I was involved in a fender-bender yesterday, and my car could not be driven home. This was in the city, so the KPD asked me if I had a wrecker preference. I said no, but I wanted to check with my insurance company before doing anything.
While on the phone with my insurance company, the wrecker pulled up and started attaching my car. I asked them to wait, as I was still on the phone with my insurance company. The officer told me I had to get the car off the road (about 10 minutes had expired by this time), and I was effectively bullied into using the wrecker.
About 5 minutes later, the insurance company told me the wrecker company was OK, and they should take it directly to the body shop. The wrecker said they wouldn't do that, they would only take it to their lot. I asked them to take it off the truck and my insurance company would find a wrecker that would. The KPD officer then became visibly agitated, and made a veiled threat "I've been really patient with you so far..." I said although I couldn't drive it home, I could drive it off the road into a parking lot and wait for my wrecker, but he said that was not an option, that it had to be on a wrecker NOW.
I spoke with the City this morning, and they said, yes, I have my choice, BUT the normal policy is that the road needs to be cleared in 30 minutes (this was Depot Ave on a Sunday afternoon, no other cars came by the whole time we were there, and there was plenty of space on the road for cars to get by- we were effectively in the roadside parking zone).
- Have your own tow company YOU prefer (and approved by your insurance company) handy and a card in your car, and call them right away. They only have 30 minutes to get there and get your car off, or else the city-called wrecker is going to take it. You don't have time to get through the insurance company Q&A and get your wrecker there in time. Plan ahead.
- When police offers asks if you have your own tow company preference, say yes the first time, and make that call in the first minute. Don't use theirs.
The whole situation was made very unnecessarily uncomfortable for everyone because of the rush to clear a seldom-used road that wasn't being blocked, and could have been cleared in 30 seconds by letting me drive into a nearby lot or just considering the car legally parked where it was.
(I could understand if this was I-40).
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