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Archive April 2024

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TRAA's Election Results

The results from TRAA's 2024 election cycle are in! In case you missed the reading of the results at the conclusion of TRAA’s Annual General Membership Meeting on Friday, TRAA's newly elected Executive Cabinet members are:
  • President: William Johnson
  • 1st Vice-President: George Kuntz
  • 2nd Vice-President: James Jennings 
  • 3rd Vice-President: Jim Dusenberry
  • 4th Vice-President: Chad Yarbrough
  • Treasurer: Michael Wildman (incumbent)
  • Associate Member Representative: Linda Unruh (incumbent)
 
Thank you to every member who took the time to vote! Together we can continue doing the good work of representing the nation's towing and recovery industry on a federal level.

TRAA Leads Congressional Efforts to Oppose FTC Overreach on Towing Fee Regulation

Following a successful Hill Day where TRAA members conducted meetings with over 100 Members of Congress and their staff, TRAA has continued to lead Congressional efforts to oppose FMCSA’s baseless suggestion that the FTC include “predatory towing fees” as part of the rulemaking on Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices.

During our meetings, TRAA articulated why regulation of the towing industry and/or fees are outside the FTC’s jurisdiction. These reasons included:

Congress has already delegated regulation of towing practices and pricing – and it is not to the FTC. Under PL 113-159, Congress set all non-consent towing regulation to state and localities, and consensual towing [the vast majority of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) towing] to the FMCSA.

The FTC’s junk fee rule is aimed at protecting consumers, not the commercial trucking industry, and the FTC does not have the authority to regulate transportation policy. An FTC rulemaking under 15 U.S.C. § 57 that includes fees for towing, consensual or non-consensual, would subvert the will of Congress, which has already delegated to the states and FMCSA.
 
Most importantly, TRAA communicated that FMCSA’s suggestion to include all fees upfront is unrealistic given how a tow works. Requiring multiple towing operators to respond to the scene and provide competing quotes goes directly against Quick Clearance by significantly increasing the amount of time and number of responders on-scene. The unintended consequence would be a significant risk to public safety and to the lives of the responders required to stand on the side of the road while quotes are negotiated.

Congressional offices were very much in agreement with these points and agreed that direct dialogue between the towing industry and FMCSA is the best approach to addressing the concerns of FMCSA over transparency in towing fees. Accordingly, TRAA has asked Congress to include the below language in the FY25 appropriations bill, which the House and Senate will begin drafting later this month.

The Committee is aware of the Federal Trade Commission’s Proposed Rule on Unfair and Deceptive Fees. The Committee is also aware of recent efforts to include certain towing fees for commercial motor vehicles in this rule. Given the lack of evidence obtained by the Agency prior to publishing its draft Rule and the focus of the Rule on the individual consumer rather than commercial consumers, the Committee is concerned that the inclusion of towing fees in the Rule on Unfair and Deceptive Fees would be outside the scope of the Rule as submitted to Congress for review. The Committee instead supports the creation of a Department of Transportation-led task force to address transparency in towing fees as the agency with legislatively mandated authority to address the issue and industry expertise.

In addition, we are actively working with FMCSA on the proposed Tow Services Transparency Task Force and anticipate further updates on this effort in the not-too-distant future.

Want to support TRAA as we defend the industry? If so, donations to our Lobbyist Support Fund are greatly appreciated.

Contributors

Contributors

Who We Are

TRAA is the national association representing the U.S. towing and recovery industry. We act as the "voice of America's towing industry" by offering representation, education, and leadership at the federal level. Much of our focus is on representing the interests of the towing and recovery industry on Capitol Hill including promoting positive legislation and opposing potentially negative legislation. TRAA is the industry's watchdog on Capitol Hill!