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10 days remain and only 380 Bills!

With only 10 days remaining, only 380 bills have gone through the entire process and are on the Governor’s desk.  The last time the Texas Legislature passed fewer was in the 1800s.  We filed several bills, but it was really a session that was weighted toward killing bills.

This session, we tracked 80 bills that could have had an impact on the towing and storage industry.   Below are some of which we were actively involved.

HB 61 by James White relating to the use of certain lighting equipment on escort flag vehicles.  While this bill was centered around escort flag vehicles and the lights they use during the course of their work the changes made to this bill will also allow for tow trucks to use amber and blue lights.  We worked with the Texas Municipal Police Association on this measure, and our member Geoff Nienstedt worked hard with local law enforcement officials to gain support in allowing tow truck drivers to use blue lights.  HB 61 was signed by the Governor on May 7th and will become law on September 1, 2019.

HB 625 by Neave relating to notice and request for a hearing regarding a vehicle that has been towed or booted, would have allowed a person to submit a written request for a hearing concerning a towed car within 60 days of the date the vehicle was towed, excluding weekends and holidays, provided that the vehicle that had been released from the vehicle storage facility to which it was towed within 20 days.  We know what you are thinking.  That is extremely convoluted and doesn’t make much sense.  Southwest Tow Operators opposed this bill in committee and member, Tasha Mora, testified in opposition to the bill.

HB 626 by Neave relating to notice of a person’s right to a hearing placed on a sign prohibiting unauthorized vehicles on a parking facility.  Southwest Tow Operators legislative team worked to oppose this bill.  The bill never received a hearing.

HB 1140 by Tracy King relates to fees for vehicles stored at vehicle storage facilities; authorizing fee increases and decreases; eliminating a fee; eliminating a minimum fee.  Southwest Tow Operators was very supportive of this measure as it moved through the process.  HB 1140 would allow TDLR to adjust the storage fee for impounded vehicles.  This bill was passed out of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee today and will be heading to the full Senate for debate and final passage. 

HB 2807 by Guillen relating to regulation and liability of certain vehicles on a highway.  Representative Guillen filed this bill on behalf of Southwest Tow Operators.  HB 2807 would have changed the penalties for move over violations.  This bill was heard in the House Licensing and Administration Committee but was faced by opposition in the Local Calendar Committee by some members.  Representative Guillen amended the language on one of his other bills, but that bill died in the Senate, unfortunately.

The legislative session will conclude on Memorial Day, but our work does not end there.  We will set our agenda for the next 18 months so that we will be ready to fill bills in the next session. 

Southwest Tow Operators will continue to work hard on your behalf in Austin. 

FMCSA Under 21 Interstate Driver Pilot Program non-military

Today, May 15th, 2019 Administrator Ray Martinez with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published notice in the Federal Register under Docket Number FMCSA-2018-0346 seeking comments on a new pilot program to allow drivers under 21 years old to operate in Interstate Commerce. This proposal is in addition to the current under 21 pilot program for drivers with military experience.

Comments are due no later than July 15th, 2019 and may be submitted in any of the below

• Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

• Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

• Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

• Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

This proposal will help small towing operations by allowing for younger drivers to enter the towing industry before they chose other career paths. This is especially important for family owned companies that want the next generation to be able to legally operate unrestricted.
Please submit your comments in support, or opposition to this pilot program as soon as possible.

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FMCSA-2018-0346-0001

Brian J. Riker, President
Fleet Compliance Solutions, LLC

Our Move Over Bill, HB 2807, is stalled

Our Move Over Bill, HB 2807, is stalled in the Calendars Committee. We need your help to get it set on the House Local and Consent Calendar ASAP! 
 
Please take a few minutes and call the following committee members TODAY and tell them:
 
HB 2807 increases penalties for anyone who violates the Move Over Act for law enforcement, TxDOT workers, Fire, EMS, and Tow Trucks.  With the huge increase in the number of first responders who have been struck and injured or killed, it is important to change these penalties to deter drivers from driving recklessly.  Please vote to set HB 2807 on the House Local and Consent Calendar.  Thank you.
 
Please share this on Facebook. There is strength in numbers!  Please comment back when you have completed your calls! Thank you

Position Member District Area Phone
Chair: Rep. Geanie W. Morrison 30 Victoria 512-463-0456
Vice Chair: Rep. Mary E. González 75 San Elizario 512-463-0613
Members: Rep. Diego Bernal 123 San Antonio 512-463-0532
  Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers 113 Rowlett 512-463-0464
  Rep. Brad Buckley 54 Salado 512-463-0684
  Rep. Cody Harris 8 Corsicana 512-463-0730
  Rep. Cole Hefner 5 Mt. Pleasant 512-463-0271
  Rep. Armando Martinez 39 Weslaco 512-463-0530
  Rep. Mayes Middleton 23 Galveston 512-463-0502
  Rep. Drew Springer 68 Gainesville 512-463-0526
  Rep. Armando Walle 140 Houston 512-463-0924

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Mach1 is the first on-demand app to truly automate & digitize the roadside assistance industry. Our patent-pending process is changing the way roadside assistance gets done, making it easier, faster, and more cost-effective for both customers and providers. We've built an automated platform that automatically dispatches the closest service provider to you, getting you help fast, right when you need it most. You can order roadside assistance without membership fees and you'll have the reassurance that your provider has been background checked and safety certified before they help. For more information please visit: www.mach1services.com.

 

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Questions? Call Service Provider support at: (210) 503-5880 or info@mach1services.com

Move Over Law Bill!

Please Support the Move Over Law Bill - Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 8:00AM - At the Texas State Capitol

HB 2807 – Guillen
Relating to regulation and liability of certain vehicles on a highway; increasing the criminal penalty.  This Tuesday, March 26, at 8:00 a.m. Room E2.028 at the Texas State Capitol. Please be there to support the Move Over Law Bill.
 
We need members to attend the hearing and sign up in support of the bill. You must go to the capital to sign up to support the bill.
 
Tasha Mora, from A & A Wrecker & Recovery and Southwest Tow Operators' Legislative Co-Chair will be testifying on behalf of Southwest Tow Operators. Geoffrey Nienstedt, from Roadrunner Towing Service will also testify. This is another important bill this session.

Contact Info

  • Southwest Tow Operators
  • 660 N Central Expressway, Suite 230
  • Plano, Texas 75074
  • Toll Free: (866) 320-9300

Important Messages

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