COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Colorado lawmakers are drafting legislation to address the issue of aggressive towing enforcement. State Representative Naquetta Ricks, a Democrat from Aurora, plans to introduce a bill that she is co-sponsoring with Boulder Rep. Edie Hooten to provide consumers more protection.
Ricks told News 5 on Sunday that some of the provisions would include allowing vehicle owners to remove personal belongings from the towed vehicle.
"If your car is towed and let's say you are a carpenter or someone who has tools. If your tools are in the car when it's towed, they don't have to let you into your car to get your tools," Ricks says. "So, not only do you not have your vehicle, you also could be without your tools to go to work. Or if you have a car seat, they don't have to let you do that."
Aggressive or predatory towing enforcement is an issue that News 5 Investigates has covered for several months. In February of 2021, Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Ross shared the story of a Pueblo woman who had her car towed away from her apartment complex because it had expired tags. The vehicle registration was paid and up-to-date, but she had come down with COVID and didn't replace the license plate sticker.
The biggest change that Ricks wants in the law is for towing operators to notify vehicle owners before they make a tow. She says the majority of towing complaints involved operators removing vehicles with expired license plate tags from apartments or HOA communities.
"Forty percent of Coloradans live in these types of communities. So, it happens to a lot of people," ricks says. "So, we want to look at that too. Maybe you just get a ticket if you have expired tags instead of calling a tow truck and paying $300 dollars within 24 hours after that."
Ricks anticipates the bill will be assigned to a committee sometime in February. In the meantime, lawmakers have created a form on Google where the public can share towing stories with lawmakers.