Friday, November 29, 2013
A friend of mine escaped injury in a major accident recently. Less than a minute after a car T-boned hers, she had barely extricated herself from the deployment of the airbag and got herself outside the car, a towing truck rushed out of nowhere and said they will do everything needed, not to worry blah, blah, blah. Fortunately, the cops arrived just then and a few minutes after that a properly licensed towing entity which is registered with her insurers that the cops recommended she use. She said it was uncanny how quickly the first towing guy arrived on the scene while her body was still in the first stages of shock.
Toronto has become a hub for the most unsavory characters in Canada. All thanks to our Immigration Dept. If you use taxis frequently in Toronto, you know what I mean and I don't have to elaborate on that last sentence. Anything to do with the transport industry in Toronto, be it driving schools or taxis, the same crop of unsavory characters are found in plenty.
Peter Cheney writing at Globe&Mail:
....Pirates on the highway are costing Ontario drivers billions.
As rush hour approaches on Canada’s busiest highway, the forces of the towing industry assemble. Customized Vulcan Intruders and V-8-powered Ratlers rumble into position near the on-ramps, taking up their stations like carrion birds circling above the Serengeti during migration season.
These tow trucks are specialized machines, bristling with radio antennas and hydraulic tail stingers that can whisk a car away in minutes. The drivers tune in to the police frequencies and wait, hoping for a payday that could range anywhere from $150 to five figures, depending on their luck and connections.
For drivers who crash or break down on Highway 401 in Ontario, it can go one of two ways. If lucky, their vehicle will be towed away by a reputable operator who will charge a reasonable amount for the service. If not, they may find themselves plunged into a netherworld of extortionate fees, kickback-laden referrals, and barbed-wire impound lots where their car is held hostage until the bill is paid.
Running through the heart of the country’s biggest city, Highway 401 is the Grand Banks of towing – and sometimes, its Somali coast. According to a provincial task force that investigated insurance fraud, unscrupulous tow truck operators are at the front line of a black-market enterprise that costs Ontario drivers $2 billion each year.
“I think the towing industry is worse than those guys in Somalia,” says Doug Nelson, executive director of the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario (PTAO). “At least the pirates let you know what they’re up to. They stick a gun in your face and take your ship and your money. When it comes to towing, you don’t even know you’re getting robbed until you see the bill.”
The provincial task force calculated that fraud adds an estimated $700 to the insurance bill of every driver in the Greater Toronto Area............