Briefly: Tennessee enacts law aimed at predatory towing of trucks

Truck being towed

The American Trucking Associations commended Tennessee on enacting comprehensive reforms to crack down on predatory towers that target heavy-duty trucks.  The bill was signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee after passing the Tennessee Senate unanimously and the House overwhelmingly without a single dissenting vote. 

Predatory towing entails any incident in which a towing operator severely overcharges; illegally seizes assets; damages assets by use of improper equipment; or illegitimately withholds release of a truck, trailer and/or cargo.  Memphis has been a hotspot for illegal towing, according to the ATA. 

Tennessee’s new law will protect truckers by prohibiting unlicensed individuals from booting vehicles anywhere in Tennessee.  The law limits booting to commercial lots only.  In order to boot a vehicle in a commercial parking lot, a licensed parking attendant must be present, easily identifiable as an employee of the commercial lot and available to remove the boot within 45 minutes from point of contact.  The law caps the fee to remove a boot at $75.  Notice provisions will ensure drivers are aware that parking in a lot without pay could result in the vehicle being booted or towed. 

Most noteworthy for the trucking and transportation industry, this legislation will make it illegal to boot or use a device to immobilize any truck and trailer in Tennessee that is clearly identified as a commercial vehicle with a USDOT number or with a commercial license plate issued for all classes of trucks and trailers described and registered pursuant to T.C.A. 55-4-113(a)(2) and T.C.A. 55-4-113(a)(5).  The legislation also ensures that vehicle owners are properly notified if their vehicle is towed, sold or demolished by a towing company and directs the Department of Revenue to create a motor vehicle portal.  The portal may be accessible by law enforcement, towing companies, vehicle owners and lien holders. The portal, to be active by July 2025, will be used for all public notifications of the sale of unclaimed vehicles.

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Southbound I-17 in Phoenix closed this weekend

Expect travel delays as the southbound lanes of Interstate 17 in Phoenix will be closed this weekend as crews perform pavement work.

The Arizona Department of Transportation announced the closure is scheduled in north Phoenix Friday, May 31 through Monday, June 3.

The department said drivers should stay on the designated detour route while I-17 is closed between Loop 303 and Happy Valley Road. The detour will follow Loop 303 west, Lake Pleasant Parkway south and Happy Valley Road east back to I-17.

ADOT is advising drivers to not use other local streets as alternate routes.

Taking Loop 303 to I-10 in the West Valley is an option, especially for truck drivers and for those continuing toward California, Tucson and parts of the Valley reached through downtown Phoenix, the department added.

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