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New law protects drivers from predatory car booting

The General Assembly recently approved legislation that streamlines Tennessee’s towing code and provides protections for drivers against car booting. 

House Bill 1731, also known as the Modernization of Towing, Immobilization and Oversight Normalization (MOTION) Act, restricts unlicensed individuals from booting vehicles in Tennessee. It also caps removal fees at $75 for commercial parking lots and offers drivers other guarantees against unfair booting and towing.

“This is a consumer protection bill that will ensure Tennesseans aren’t being exploited,” said bill sponsor State Rep. Jake McCalmon, R-Franklin. “I’ve heard several stories around the state of a few bad apples taking advantage of drivers when there’s a more efficient and cost-effective solution than booting or towing a vehicle. The MOTION Act ensures Tennessee drivers are being treated with the respect they deserve.”

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The legislation prohibits commercial parking lot owners from booting vehicles if the vehicle is not abandoned, immobile or unattended. It also prohibits lot owners from using automatic license plate readers without proper signage and from charging penalties for non-payment of parking fees if certain conditions have been met.

House Bill 1731 ensures no vehicle is booted without a licensed parking attendant present and available to remove the boot within 45 minutes of a driver’s call. It also ensures tow operators release a vehicle if the driver pays a fee before the car in question leaves the lot. 

The legislation will now head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

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