Expired city towing agreement could be costing drivers hundreds

Local News

A City Councilman and Jackson drivers are accusing tow companies of scamming drivers with high fees.

This all centers around an expired agreement between the city with towing businesses and WJTV 12s Alex Love investigates the root of these issues and where both sides plan to go.

It was called the wrecker service rotation agreement and it set rules on a number of things but since there’s been no agreement for six years both sides are seeing issues.

For the past couple week’s drivers and Jackson Councilman Kenneth Stokes have argued people in low income areas are overcharged when their cars get hooked.

“They’re supposed to charge $75 to tow,” Stokes claimed. “We’re getting reports they’re charging $150-$250 and more money.”

Other drivers claim at times they have had their car towed from an accident and they don’t know who picked it up with a chance it’s been taken out of Jackson.

“They’re supposed to have a storage facility in Jackson for people to come and find their cars,” Stokes said. “They shouldn’t have to go to Rankin or Madison County.”

Some point to flaws in the city’s expired system making the mess. We spoke to one anonymous towing manager who explained how picking up someone’s car really works.

“Generally that is up to the discretion of the officer,” they stated. “When we get there they pretty much tell us this goes to the city impound, this is going to the crime lab, and this is going to your lot.”

“If the car comes to our lot and it’s involved in a wreck generally what happens is the people are able to come and take their personal belongings out of the vehicle at no charge,” the man continued. “As long as they have proof of ID, proof of ownership then they can come and pick up their own items.”

With the old agreement expired, other issues arose with certain towing companies not equipped to tow to city expectations and short on insurance coverage.

As for rates going up, they also factored in the cost of maintenance and service to trucks plus the $75 rate being from 2013.

“If they can’t live with the rates that was established when we had this ordinance than they don’t need to tow for the city of Jackson,” Stokes told us.

Those belonging to the Jackson Towing Association believe the city must include them this time around for the new agreement. 

Stokes plans to call for a vote on a new agreement at the next city council meeting and welcomes any towing business to attend.

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