North Carolina's Legislature has passed new rules reining in abusive tow truck operators.
The state Senate voted 45-2 for consumer protection standards for most of the state's major urban areas and Dare, Richmond, and Robeson counties. The measure now goes to Gov. Beverly Perdue for consideration.
The law requires parking lots that tow away unauthorized vehicles to post a 2-by-2 foot sign with the name and phone number of its towing company. Tow-truck operators couldn't haul cars more than 25 miles away.
Car owners could pay to collect their vehicle without giving up the right to contest the charges later and towing companies couldn't force car owners to sign away their right to go to court to get their vehicle.