Claim: The state of Texas offers free towing services to stranded motorists.
Example:[Collected on the Internet, 2001]
Pass this on and have a safe holiday!
ATTENTION: This has had very little publicity. Texas drivers licenses have this number in small print on the back just above the bar code: 1-800-525-5555. It's for assistance on the highway. A service truck will be sent to you ... state run, paid for with your taxes. Whip out your driver license and look.
Origins: Apparently nothing can be stated so simply but that someone won't attempt to turn it into a free lunch.
Yes, Texas driver's licenses include a toll-free number that stranded motorists can call to receive roadside assistance. However, the towing service summoned by calling that hotline is not provided for free, nor is it paid for by taxes. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will dispatch tow trucks to drivers who call a toll-free number printed on state driver's licenses, but towing service is provided by contractors at the motorists' expense, not as a free service underwritten by state tax monies. The Texas DPS web page for their Stranded Motorist Hotline clearly explains this policy:
A toll-free number was established in 1989 to get help to motorists whose vehicles are disabled on state and federal roads in Texas. The number, 800-525-5555, is printed on the back of all Texas driver licenses and ID cards, and is for motorists to use when reporting a need for non-emergency assistance. It is not a substitute for 9-1-1 and it is not a Customer Service line to answer Driver License questions or other routine matters for other divisions of DPS. It is for motorists who have a legitimate need for assistance on Texas roadways. Despite what some e-mails say, motorists who call the toll-free number are not provided a free yearly tow or a free voucher for fuel.
Some states operate "courtesy patrols" (either state-funded or run by private companies) that monitor highways and try to render prompt assistance to distressed motorists, and local law enforcement agencies in Texas (and other states) might also dispatch one of these courtesy units in response to a call. However, although the services most often provided by courtesy patrols are generally offered free of charge, these services are usually limited in scope (e.g., refilling overheated radiators, changing flat tires), and more extensive roadside repairs and towing are again provided by contractors who charge motorists for their services.
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.