Future regulation of WA's accident towing industry: Consultation paper
Why are reforms being considered?
Following a vehicle accident, drivers can easily be taken advantage of as they are often highly vulnerable and in shock. Serious concerns about the accident towing industry have been raised over a number of years including allegations of poor conduct, price gouging and links to organised crime.
These concerns have been highlighted in the media and have led to strong calls for industry reforms from a range of stakeholders including industry participants, insurers and the wider community.
The focus of the consultation paper (in the form of a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement) is mainly on accident towing of light vehicles (such as, passenger vehicles) but it also touches on roadside breakdown towing given that similar issues can arise.
Options considered in the CRIS include:
- Option 1: Retain the status quo (no change to current requirements).
- Option 2: Self-regulation in the form of an industry-led voluntary industry code of conduct.
- Option 3: Regulatory intervention: Minimal level of regulation of accident towing and consumer protection measures limited to the greater metropolitan area of Perth.
- Option 4: Regulatory intervention: Medium level of regulation of accident towing and consumer protection measures extending to the greater metropolitan area of Perth as well as some regional areas.
- Option 5: Regulatory intervention: High level of regulation of accident towing and breakdown towing across WA.
Options 3, 4 and 5 all include:
- regulation of accident towing businesses and drivers under an occupational licensing scheme;
- regulation of maximum accident towing and storage fees;
- prohibition on the payment of spotters’ fees;
- provision of advice and conciliation services by government;
- enhanced protections and remedies available to consumers; and
- a provision for penalties and legal sanctions.
Due to the seriousness of community concerns and level of consumer risk, the consultation paper, at this stage, indicates a preference for increased regulation of the industry.
We encourage you to take the time to read the consultation paper and share your thoughts with us. There are a number of questions in the paper for you to consider which may help you in providing your feedback. You can also complete one of our short five minute online surveys.
Submissions close 22 September 2020.
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