Friday, June 6, 2008

NO Road Tax!

The price of oil has surged to another record high. It is now selling for over $138 a barrel and high gas prices continue to fuel problems for Green Country drivers.

The News On 6's Chris Wright reports some are even choosing to abandon their cars. With gas prices now averaging $3.74 a gallon in Tulsa, driving is simply no longer an option for some people.

Local towing services say that unfortunately, business is booming.

Until recently, when Michael Townshend went out on a call, it was usually because someone had a flat tire or had been involved in a fender-bender. But these days, it's often to pick up an abandoned car.

"We get a call to come tow the car because they can't afford to put gas in their car," said Michael Townshend of Allied Trucking.

The cars then end up on the lot at Jim Rice's Allied Towing. Some of the cars are in perfectly good condition; they just recently ran out of fuel.

Rice says because the owners can't afford gas, they definitely can't afford to pay several hundred dollars to get their vehicles out of impound.

"It breaks your heart, you want to help them, but we have a fixed overhead going out picking these cars up, so we have to charge them what the state requires us to charge," said Rice.

The phone is ringing off the hook these days at Allied, but it's not just the unfortunate who are stranded.

Rice says some drivers are even taking advantage of their AAA membership and opting for a free tow over paying to fill up.

"They get way out to Bartlesville or somewhere and figure I can get my car towed back and don't have to buy the gas, and some of them can't buy the gas," said Rice.

As drivers continue to struggle to fuel up, Rice expects his lot to keep filling up.

"It's just the times we live in, and it's not good and we're all having to deal with it," said Rice.

Rice claims Allied is not exactly benefiting from all the new business. He says that's because his fuel costs have doubled in the past six months.

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