Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2015


RE:   S.B. No. 16

      S.D. 2

      H.D. 1





Honorable Joseph M. Souki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Transportation, to which was referred S.B. No. 16, S.D. 2, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to clarify the scope and application of existing consumer protections related to towing of unattended vehicles by:


     (1)  Clarifying the circumstances under which a tow truck operator is required to release a vehicle that has already been hooked up to the tow truck to its owner or driver; and


     (2)  Applying requirements for release of a vehicle, notification, and compensation to drivers of rented or borrowed vehicles.


     The Office of Consumer Protection and Honolulu Police Department testified in support of this measure.  A concerned individual testified in opposition to this measure.  The Finance Department of the County of Hawaii, Ace Towing Service, and Waialae Towing provided comments.
     Hawaii's law regulating towing was initially established in 1973, and has since been amended numerous times.  Unfortunately, these numerous amendments have led to confusion and unintended consequences.  Your Committee finds that the existing law is in need of clarification regarding when a hookup of a vehicle by a towing company occurs, what constitutes the scene from which a tow is initiated, and who is the vehicle owner entitled to benefit from existing consumer protections.  This measure clarifies the rights of vehicle owners and drivers and the duties of tow companies.  Your Committee finds that this measure should reduce confusion and diminish the number of disputes related to towing unattended vehicles from private or public property.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by clarifying that a "vehicle owner" includes any person in lawful possession of the key or remote keyless ignition system to the vehicle.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Transportation that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 16, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 16, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Transportation,