SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers considered regulatory burdens on businesses alongside protections to vehicle owners as they debated a bill to require criminal background checks for tow truck operators.

HB393, sponsored by Rep. Cory Maloy, R-Lehi, also would establish a towing advisory board to work with the State Tax Commission and the departments of transportation and public safety to recommend towing rules.

"This bill will bring balance to towing throughout the state," Maloy said. "This bill will protect the person needing to be towed and the property owner needing to remove unwanted vehicles that prevent their customers access to their business."

The background check would be part of a statewide certification for tow operators, he said.

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"When you step into a background check on the basis of public safety, not all of the tow truck motor carriers are involved," said Lynn Christiansen, Davis County Towing Association president.

Christiansen listed towing for body shops, repair shops, wrecking yards and transport companies as operators that should not need background checks, saying they're different from companies that are used to repossess and impound vehicles.

Neil Schultz, president of the Ogden Weber Towing Association, spoke in general support of the bill after a recent 7-1 vote among towing associations.

The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously to send the bill to the House floor for further debate.

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