Vultures on our roads

EVERY motorist will confess to their worst nightmare being to fall victim to illegal tow truckers that lurk on our roads.

EVERY motorist will confess to their worst nightmare being to fall victim to illegal tow truckers that lurk on our roads.

They're a menace preying on stranded motorists and they unashamedly strike at accident scenes like vultures attacking a carcass.

But tow trucking is an invaluable service that provides important round-the-clock help to motorists in need.

In a bid to clean up the industry the South African Towing and Recovering Association has succeeded, to an extent, in ensuring regulation in the business - but not without illegal towers spoiling the good name of association members who operate according to a strict code.

That the illegal operators can evade the law while effectively stealing vehicles from unsuspecting owners at accident scenes is a matter for serious concern.

As is the largely unknown practice of certain spare part depot owners, who pay a fee to illegal tow truck contractors each time they bring in a wreck from a collision.

As reported in this newspaper yesterday, this malpractice obviously encourages freelance tow truckers to tout for more cars a day to increase their daily takings.

Once a car has been delivered to the spare part yard the unsuspecting owner is invariably left to their own devices to negotiate payment to have their damaged vehicle released - usually not before forking out about R5000 (excluding so-called administration fees).

To stop this rot the authorities should crack down on the sharks who apparently operate in cahoots with some members of the police.

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