ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.
Trooper Steve on Thursday was asked, “I think my car was towed. How do I find out if it was?”
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According to Trooper Steve, a good way to avoid the time-consuming frustration of retrieving your car from a towing company is to not get towed in the first place. This can be done by not parking in areas with strict rules or, if that’s the only option available, following said rules.
“Parking your vehicle in an area where you know it will be when you come back out is part of the key to not having your vehicle towed,” he said. “Whenever out and about, you should always ensure you’re parking in an area that is not governed by specific parking rules. If you’re not aware of these rules, your vehicle could be subject to being towed.”
In a situation where your vehicle is gone but you know it wasn’t stolen, Trooper Steve encouraged a look around for signage indicating a tow company.
“If an area is patrolled by a specific towing company, their signs are required to be posted by law,” he said. “Tow companies are required to answer their phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on holidays. They are required to explain to you what documents would be needed in order to retrieve your vehicle and the exact charge. A towed vehicle can be picked up within one hour of the request.”
But, what do you do if your car is gone and you can’t determine if it was stolen or towed? You ask, he said.
“You should contact the local non-emergency phone number for your county’s sheriff’s office,” Trooper Steve said. “A tow company is required to notify the sheriff’s office within 30 minutes after they have delivered your vehicle to their storage facility.”
Ultimately, returning to the moral of today’s tips, Trooper Steve said that “having the situational awareness and knowing where and where not to park will ultimately prevent your car from being towed.”
Here are non-emergency numbers for sheriff’s offices in the following Central Florida counties:
- Marion (352) 732-8181
- Sumter (352) 569-1600
- Seminole (407) 665-6650
- Volusia (386) 736-5961
- Orange (407) 254-7000
- Brevard (321) 264-5201
- Lake (352) 343-2101
- Osceola (407) 348-1100
- Flagler (386) 437-4116
[VIDEO BELOW: Previous ‘Ask Trooper Steve’ question asks how much a driver’s license costs in Florida]