Saturday, 3 June 2017

Tow truck protest snarls Toronto rush hour traffic

Toronto police are warning rush hour commuters of significant delays on major roadways across the city due to a protest organized by the province’s tow truck industry on Tuesday.

Authorities say the event will snarl traffic into and out of Toronto during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

The protest is scheduled to stiffle the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway as tow truck drivers make their way to Queen’s Park.

Tow truck drivers are upset over Bill 15, Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, which aims to reduce auto insurance claims costs and includes tow and storage-specific consumer protection measures.

The industry has opposed some parts of the bill as it also limits the number of hours tow-truck drivers can work per day.

“Tow truck drivers, we don’t make money every day. We only make money per call,” said tow truck driver Zoli Burka.

“A lot of the time, tow truck drivers are sitting around doing nothing. We work as we get our tows. We’re not like big truckers where we’re driving constantly.”

The law also requires operators to get permission from consumers before providing tow and storage services, accept credit card payments, and to make towing rates clearly visible before receiving payment.

“Regulating our industry, yes it needs it because there are bad apples in our industry like any industry,” said Burka.

“We’re ok with some of the bill. A lot of us already accept credit cards. Our issue is our hours of operations. Don’t attack us for that.”

Toronto police say tow truck drivers are expected to arrive at Queen’s Park around 9:30 a.m. and encircle the south lawn of the provincial legislature from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A similar protest on Dec. 9, 2014 caused massive headaches for motorists as tow trucks surrounded the grounds of Queen’s Park.

Read more: http://globalnews.ca/news/2618983/tow-truck-protest-to-snarl-toronto-rush-hour-traffic/

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