As poorly regulated as tow-truck operators are (“Tow Jam,” 7/14), it only compounds the issue when the police either deliberately ignore or are ignorant of what little law there is. Fortunoff gets waved away from a Beltway wreck by Maryland Trooper 1st Class Pamela Howe in favor of a “fly-by-night” driver who is evidently not approved by the state police. Here’s a Beltway bandit at the scene of an accident apparently breaking two laws under the nose, if not with the downright collusion, of the officer in charge.
What’s the point of laws if the enforcers don’t know about them? One would think a trooper 2nd class or even tenderfoot would know to check a tow driver for police certification at the scene of an accident. It appears that most, if not all, operators, no matter how well-certified, view their customers as prey. When Fortunoff narc’d on the reporter, he betrayed the color of his stripes.
As far as this state of affairs being the result of federal deregulation of delivery services at the behest of lobbyists for the United Parcel Service and its competitors, it’s another example of the Law of Unforeseen Consequences. What’s to stop Maryland and other states from classifying tow trucks as emergency vehicles and regulating them that way? Or any of myriad ways of circumventing federal deregulation?
The law won’t change until sooner or later, the wrong mark gets a $200 towing bill and Daddy doesn’t like it.