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Beyer’s Predatory Towing Bill Added to Transportation Package

Don Beyer at the 8th District candidates forum, 5/5/14Arlington officials could soon have the full authority to regulate and combat predatory towing practices.

The State and Local Predatory Towing Enforcement Act introduced by congressmen Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) was added to an existing transportation bill as an amendment on Wednesday morning.

As it stands, federal law limits the ability of state and local governments to regulate the towing industry. The bill-turned-amendment would give them the ability to do so in an attempt to prevent predatory towing.

“State and local governments provide the best authority to regulate the towing industry and protect Virginians from unfair, predatory practices,” Rep. Beyer said in a press release. “We need more common-sense, consumer friendly solutions like this amendment to protect our constituents’ wallets.”

The predatory towing debate isn’t new to Arlington. The issue received national attention this past spring when ESPN sportscaster and WJLA alumna Britt McHenry was caught on camera losing her temper at an employee at Ballston-based Advanced Towing.

Shortly after the video of the incident was published online, Beyer’s bill was first introduced to the House.

In May, County Board Member Jay Fisette told ARLnow that under the legislation, he would support giving a towing veto to local businesses, requiring the owner’s approval before a vehicle is removed from their property.

The legislation Beyer’s bill would be amending, called the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act or STRR Act, is expected to pass in the House of Representatives by the end of the week, according to the Congressman’s office.

The bill is nearly 600 pages long and would authorize more than $300 billion for transportation across the country. Specific plans for the funds include improving infrastructure, highway safety programs and public transportation.

According to The Hill, Beyer’s and Hollen’s amendment is one of nearly 300 up for debate by the House before voting on the STRR Act.

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