The goal of the Traffic Incident Management System (TIMS) program (towing) is to provide safe, prompt and efficient removal of disabled vehicles from the right-of-way of designated major highways. Clearing the road in a timely manner promotes safety and eases frustrations that many people face when they drive in rush hour traffic.  Participating tow truck companies will remove a disabled vehicle to the nearest place of safety.  Should any concerns arise during the towing of a vehicle as part of the Rush Hour Rapid Response Program, a police officer will be dispatched to the scene to aid in the clearing if the road.

What are the TIMS (towing) program hours? 

The days/hours of operations of the TIMS program are: Monday through Friday (except legal holidays) between the hours of 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM and between the hours of 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. 

How do I request a TIMS tow? 

If your vehicle becomes disabled on a TIMS designated right-of-way during the days/times of the program, call 911 or 311 and request assistance.  To ensure the request is properly designated as a TIMS tow, mention that you believe the request fits the criteria for a TIMS tow. 

Is there a fee? 

A towing company may not charge the vehicle owner/operator a fee for removing a vehicle from the right-of-way to the nearest place of safety.  The towing company will charge the City of Austin for this service.


The tow truck driver will promptly remove the vehicle to the closest safe and appropriate location near the TIMS right-of-way.  TIMS right-of-way includes: Frontage roads of the designated roadways (including that roadway’s entrance/exit ramps) and major intersecting streets for a distance of 300 feet from the designated roadway. 


TIMS Program FAQ’s:

What should I do if the tow truck driver attempts to charge me? 

Contact the police department and request that an officer respond to the scene.  Explain the circumstances of the tow and your belief that it fits the criteria of a TIMS tow and allow the officer to make a final determination.

What is considered the “nearest place of safety”? 

A location chosen with regard to the following criteria: the age, physical or other condition of the vehicle owner, including whether the vehicle owner is accompanied by one or more minor children, the remoteness of the location, the proximity of authorities or persons who could render aid or assistance, the time of day, the weather conditions, the character of the location or surrounding neighborhood and the vehicle owner’s knowledge or familiarity with the location or surrounding neighborhood. (taken directly from the rules)

What should I do if I believe the tow truck driver/company violated law or city ordinance? 

If there is not a police officer on scene, call 311 and file a “Wrecker Violation” report.  Towing companies and tow truck drivers must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations – potential violations will be investigated.

What should I do if I believe the tow truck driver/company violated administrative rules? 

Towing companies and tow truck drivers must comply with state regulations, as outlined by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).  To file an administrative complaint, click here (link to complaint website).