New towing and parking regulations in Birmingham catching some backlash

Beginning in June, changes to regulations of parking and towing in the City of Birmingham will take effect.{}"For the first time in the city's history, we put regulations in place to regulate the cars being booted and towed. {}And to also regulate the prices," said Johnathan Austin, District 5 Councilman for Birmingham.{}The city council passed new ordinances{}Tuesday{}night aimed at protecting car owners. The council was flooded with complaints that towing and booting companies were preying on vehicle owners confused about parking rules.{}"The businesses were preying upon people who didn't even know that this lot could{}be a private lot," said Austin.{}Some tow truck owners say the new regulations, like a $65 per-day cap on booting cost and a $160 cap on towing expenses, aren't fair to businesses.{}"They come in and tell us as a business what we can charge when we have so much overhead each month, " said Richard H., the owner of a Birmingham towing company.{}Car owners complained to the city that they were forced to pay unusually high fees in order to get their vehicles back or the removal of boots.One towing company owner said he thinks the industry as a whole is fair. {}He says if people fail to follow posted signs, they have to pay the consequences.{}"Overall, this a fair industry," he said.{}Editor's Note: {}Richard H. did not want his name or the name of his company used in the article. {}He also said he's not defending his company against allegations of malicious activity because his company hasn't done anything wrong.{}