Tow truck operators fined for licence breaches
Two tow truck operators have been fined a total of $23,000 and ordered to pay $34,877 in costs after being found guilty of offences arising from their partnership operating a Blacktown towing business trading as Westside Towing Services.
Steven Borg was convicted on 24 charges, fined $11,800 and ordered to pay $19,727.50 in costs. Tyrone Lepore was convicted on 14 charges, fined $11,200 and ordered to pay $15,149.50 in costs.
Both men were charged with offences including contravening conditions of the licence they held under the Tow Truck Industry Act 1998, employing a person as a tow truck driver who was not a certified driver and not producing records when required to do so by the NSW Fair Trading Tow Truck Investigation unit.
Mr Borg was charged with additional offences relating to towing authorisations and soliciting for repair work at the scene of an incident.
The offences occurred between September 2018 and June 2020 and were investigated by NSW Fair Trading’s Tow Truck Investigation and Australian Consumer Law units in response to complaints.
NSW Fair Trading Director of Investigations and Operations Stephen French said consumers should exercise caution when tow trucks arrived at the scene of an incident.
“Motorists involved in incidents can refuse the services of a tow truck company for any reason,” Mr French said.
“The first tow truck on the scene does not have the right to tow away the vehicle. “If possible, motorists should contact their insurance company before signing a towing authorisation form as it may offer a service organising a tow.
“Motorists can also ask for their vehicle to be towed to any location, such as their home, and need not agree to having their vehicle towed to a particular repair shop.
“NSW Fair Trading’s Tow Truck Investigation unit continues to closely monitor tow truck operators to ensure they are doing the right thing.”
Mr Borg was convicted in the Blacktown Local Court on 1 November 2021 and has a right of appeal. Mr Lepore was convicted in Blacktown Local Court on 29 July 2021.