Haine auto theft task force State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) advanced a measure Friday that would protect citizens from excessive impound fees.

After reports of local municipalities charging as much as $500 for a tow release fee, Haine filed the legislation in an effort to bring fairness and efficiency to the process of redeeming vehicles.

“I am happy to see this measure receive such great support by my colleagues in the Senate. When this issue was brought to my attention, I knew it was important that we make sure protections are put in place for the people in our communities,” Haine said. “This bill would protect the people who are unable to move their cars due to unforeseeable circumstances. It is unreasonable to punish people with an excessive impound fee for things that are out of their control.”  

The measure would limit the administrative fee by a local government for impounded vehicles from exceeding the actual cost of services provided. It also prevents a vehicle from being impounded for illegal parking unless it has been there for more than 48 hours or the owner was unable to move the vehicle due to an emergency circumstance. Should attorney fees accrue due to the car being wrongfully impounded, they would be awarded by the county or municipality.  

The measure passed the Senate on Friday and now goes to the House for further consideration.  

Haine noted that due to the statewide complexity of the bill, the House will likely have more work to do on it.


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