Ottawa

Tow truck crash chasing reaches 'epidemic proportions' in Ottawa, police say

Ottawa police say crash chasing by Ottawa tow truck drivers has reached "epidemic proportions" after six drivers were fined for being too close to a scene.

6 drivers fined under tow truck bylaw for being within 100 metres of crash scene, police say

Collision chasing by tow truck drivers has reached "epidemic proportions" in Ottawa after six drivers were fined for clogging a crash scene to solicit business, police say.

Ottawa police said an officer responded to a crash at Kirkwood and Coldrey avenues on Tuesday morning where they found a total of seven tow trucks.

Seven tow trucks were spotted by police "chasing" a crash scene at a west Ottawa intersection, leading to fines for six of the drivers. (The Canadian Press)
The trucks were "congesting" the scene so the officer charged six of the drivers under the City of Ottawa's towing bylaw for being within 100 metres of a collision scene. That charge carries a $175 fine.

The seventh driver was only issued a warning.

"Not only are tow truck drivers breaking the law by approaching collision scenes, they can also cause further danger at what is already a hazardous situation," said Sgt. John Kiss, supervisor of the Ottawa police impounded vehicles section.

"It has been our experience that some Ottawa tow truck drivers have fraudulently claimed that the police have sent them to the scene and they have often convinced unsuspecting motorists that their otherwise drivable cars must be towed."

Kiss also said tow truck drivers often aren't deterred by fines because "it's just the cost of doing business."

Police said drivers involved in a crash should never accept tow truck services at the scene. Instead, they should call the 1-800 number on "pink slips" for assistance from their insurance company.

Police also said it is illegal for a tow truck driver to approach a motorist at a crash without having been called by either police or the motorist.

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