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Understanding the Tow Sign

Road signage laws can vary from state to state. However, it is important to familiarize yourself with the basics for safety purposes. Following these tips can help you recognize and comply with sign regulations, which can help you avoid potential legal consequences.

Sign Regulations
Before posting any towing signs, it is recommended that you contact your local police department to ensure you are complying with the laws in your neighborhood. However, some rules are consistent with most states. For example, the tow sign must state the exceptions to who is permitted to park there, for instance, residents, customers, employees, etc. The sign is also required to have a State’s Vehicle Code that authorizes towing. Contact information for the towing company must also be on the sign, as well as a statement mentioning that the vehicle towing is at the owner’s expense.

Sign Details
Towing signs can be purchased in a wide range of colors, sizes, and styles. Ideal signs are made from a minimum of .080 aluminum for durability. Reflective lettering can help motorists locate the signs in the dark or harsh weather conditions. Words should be in a readable font with large letters, no less than one inch in height. The tow sign should be posted at average eye level, easily visible and preferably against a contrasting background and in a well-lit area. It is illegal to post a towing sign on the property that you do not own.

When to Tow
Towing a car without owner’s consent can lead to fines. However, if you are following all of the above recommendations and municipal regulations, and a vehicle parks in a tow zone, there a few initial questions to ask:

 * Is the vehicle unregistered?
 * Is the vehicle abandoned?
 * Is the vehicle parked in handicapped space?
 * Is the vehicle blocking traffic or in a fire lane?

If the answer to one or more of the above questions is yes, then the vehicle can be towed without the owner’s consent. If your tow sign has the towing company telephone number and information as it should, then the driver will be able to locate his or her vehicle.

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