• Orange County leaders work to crack down on predatory towing in tourist area


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County leaders want to crack down on predatory towing companies in the busy tourist corridor.

    County officials said a lot of the complaints about predatory tow truck drivers came from the busy area, and the issue became more prevalent after a tow company owner was arrested last month for illegally towing cars parked at Gay Days events.

    Tourist Paul Rivera said he’s being extra careful where he parks his car on his trip.

    “You don’t know where to park. You are here to spend money and have fun, and then you end up getting towed or have to pay a fine,” he said.

    On Wednesday, county leaders discussed proposed changes with businesses along International Drive, including requiring them to post signs that have a website and bar code that can be scanned with a smartphone.

    Each would include more details on where a towed vehicle may be, or on parking in general.

    The proposal to change the county ordinance also includes requiring tow truck drivers to report each company they have a tow contract with to the Sheriff’s Office.

    It also requires every tow to be approved by the company owner or manager before any car gets hooked up.

    The ordinance will go before the county commission next month.

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