including cars, light trucks and sport-utility vehicles) - $65 during business hours; $90 during nonbusiness hours.

  • Large duty (including tractor trailers and commercial vehicles) - $125 during business hours; $175 during nonbusiness hours.


The Hagerstown Police Department set up similar fees for towing when police call for the service, according to a March 2002 document signed by Capt. Charles Summers.

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Leatherman said the sheriff's department's fees were based on an average of prices submitted by local towing companies for services in the past.

Interstate Towing & Recovery President Larry Gerber said not enough research was done before the rates were established.

"The rates they are setting are most likely befitting for the industry 20 years ago, based on what the equipment costs now," Gerber said.

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