BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — New ordinances in the city of Birmingham will directly address companies that engage in predatory towing. Stiff fines are now in place for companies that prey on those who make use of downtown Birmingham parking lots.

The BCC passed two ordinances that are intended to make use of downtown Birmingham parking lots more clear and straightforward. Councilor Darrell O’Quinn calls the ordinance a relief.

”It’s a relief to finally get past the point of actually putting all of that effort and concentrating into an action that’s actually going to take effect and immediately address the concerns that people have been complaining about for years,” O’Quinn said.

Christina Argo with the Birmingham Department of Transportation says one of the major changes that the public will see is uniform signage that clears up confusion.

”It’s clear, the rates are posted, there are phone numbers and web addresses you can go to if you have any questions,” Argo said.

Marcus King and Steven Weil are two wrecker service operators who were instrumental in the crafting of the new ordinance. King hopes the council’s actions will root out the bad apples.

”I think it’s fair for people who are trying to do it the right way,” King said. “It’s probably unfair for someone who has been doing it the wrong way for a very long time, and I’m going to leave those companies nameless, but I think it’s going to change the way they do business.”

While the council admits Tuesday’s action does not address every towing challenge, Argo hopes their decision will ease the burden if you do find yourself being towed.

”If you do happen to get your car towed, you should have a very pleasant experience and one where you can request information and be treated professionally,” Argo said.

Lot owners have 60 days to make the changes to the uniform signs approved by the city of Birmingham.