COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 345, legislation sponsored by State Representative Don Jones (R-Freeport) that would allow the owner of a towing service or storage facility to obtain certifications of title to unclaimed motor vehicles ordered into storage by law enforcement.
During his floor speech, Jones cited the many instances when thousands of vehicles are ordered into storage by law enforcement and are abandoned. Under current law, local chiefs of police or county sheriffs are required, and solely responsible to spend time and resources to acquire the vehicles title and dispose of the vehicles they order into storage.
If a law enforcement entity does not process the title and follow through disposing of the vehicle, the towing and storage companies must keep the vehicles in their lots without end, with no recourse to dispose of the vehicle properly, or recover any cost associated with providing the public service of recovering, towing and storing the vehicle.
House Bill 345 would change these laws and create a process that enables towing and storage companies the ability to acquire the titles to these abandoned vehicles if the law enforcement entities decide not to process the vehicle – and deals directly and only with vehicles that are ordered into storage by law enforcement or public safety entities.
“This legislation ensures towing companies are accountable to the law enforcement entity that ordered the vehicle towed, further ensuring the vehicles are disposed of properly,” said Jones. “Working together with the bill’s supporters, our main objectives are to ensure the legislation does not infringe on the duties and responsibility of Ohio law enforcement entities, abandoned vehicles can be disposed of properly, and that the solution is agreeable to all interested parties.”
House Bill 345 passed with a vote of 81-12. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.
For more information, contact Rep Jones’s office at (614) 644-8728 or firstname.lastname@example.org