Round Rock wants to go from 30 towing companies to 1 for crashes

Round Rock PD’s plan to use one towing company met with criticism (KXAN Photo)
Round Rock PD’s plan to use one towing company met with criticism (KXAN Photo)

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — At their last meeting, the Round Rock City Council approved a change allowing the Round Rock Police Department to choose one towing company when responding to a crash. Currently, police pick one 30 companies from a rotating list.

Bulldog Recovery, LLC is one of those companies. Owner Patricia Diffee is worried one company won’t be enough.

“One company, I do not believe has the equipment and the manpower to be able to respond,” says Diffee.

In June, Round Rock police called two towing companies to help remove semi trucks on I-35 in Round Rock. It took about eight hours to clear the scene. Diffee fears even longer traffic backups, with fewer towing options.

“When we have these multiple car accidents, the freeway is closed, that means you’re not getting to where you need to go,” explains Diffee.

But Round Rock PD says working with one company could be faster. They say the current towing companies are taking too long to respond.

Another change is the towing company’s impound facility doesn’t have to be located in city limits anymore, it just has to be within 10 miles of Round Rock City Hall. Gregg Killingsworth, owner of Triton Towing Incorporated, says that could mean more of a hassle for drivers whose cars are towed.

“So now they’re going to have to go from Round Rock, south on I-35 or potentially north on 35 [for] 10 miles, pick up their belongings at this Vehicle Storage Facility and come back home,” Killingsworth said.

The police department is expected to end its rotation list in January 2017. However, Diffee and Killingsworth are expected to attend Thursday night’s city council meeting to ask council to reconsider.

Last year, the city of Austin simplified its towing process using “Auto-Return.”

Instead of only dealing with one company, the system streamlines the dispatching, towing and impounding of vehicles through several local companies. The process makes it easier to figure out where your car was taken.

The “Rush Hour Rapid Response Program” dispatches tow trucks to move disabled cars on major roads during peak travel times. Once a tow truck arrives, it will haul your car to the nearest parking lot for free.

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