Illinois Towing Industry Under Attack

A Bill Has Been Introduced Which Would Require

Any Stolen Vehicle to be Towed for FREE!!

To Help Fight This Bill Read Article to the End!!

Senate Bill 2654/HB 4267, which is now under consideration in the Illinois General Assembly, would amend Section 4-203 of the Illinois Vehicle Code to prohibit a towing service from collecting towing or storage fees if a timely stolen vehicle report has been filed. To begin with, under SB 2654/HB 4267, as presently written, every owner of a vehicle towed under authorization from law enforcement who files a stolen vehicle report when he/she becomes aware of the tow would be entitled to get the vehicle back free.

Since Section 4-203 also governs relocation of trespassing vehicles from private property outside of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will and Winnebago Counties (which are subject to Chapter 18a), any person whose vehicle was relocated in most of the State of Illinois who files a stolen vehicle report when he/she becomes aware of the tow would likewise be entitled to get the vehicle back free. Nevertheless, the towing service that performed a public service without compensation could still be sued in connection with the tow.

As you know, if a towing service cannot charge for a tow, it has no lien to secure its right to payment for the tow.  If SB 2654/HB 4267 becomes law, and the owner of the vehicle who reported it stolen fails to pick up the vehicle, the towing service could never lawfully dispose of it.

The plight of persons whose vehicles are stolen and who have to pay towing and storage fees to get the vehicle back is serious.

So would be the plight of law enforcement agencies, and towing services who work with law enforcement agencies to recover stolen vehicles, if SB 2654/HB 4267 becomes law.  How many law enforcement agencies would be unable to find towing services willing to assist in the recovery of a reportedly stolen vehicle for free?  How many downstate businesses would be able to have trespassing vehicles, which interfere with the operation of their small businesses, removed for free?  If a towing service does provide these services for free, it would have to raise its rates for other tows at a time when the public outcry over towing rates is already loud.

No other industry that provides an essential service to law enforcement or small businesses is expected to provide such public service without compensation.

PTROI continues to work with the sponsor and other members of the General Assembly to find common ground and serve the interests of all of the effected public.

We urge you to contact your State Senator and Representative and explain how SB 2654/HB 4267 would impact your business and other businesses in your District.

You should also do an electronic ballot.

To our members, we will email you directions to do an electronic ballot when necessary.

To non-members give us a call to get on our email list for this ballot so we can all stop this bill. Call us at 800-286-0519.

To non-members, you should consider joining our association as the first thing legislators ask us is how many companies we have on our membership list. It would also defray the expense of this fight.

Below is the link to identify your senator. Just enter your address.

Illinois Senate | Illinois Policy

Professional Towing & Recovery Operators of Illinois

Bruce A. Pedigo, President

Mike Depoister, First Vice President

Wes Kochel, Second Vice President




News Legislation Member Benefits

Illinois Legislature to Look at Overcharging by Rogue Towers

I do not know how many of you have heard, but the State of Illinois is discussing ways to correct the practice of overcharging for tows. Below is a TV report on the ways in which one company overcharges. There was also a company in the Lasalle area that overcharged for a police tow. It was a heavy-duty recovery that priced out as $221,000.00. Yep, that was two hundred twenty-one thousand dollars.

While there are more than two companies in the state that overcharge, the vast majority of towers are reasonable with their rates, pricing to make a living, but not hurt anyone. Note that neither of these companies are PTROI members. One of them, we even spent a bunch of money to keep out. Click here for more.


FMSCA Hours of Service Revisions take effect on September 29, 2020. Federal Motor Carrier has passed new HOS revisions that appear to be more flexible for CDL operators. For more, click here

Illinois Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Law takes effect on January 1, 2021.  This is the most recent update. This new law states that every employee in the state of Illinois must have this training. The PTROI has, on this website, the Illinois Department of Human Resources model training PDF presentation. This is free and is said to take about 30 minutes.  For more, click here.

         Chicago Passes Licensing Law for Tow Trucks

The City of Chicago has passed an ordinance that will require licensing of all tow trucks. This is being done to fight wreckchasers. The PTROI has vehemently opposed this at considerable cost because, in our opinion, the law-abiding towers will be punished for the wrongs of a few. We had been making decent progress on this law, but at that last moment Chicago did what it wanted to do with no regard for the honest towers. We were told early on by Alderman Villegas that this was not a money deal, but now it appears that it is a money deal. The licensing fee will be $250.00 per truck and up to $750.00 per yard. We will be having zone meetings soon to try to get everyone up to date on the ordinance and it’s particulars. To view the ordinance click here.

Melanie Wishard Wins PTROI Scholarship

Melanie Wishard, whose parents own AtoZ Towing in Loves Park is the winner of this years PTROI Scholarship award. She currently attending Loyola University as she studies to become a physician’s assistant. She expects to graduate in 2024. Our congratulations go out to Melanie!!

The scholarship is open to immediate family members of PTROI members and is awarded in October at the meeting at Lynch-Chicago.




  1. Education and Training: As a #1 Priority the PTROI covers a wide range of topics from operating a tow truck to managing a business profitably to handling the stress of the day to day operations of a towing company.  Through training schools and seminars the tower is kept up to date on knowledge of current laws that pertain to the industry. Click here for more.

PTROI Treasurer Dana Bernagye Wins Big Ed Award.

Our congratulations go out to Dana Bernagye, the PTROI Treasurer, for winning the Big Ed Award. The Big Ed Award was  named after Ed Batson, a PTROI member that passed away many years ago. While Ed was alive he was an active member of the PTROI. When he passed away, he left his gun collection to the PTROI. The gun collection was sold and funds were used to keep the fledging PTROI finances in good order. This award goes out annually to the person that most exemplifies both PTROI and community involvement. Congratulations Dana!!

2022 PTROI Award Winners 







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