In 2005, the City of Dallas assembled a list of hot spots (14 major highways, expressways and freeways) to which emergency wreckers were to provide "rapid response" in case of an accident (Page 41, if you must). And since at least 2007, Dallas Police and the Dallas County Sheriff's Department have been trying to get tow trucks to those accident scenes in 15 minutes, give or take, to reduce the post-pile-up problems. In '07, DPD reported that 36 officers had been injured or killed since 2002 responding to accidents. But one thing hasn't changed since 2001: How much folks pay emergency wreckers to haul off their heaps following crash-em-ups.
That's something the Dallas City Council's Transportation and Environment Committee will take up this afternoon in advance of the issue going before council on Wednesday -- upping the rate for emergency wreckers dispatched to remove "wrecked, disabled and illegally parked vehicles from public streets and property." Right now, it'll run you about $95 -- which is the cheapest price among Texas cities surveyed. (In Austin, the cost is $150; it runs $135 in Fort Worth.) The city wants to up the minimum to $121, which makes the Greater Dallas Emergency Wrecker Association very happy. The city also wants to tack on a rule disallowing drivers from wearing cut-offs, tank tops and sandals while on duty. Hey, I don't go down to City Hall and tell you how to dress.