ShareThis Page
Pittsburgh officials eye new towing rules in wake of shooting |

Pittsburgh officials eye new towing rules in wake of shooting

Megan Guza
| Friday, February 8, 2019 4:33 p.m

Pittsburgh officials hope to keep towing companies from competing with each other to reach crash sites by designating one towing for each of the city’s six police zones.

The announcement comes less than a week after a dispute between two tow truck drivers escalated to violence, with one driver going after the second with a baseball bat and the second responding by pulling a gun and shooting.

City officials said that the new proposal has been in the works for months and comes after a study by public safety officials, the Office of Management and Budget and Mayor Bill Peduto’s office.

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said tow truck drivers competing to reach crash scenes creates myriad problems.

“First, they are competing to get to the scene and therefore often speed and break traffic laws to get there first,” he said. “Second, as many as six tow trucks can show up for a single-vehicle crash, which adds to traffic congestion.”

He said he’s seen tow drivers get into arguments, meaning police on scene have to focus their efforts on breaking up fights instead of directing traffic or tending to victims.

“It’s not safe,” he said. “From a public safety perspective, the time has come for action.”

The proposal would set towing rates, require the companies to allow access to the tow pounds every day and require the pounds to be within two miles of the city border, according to city officials.

Drivers could call a different towing company if they so choose.

The city is seeking proposals from interested companies, which have until March 8 to respond.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.