Ontario to restrict which tow companies can operate on highways in new pilot project

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TORONTO — Ontario is launching a pilot project that will restrict which tow companies can operate on some provincial highways in a bid to crack down on violence in the sector.

Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney says starting this summer the new tow zones will allow only a single company to operate within the areas, cutting down on dangerous practices like so-called “accident chasing.”

She says the pilot will last for two years and additional tow companies will only be able to operate within the zones with permission of provincial police or the government.

Mulroney says the government is also drafting legislation to further regulate the sector, including exploring licencing tow truck drivers.

The government says it will also form a joint task force to investigate criminal activity within the sector involving the OPP and municipal police services.

The province is making the changes following allegations of violent turf wars between organized criminal groups within the sector.