Channel 19

Todd Dills

Now that’s a captive audience

| October 08, 2008

According to South Africa’s Independent Online, some tow truck drivers have resorted to a sort of “>captive marketing” (my words) to potential towees. Reporter Natasha Joseph writes, “Some of Cape Town’s tow truck drivers are almost certainly using sophisticated ‘cellphone jammers’ to ensure that [traffic] accident victims cannot contact other tow truck drivers or even emergency services.” Joseph’s report, which follows detective work done by the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre, includes confirmation of the practice from the national chair of the South African Towing and Recovery Association, who urged victims to report tow drivers engaging in the practice. There’s perhaps a simpler solution, though, as Joseph noted, in a recent Cape Town ARC newsletter: walk 30 yards away and try the signal again. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to or via phone at 205-907-2481.


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