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Towing In California Is Not Subject To Federal Aviation Law, And Other Shockers

You may have wondered how towing companies seem to rack up all those fees for storing your towed vehicle.  At least one of those towing companies claimed it was allowed to do so based on the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act .  Don't be fooled by the title, though.  It's really about Federal authority over intrastate transportation. 

Even so, California has a specific statute in its Vehicle Code that addresses towing:

Vehicle Code section 22658(i) pertains to towing and storage fees.  It provides in part:  "(1)  A charge for towing or storage, or both, of a vehicle under this section is excessive if the charge is greater than that which would have been charged for towing or storage, or both, made at the request of a law enforcement agency under an agreement between the law enforcement agency and a towing company in the city or county in which is located the private property from which the vehicle was, or was attempted to be, removed. (2)  If a vehicle is released within 24 hours from the time the vehicle is brought into the storage facility, regardless of the calendar date, the storage charge shall be for only one day.  Not more than one day's storage charge may be required for any vehicle released the same day that it is stored." 

That's a bit different than cases that interpret federal law, and have held that the Aviation Act "generally preempts state and local regulation 'related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier . . . with respect to the transportation of property.' "

The court, however, decided that Congress didn't intend to regulate the storage fees charged by local towing companies, and that the state had the right to do so.

All over a $200.00 charge.

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, September 16, 2005 at 15:00 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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