File picture: Alon Skuy

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, said on Thursday that he was amending the provincial road traffic act in a bid to regulate the towing industry in the province.

Vadi said that the amendment of the act will help to better govern the towing industry and promote professional business practices as the industry currently operates in an entirely unregulated environment and has come under increasing criticism from the public.

"There are cases of intimidation of accident victims by operators and allegations of clients being over charged or charged unfairly for services rendered," Vadi said.

"These allegations include the bribing of police officers to get first notification on an accident occurrence, recommending panel beaters who pay commission to towing personnel, reckless driving and charging excessive towing charges."

Vadi said that the new policy will regulate the tow truck industry, promote road traffic safety and support economic growth and development of this transport sub-sector.

Vadi said the need for quick removal of vehicles damaged in accidents and mechanical breakdowns had given rise to a highly competitive tow-truck industry that must regulated in the public interest.

When the act is amended, tow-truck operators will have to carry cards issued by registering authorities which state their trade name, type of business, postal and street address, contact details and an original tax clearance certificate. 

African News Agency (ANA)