Wrecker Problems

No one wants their car towed, and under proposed regulations circulating in the legislature, it could soon be a lot harder, and more expensive to get your car out of hock, especially if someone else usually drives the vehicle.

Wrecker operators are up in arms over what they say are attempts to put small operators out of business.

It takes Eddie Ogletree less than a minute to hook up a car he's towing. Eddie pulled three cars out of a lot across the street from Florida State University in less than an hour. None were registered locally.

Under new legislation moving through the Capitol, only the registered owner of the vehicle could claim the car from the impound lot. Operator Jim Patton says it could be very hard on parents.

Even if you are the registered owner, getting the car returned under the new law could be a nightmare.

The legislation is intended to prohibit so called "GYPSY" operators who monitor police scanners and prey on unsuspecting motorists, but it penalizes the 2400 or so operators by requiring a $500 dollar license and equally expensive training even for veteran operators.

The association pushing the bill says by requiring a license, owners have something to lose and will follow the law more closely.

Similar legislation passed two years ago, but was vetoed by then Governor Jeb Bush. He called the regulation "excessive". AAA Motor clubs oppose the legislation, but other auto clubs like it.