Tow truck drivers causing hundreds of thousands in damage to cars in Boston

BOSTON (WHDH) - The bumper busted. Headlight smashed. The car crippled. But this was no crash.

The damage to this car and hundreds of others was caused by tow truck drivers working for the City of Boston.

“The damages is not coming from out of his pocket, it’s coming from out of my pocket as a taxpayer.” Sheilah Belin-Jones said.

Back in March, she parked her car on East Brookline Street in the South End. The city towed her for parking too close to a fire hydrant.

Belin-Jones got a surprise when she called the tow lot.

“A woman answered the phone and said, ‘Hey, yes, your car is here, but you’re not going to be able to drive your car home.'” she said. “I said, ‘What do you mean? I drove my car to work. What happened?’

The response she got: “Well, our tow driver backed into your car on our tow lot.”

I started crying. I was furious.

The damages cost $2,300 in damages, paid for in part by the city.

7’s Steve Tellier asked, “How do you think a tow truck driver could have caused that much damage?” Belin-Jones said, “Negligence. Recklessness. Not caring.”

7News obtained data that shows tow truck drivers who worked for the Boston Transportation Department caused at least $280,000 in damage to towed cars in the last decade.

That’s taxpayer money!

One tow driver has damaged 35 vehicles himself, cost the city nearly $40,000.

The Boston Transportation Department told 7News that it rarely damages towed cars.,

In a prepared statement, the department said, “Towing illegally parked vehicles that are compromising public safety is a crucial part of its job. BTD takes great care to safely tow vehicles and an extensive training process is in place for tow truck drivers.”

The city says none of its tow drivers have been or will be disciplined as a result of the damage they’ve caused.

Belin-Jones says that’s unacceptable.

“They need to do better. They need to do better,” she said.

The Boston Transportation Department says when one of its tow truck drivers does cause significant damage to a car, a supervisor reviews what happened with the driver, and sometimes the driver gets additional training as well.

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