Chasers: the name for some local Pittsburgh tow truck drivers who race each other to accident scenes. Why? They’re all desperate to get the tow, and the business, of those involved in the crash. And these tow truck drivers mean business. If multiple chasers arrive on a scene at the same time, it can even turn ugly. Now, the city is trying to put a stop to these so-called chasers… but at what cost?
Earlier this month, an awful incident occurred when two tow truck drivers arrived at the scene of an accident at the same time. They got into an argument, which led to one of the drivers retrieving a baseball bat from his truck. According to police, the other driver then pulled out a gun, shooting the man with the bat.
Incidents like this cause alarm for the city – and they have happened other times in the past, too. Now, they want to chase these chasers out. Public officials claim that they create unsafe conditions for everyone by acting in this way. The city’s Public Safety Director, Wendell Hissrich, wrote an emailed statement which explained the severity of the problem.
He said that once several tow trucks arrive on a scene, possibly disobeying laws to get there and causing traffic congestion, “police officers then have to act as mediators when they should be focused on assisting victims or directing traffic. It’s not safe. From a public safety perspective, the time has come for action.”
The Proposed Plan
So, at the end of last week, they announced a new plan for Pittsburgh tow truck drivers. The idea is to assign towing companies to specific police zones in the city. Then, companies can bid on more than one zone.
Apparently, eligible companies must have at least three trucks on call. Each of those trucks must have a gross vehicle weight rating of 17,500 pounds. In addition, they need to have the ability to provide a flatbed that could haul two vehicles at once. And, finally, they must have a facility that can store a minimum of ten vehicles within a two-mile radius of Pittsburgh.
While it may seem like a good idea in theory… some companies and drivers are skeptical. In fact, a few companies plan on fighting the new plans. What do you think about the new rules? Are they fair for tow truck companies?