Council Committee To Discuss Towing Law's Impact
A County Council Committee tomorrow will hear how a recent state law against predatory towing has complicated matters in parking-strapped areas such as downtown Bethesda. Eric Friedman, director of the county's Office of Consumer Protection, has been a leading advocate against the practice of predatory towing — in which tow companies aggressively and in some cases illegally tow cars in private commercial lots to boost revenue. But since a new Maryland law curbing the practice went into effect on Oct. 1, there's been confusion about how Montgomery County's already stringent regulations are affected. Many parts of the state's law were already in place in Montgomery County. The county has asked the state for permission to allow its existing laws to apply rather than the new state law, according to a County Council press release today. The Public Safety Committee, which includes Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac), will hear from Friedman on Thursday morning. One effect of the new state law is a lawsuit from a local towing company against both the state and county, an issue that could come up during tomorrow's session.