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Patrol says wrecker companies gouging motorists

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RALEIGH — A North Carolina Highway Patrol spokesman says wrecker companies are taking advantage of desperate motorists and using the patrol to justify what he calls price gouging.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Sunday that the patrol tried to regulate fees through policies that set maximums for tow truck drivers. Capt. Everett Clendenin says the patrol needs to make the situation fair for citizens.

Tow companies turned to legislators to oppose the move. State senators are expected to vote on a bill this week blocking the patrol from setting prices.

Wrecking companies contract with the state to take calls from the Highway Patrol to clear wrecks and haul off abandoned vehicles. To settle the bills, tow companies deal directly with the vehicle’s owner. For some, those bills could reach $500.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A North Carolina Highway Patrol spokesman says wrecker companies are taking advantage of desperate motorists and using the patrol to justify what he calls price gouging.

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