Miami Beach Car Haulers are “Tow”ing the Line


One year after Team 6 Investigators found tow truck companies here improperly hauling away cars without using safety chains, a follow-up investigation found the companies are now largely toeing the line.

Last year, none of the tows we witnessed involved the use of the chains, which prevent a vehicle that may slip off the tow bar from careening uncontrolled on city streets, endangering pedestrians and other motorists.

In recent weeks, we found 27 of 30 tows we witnessed did use the chains – a 90-percent compliance rate.

“Well, I think it improved because you put it on TV actually,” said Miami Beach city commissioner Ed Tobin. “I haven’t heard anything about the issue I think it’s one of those things you hear about it because it’s a calamity. I’m glad I haven’t heard anything about it.”

Miami-Dade County enforcement supervisor Jorge Herrera said “chains are supposed to be secured to the vehicle in order to make sure that, should this vehicle come loose from the tow bar, the vehicle doesn’t go on a free-for-all on the streets.”

Several weeks ago he said he watched as an unchained Jaguar came unhinged from a tow truck turning onto a wet highway in Hialeah Gardens, causing slight damage.

Tobin, who is hoping to soon leave the commission for a job as a rookie police officer, could become one more set of eyes on the tow trucks’ safety chain compliance.

Should he see an offender while on patrol, Tobin said, “I’ll do what my bosses tell me to do, but I would imagine I would cite the tow truck.”

An attorney who has represented the tow truck companies did not return a call for comment on their improved performance.

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