The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) this week announced plans to phase in a province-wide towing program, which will be operational Jan. 1, 2022.
Excerpts from the OPP announcement highlight the robust nature of this effort:
“The new OPP Tow Program includes significant changes to the way the OPP requests services from and interacts with Tow & Storage Service Operators (TSSO). It also introduces a list of requirements TSSOs must meet before they can provide tow and storage services for police-requested legislated tows. These are tows for which police have legislated authority (e.g. vehicle impoundment for impaired driving, stunt driving, or evidence). The program also applies to tows requested by OPP officers on behalf of members of the public who need a tow.”
“Among the new requirements, TSSOs must submit an annual application to provide tow and storage services to the OPP for the calendar year. Applicants will need to provide information relating to ownership, registration, licence, vehicle, equipment, insurance and other details in the application. A signed release that authorizes the OPP to conduct a criminal history background check will also be required.”
“The implementation of the OPP Tow Program will apply to all OPP-policed areas outside of the Ministry of Transportation’s Tow Zone Pilot program. While the Tow Zone Pilot program is being developed, the existing practices for OPP requesting tow services within the GTA will continue.”
This is the latest in a series of comprehensive steps the Government of Ontario is introducing to address towing issues and further support the trucking industry. Earlier this year the province announced the creation of a joint-forces police unit to tackle organized crime in the towing industry as well as a tow zone pilot on GTA highways by the Ministry of Transportation. All these initiatives are expected to be up and running before the end of the year.
In addition, consultations are underway to revamp the entire oversight and training regime for towing in the province.
OTA will keep members informed of milestones reached with each of these key initiatives.
Additional education and outreach to OTA members on all aspects of the towing file will follow in the coming months.