Wayne Ellis from Gympie Tilt Tray Hire and Jason Rees of Shift Towing and Car Body Removals.
Wayne Ellis from Gympie Tilt Tray Hire and Jason Rees of Shift Towing and Car Body Removals. Renee Pilcher

Police to enforce tow truck areas

TOW truck wars. We've all heard about them or seen the results at the scene of a crash.

Tow truck drivers vying for jobs - sometimes waiting at notorious intersections even before an accident has occurred.

As far as police are concerned, that's their business, but soon officers will only be dealing with tow truck companies that are properly licensed under the Tow Truck Act of 1973, of which Gympie is exempt.

Fully-licensed tow truck driver Wayne Ellis said while Gympie was exempt from the legislation, anyone could tow a vehicle from the scene of an accident.

"They can be just out of jail or a suspect in a murder case," Mr Ellis said.

"There is no regulation to make sure tow truck drivers are of good character.

"Believe it or not, south from Kenilworkth-Skyring Creek Rd is regulated and north from a spot on the Bruce Hwy 15km south of Maryborough is regulated.

"Between these points is the entire Gympie Regional Council boundary, where there is no regulation stating operators must have safely maintained vehicles or must be persons of sufficient character to be entrusted with women and children in their trucks. It's ridiculous."

Mr Ellis said there are nine operators and around 16 trucks, but only three operators are licensed under the Tow Truck Act.

Regional traffic co-ordinator for the North Coast Police Region, Inspector Steve Maney, became aware of the tow truck licensing irregularities in Gympie when he was acting Superintendent of the Gympie Police District.

He said while Gympie remained an unregulated area - because legislation must be passed in parliament for Gympie to become a regulated area - police would soon only be engaging in bussiness activities with companies that participated in the licensing regime.

"The reason we are considering only participating with licensed operators is because it provides us with a level of confidence that there is a minimum standard of service being provided by appropriate people," he said.

"The concern is in relation to police authorised tows and bear in mind this is only a very small number of towing activities. These tow jobs are normally in relation to vehicles that are seized for evidence, hooning offences etc... or when a driver is injured and unable to make a decision on choosing a towing company."

There is no regulation to make sure tow truck drivers are of good character

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