Law aims to end predatory towing in Montgomery Co.

WASHINGTON — A new law that took effect Monday is aimed at stopping aggressive and predatory towing in Montgomery County.

The law passed unanimously by the Montgomery County Council over the summer and signed by County Executive Ike Leggett bans towing companies from using spotters.

Spotters are people who watch parking lots for violators and report them to towing companies in an effort to get cars towed away quickly.

The law requires companies to take a photo of a car before it is towed to prove there’s a violation.

A copy of the photo must then be given the car’s owner at the time they pick up their car.

Towing companies must now let drivers pay to get their cars back with either cash or a credit card, and companies have to provide brightly lit impound lots where drivers can safely retrieve their cars at any time of day.

The new law also requires property owners to post signs of a certain size that clearly spell out parking restrictions.

The County’s Office of Consumer Protection usually gets more complaints about towing each month than about anything else.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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