Borough of Baldwin, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Baldwin 5-23-1966 by Ord. No. 322. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Vehicle and traffic regulations — See Ch. 157.

§ 157-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONED VEHICLE
Any vehicle in such a state of disrepair as to be incapable of being moved under its own power or with any tire missing or without a wheel or wheels or with any window broken or missing or in a dismantled condition or without current license plates or without a current inspection sticker, which vehicle has not been moved or used for more than seven consecutive days. In the case of any such vehicle bearing current license plates, the seven-day period shall commence only when the Department of Police has sent, by registered mail, notice to the registered owner stating that the vehicle, if not immediately moved, shall be deemed to be abandoned.
VEHICLES
All automobiles, tractors, trucks, truck-tractors, truck trailers and other motor vehicles of any kind.
WHEEL LOCK
A device consisting of metal clamps or jaws and a padlocking device which, when attached to the wheel of a motor vehicle, prevents the vehicle from being driven.
[Added 7-21-1997 by Ord. No. 712]

§ 157-2 Abandoned vehicles prohibited.

No person, association, partnership or corporation shall abandon vehicles or place an abandoned vehicle on any public street or way or upon any other public or private property within the Borough of Baldwin.

§ 157-3 Designation of storage garages.

The Mayor is hereby authorized and directed to designate a storage garage or garages, subject to the approval of the Borough Council, to be operated by the Police Department as an official vehicle pound or pounds to which vehicles impounded as hereinafter provided shall be removed.

§ 157-4 Bond required.

Any garage designated, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, as a pound shall furnish a bond in favor of the Borough of Baldwin in the amount of $10,000 indemnifying the owner of such impounded vehicle against the loss thereof, or injury or damage thereto, while in the custody of such poundkeeper.

§ 157-5 Notice to owners.

Any vehicle bearing current license plates and a current inspection sticker, regardless of its condition, shall be deemed an abandoned vehicle, where it is not used or moved for a period of 30 consecutive days after the Department of Police has sent registered mail notice to the registered owner stating that the vehicle, if not immediately moved, shall be deemed to be abandoned.

§ 157-6 Presumption of ownership.

Where the party abandoning the vehicle cannot be ascertained, then the Department of Police shall presume that the last owner, whether an individual person, association, partnership or corporation, registered with the Department of Revenue of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or similar department of any other state or territory or with any department of the United States or other nation, is the party guilty of the violation and is subject to the penalties prescribed in this chapter unless proof to the contrary is presented; however, this provision shall not apply to those persons, partnerships, associations or corporations who hold title to a vehicle solely as security under finance purchase agreements or as security for loans, and in such cases, the Department of Police shall presume that the party having control and custody of the vehicle under the finance or loan agreement is the party guilty of the violation and is subject to the penalties prescribed in this chapter, unless proof to the contrary is presented.

§ 157-7 Removal of vehicles.

When any vehicle shall be found wrecked, abandoned or parked in violation of laws and ordinances now or hereinafter in force or shall be seized, such vehicle shall be removed either by Borough-operated towing equipment or by a contract tower upon the authorization of the Chief of Police to a designated storage garage operated as a pound pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 157-8 Report and notice of impoundment.

A person removing or directing the removal of any vehicle shall immediately make a report thereof to the Chief of Police giving the registration number and location of the pound to which the vehicle has been removed and the reason for its removal and, within 12 hours from the time of removal, provided that the vehicle has not already been released from the pound, the Chief of Police shall notify the owner of record of such vehicle by registered mail that the same has been impounded, designating the place from which such vehicle was removed, the reason for its removal and impounding and the pound in which it has been impounded.

§ 157-9 Record of impounded vehicles.

The Chief of Police shall keep a record of all vehicles impounded and be able at all times to furnish the owners or agents thereof with information as to the place of impounding.

§ 157-10 Redemption of impounded vehicles.

Before the owner or his agent shall be permitted to remove an impounded vehicle from a designated pound he shall:
A. 
Pay the duly authorized agent of the Borough Treasurer at the location of the pound a fee of $12 to cover the administrative cost of the operation of the pound.
B. 
Pay the towing charges incurred.
C. 
If the vehicle has been impounded in the garage for a period longer than five hours, pay $1 per day or fraction thereof. This storage charge is in addition to the administrative charge referred to in Subsection A.
D. 
Secure from such duly authorized agent of the Borough Treasurer a certified release in duplicate, such release indicating whether or not the payments were made under protest. The agent of the Borough Treasurer shall retain the original release and, upon proper identification and ownership by the owner or his agent, said vehicle shall be released to him.
E. 
Sign a receipt for such vehicle.

§ 157-11 Payment of charges.

The payment of towing and storage charges shall not operate to relieve the owner from liability for any fine or penalty for violation of any law or ordinance on account of which the vehicle was impounded, and provided, further, that payments of such charges, unless made under protest, shall be final and conclusive and shall constitute a waiver of any right to recover the money so paid.

§ 157-12 Hearings.

In the event that towing and impounding charges are paid under protest, the offender shall be entitled to a hearing before a District Justice having jurisdiction, in which case the defendant shall be proceeded against and receive such notice as is provided by the Vehicle Code in other cases of summary offenses and shall have the same rights as to appeal and waiver of hearing. If the District Justice shall, in accordance with law, acquit the defendant, the Justice shall forthwith certify to the Borough Treasurer the facts, and the Borough Treasurer shall, within five days, refund to the defendant the amount of said towing and storage charges paid by him or in his behalf.

§ 157-13 Towing notice.

The person removing or directing the removal of any vehicle under the provisions of this chapter shall affix securely a towing notice form in a prominent place on such vehicle, such form to bear the license number of the vehicle, the date, time, place and nature of the violation, and the name or identifying badge number of the person removing or directing the removal of the vehicle.

§ 157-14 Towing receipt form.

For the purpose of ascertaining any damage to the vehicle which may have occurred while in the custody of the poundkeeper, the person removing or directing the removal of any vehicle to the pound under the provisions of this chapter shall affix securely thereto and in a prominent place thereon a towing receipt form; such form to bear a schedule of obvious or apparent damage to said vehicle and any other additional information that may be deemed necessary.

§ 157-15 Violations and penalties; enforcement.

[Amended 12-19-1985 by Ord. No. 566]
Any person, partnership, association or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon judgment of the District Justice having jurisdiction to determine such violation, be subject to a fine not exceeding $300 and costs for each offense or imprisonment in the Allegheny County Jail or Allegheny County Work House for a period not exceeding 30 days. A separate offense shall be deemed to have been committed on each calendar day during or on which the violation occurs or continues. In the case of associations and partnerships, the penalty may be imposed upon the members or partners thereof and, in the case of corporations, upon the officers thereof.
A. 
Any vehicle having five or more unpaid summonses issued against it within an eighteen-month period, charging that such vehicle was parked, stopped or standing in violation of the Motor Vehicle Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any other traffic ordinance or regulation of the Borough of Baldwin, is deemed to be a public nuisance, and the Police Department of the Borough of Baldwin or any police officer of the Borough of Baldwin, or any other agent assigned by the Borough of Baldwin to traffic duty, is hereby authorized to:
[Added 7-21-1997 by Ord. No. 712]
(1) 
Remove such vehicle or cause it to be removed at the sole cost and expense of the owner.
(2) 
Immobilize such vehicle(s) by means of applying a wheel lock. If the vehicle has remained immobilized for a period of 24 hours and release has not been obtained, the police or other Borough authority shall have the authority to remove such vehicle or cause it to be removed at the sole cost and expense of the owner. In any case involving the immobilization of a vehicle pursuant to this section, a notice shall be placed on such vehicle, in a conspicuous manner, sufficient to warn any individual that such vehicle has been immobilized and that any attempt to move such vehicle may result in damage thereto.
(a) 
Any tampering with or removal of the device shall be separate offenses and may be prosecuted as violations of the criminal mischief and theft sections of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 18 Pa.C.S.A. Chs. 33 and 39.
(b) 
The Borough assumes no liability for loss or damage to such vehicle while immobilized.
B. 
The police or other Borough authority shall have the power and is hereby authorized to remove the vehicle by either private or governmental equipment in accordance with the provisions of Ordinance No. 322 of the Borough of Baldwin, adopted the 23rd day of May, 1966, as amended (this Chapter 157, §§ 57-1 through 57-15 of the Code of the Borough of Baldwin).
[Added 7-21-1997 by Ord. No. 712]