So much for AAA

I’m surprised no one has commented on the new Safe Clear towing program around town yet. $75 to be hooked up and $1.50 per mile after the first 5 miles. How fantastical.

It’s great that Mayor White is trying to help clear congestion – it really is. But if I get a flat tire on a Saturday morning and a tow truck magically appears to waste my time and money I am going to be so beyond irritated.

Couldn’t this be in effect only during rush hour or something?

Incidentally, if you are an AAA member and are subject to a non-consent tow here’s how to get your money back.

1/09 edit: So now there’s a possibility for free tows for the poor? Will they ask for a paycheck stub or just look at how crappy your car is? You should write/call Bill White and tell him how much you love him.

5 Comments so far

  1. Hesam (unregistered) on January 5th, 2005 @ 6:42 pm

    Wow – scary. I was just about to write a post on this.

    It’s a good idea – but the implementation doesn’t appeal to me.

    If the cause of the incident is minor, such as a flat tire or vehicle that is out of gas, the vehicle will be towed to a position off the paved or main traveled part of the Highway or other place of safety, as directed by a law enforcement officer.

    If my car is on the side of the road because its out of gas and I’m waiting for my friend to show up to help me, it still gets towed? I have to pay $75 for them to tow it to a “safer location”?

    I personally view this as completely unnecessary. It almost seems as if someone is trying to make up new ways to generate revenue. Hmm..

  2. B Poirier (unregistered) on January 6th, 2005 @ 7:50 am

    Let’s do something about it.

    Everyday, take 10 minutes to pull over to the side f the road and activate your hazard lights. When a wrecker shows up, turn off your hazards and reneter the freeway.
    Repeat as often as you can.

    Let’s get the program cancelled by this protest.

  3. Ian (unregistered) on January 6th, 2005 @ 11:28 am

    I have to say, I disagree with all the negativity about this. Stopped vehicles on busy roads are very unsafe. I don’t know the statistics, but I would bet they cause a lot of accidents, especially on freeways.

    The solution, though, would be to just make it a free service and have the city pay for it out of taxes. I know, nobody wants more taxes, but the actual amount spent here isn’t going to hold a candle to other city programs already in place, and this one actually has a chance of improving quality of life. Work out the kinks, sure, but realize that by not doing it, a lot of lives may be lost.

  4. kevin whited (unregistered) on January 8th, 2005 @ 6:57 pm

    We already have a free program called MAP for motorist assistance. It’s been in place for years. It’s still in place. Very motorist friendly, very efficient. It’s not a towing program per se, but if towing is such a great need (funny, it wasn’t when Mayor Bill was running for mayor), then expand the successful MAP program.

    But that wouldn’t have created a new revenue stream for the city, via the fees the newly created wrecker oligopoly pays the city for the exclusive rights to perform this new “service” nobody previously thought we needed.

  5. Robert Brets (unregistered) on January 16th, 2005 @ 1:27 am

    In my humble opinion, the biggest problem with the city’s new mandatory towing policy is its utter inflexibility. It regards every situation as identical, and all times of the day as equal. Regrettably, like so many things about Houston, the rights of cars overide the rights of people. In other cities, there is first an attempt to render assistance and evaluate the situation. A little fine tuning of this policy is certainly in order and would result in greater public acceptance. The city needs to grow up and stop making rules which in their all-or-nothing aspect resemble the “club” rules concocted by middle school kids.

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