Sometimes its so hard to park in downtown Tucson that a private parking lot could look pretty tempting. That could leave you on the hook, as in the hook of a tow truck, and so many drivers say they feel theyve been treated unfairly that the City Council is talking about tightening up the rules for towing from private property.

Its a terrible feeling to go back to a parking space and find its an empty space and your car is gone. Tucson City Council says its had so many complaints that it can be too hard to find who towed the car; once its found you may face inflated fees to get it backand you could wait a long time for the tow company to even open the impound lot.

Anybody can buy a tow truck, anybody can do whatever they want. It’s just doing the right thing.

At Western American Towing and Transport, Ty Wildman says hes doing the right thing and hes frustrated by tow truck operators that exploit drivers with high fees and dishonest dealing.

He says unlike some towing companies, his trucks do not prowl around looking for cars to tow. They come when a property owner asks them to remove a car. Those locations have posted signs that make it clear where to retrieve the car and what fees will be.

He says that sort of towing protects the drivers at, say, an apartment complex.

When you pay for a reserved parking spot. You expect when you get home at 10 o’clock at night or wherever from a long day’s work. You want to be able to park in your spot. You come home and somebody else is parked there. You don’t want to park in the parking spot next to them because that’s somebody else’s spot. You don’t want to wrong, somebody else, after you’ve just been wronged. So if people can’t pay attention and do the right thing, then something needs to happen.

Here are the new rules Tucson City Council may impose:

The current draft of the ordinance proposes a maximum towing charge in line with what DPS allows for tows it ordersthats just under 185 dollars.

The maximum after hours fee would be fifty dollars and the maximum storage fee would be twenty-five dollars.

The no parking, tow-away warning signs would be standardized so they are easy to see and hard to miss. Those signs would list the towing company and its fees.

Tow trucks would need the land owners permission to tow,

Truck operators would need to take photos to prove a car was illegally parked.

The proposal would give towing companies an hour to report that theyve towed a car, and take no more than three hours to return the car to its documented owner.

Ty Wildman says that basically reflects what he already does. He says hed rather see Tucson do more to enforce existing state law against unscrupulous tow companies but he feels the companies who give towing a bad name do need some enforcement to straighten them out.