Proposal could help prevent surprise high rates at parking garages

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — If you’ve ever fallen victim to surprise high rates at parking garages, a new bill in the state legislature could help.

New legislation aims to boost consumer safety when it comes to private parking garages.

“It seems like parking lot operators have in their business plan to make money off of towing people,” Sean Ryan, Assemblymember, said.

Ryan says the idea came as a result of what he calls “aggressive parking lot owners.”

He says they can have confusing signs and quick towing for people who go beyond the limit.

The bill would require owners to post in large letters the rate to park.

“A lot of times there’s bate and switches going on which leads to consumer confusion. You can’t change the amounts throughout the day unless there’s adequate notice, but it also provides a limit to the cost of towing and storage.”

Tow operators would have to be available 24 hours a day and take cash or credit cards.

“We’ve have multiple reports of people returning from an event to find that their car’s gone… only to find the operator and the operator is closed or says you have to come to my lot which is miles and miles away and you have to bring cash.”

Ryan’s bill would not permit vehicles to be towed more than 10 miles away.

Under the bill a tow and storage for up to three days could not exceed $125.
If the car is stored for four or more days they could charge an additional $15 per day.

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