Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.B. No. 973
                                        S.D. 1

Honorable Norman Mizuguchi
President of the Senate
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committee on Transportation and Intergovernmental
Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 973 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this measure is to require tow truck
operators to comply with no-fault insurance requirements,
maintain insurance to cover all damage to a towed motor vehicle,
maintain a $15,000 bond, and affix the name of the tow operator
to the doors of all tow trucks.

     Testimony in favor of this measure was received from the
Hawaii State Towing Association.  Testimony in favor of the
intent of this measure was received from the Department of
Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Off Peak Towing.  Testimony
opposed to this measure was received from K&Y Chevron, and two

     Your Committee finds that greater protection is needed for
consumers when towing companies cause damage to vehicles in their
possession.  Towing firms need to be accountable for property in
their care, custody, and control, as well as properly identifying
their vehicles.

     Your Committee adopted the recommendation of the Department
of Commerce and Consumer Affairs by deleting the requirement that
tow operators post a $15,000 bond and adding a new provision to

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                                   STAND. COM. REP. NO. 285
                                   Page 2

prohibit uninsured tow operators from collecting charges and to
allow injured persons to sue such tow operators.

     The new provision allows consumers to file a private cause
of action if damage occurs to a towed motor vehicle while being
towed and stored by the towing business.  Additionally, the court
is allowed to award the plaintiff a sum of not less than $1,000
or threefold damages sustained by the plaintiff, whichever is
greater, and reasonable attorneys fees together with the costs of

     The bond requirement is being deleted from this measure
because the cost of administering such a bonding requirement
would likely outweigh the benefit to a particular consumer.  A
bond requirement would be particularly problematic for the
department of commerce and consumer affairs, since the bond would
be unrelated to any regulated profession.  Your Committee also
finds that a bond would be of negligible benefit to consumers,
since an action on the bond would still be required to obtain
payment, and claims would be limited to those consumers whose
personal possessions were lost or stolen from the towed vehicle.

     In addition, your Committee finds that requiring towing
companies to display their address on the towing vehicle raises
privacy and safety concerns because many tow companies are
home-based businesses.  Therefore, your Committee has deleted
that requirement.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Transportation and Intergovernmental Affairs that is
attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the
intent and purpose of S.B. No. 973, as amended herein, and
recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached
hereto as S.B. No. 973, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee
on Commerce and Consumer Protection.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Transportation
                                   and Intergovernmental Affairs,

                                   CAL KAWAMOTO, Chair

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