City of Pawtucket, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Pawtucket, approved 4-20-1989 by Ch. No. 2069. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 383.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 388.

§ 367-1 Applicability.

Pursuant to the pertinent ordinances of the City of Pawtucket, as amended, the following rules and regulations are promulgated for towing service companies registered as approved by the Director of Public Safety to perform tow services for the City of Pawtucket and the Pawtucket Police Division.

§ 367-2 Certificate of public convenience and necessity required.

No person or company (whether providing towing services or otherwise) shall be considered for or placed on the city's list of tow companies approved by the Director of Public Safety unless said person or company holds and maintains in good standing a certificate of public convenience and necessity as issued by the Rhode Island Department of Public Utilities.

§ 367-3 Compliance required.

[Amended 7-25-1996 by Ch. No. 2420]
To be considered for approval by the Director of Public Safety an applying tow company or person shall comply with the following terms, conditions and provisions which shall also apply to and be binding upon companies and/or persons already on said approved tow list.

§ 367-4 Application; conditions.

[Amended 7-25-1996 by Ch. No. 2420; 10-8-1991 by Ch. No. 2224; 4-10-2003 by Ch. No. 2670]
Formal application shall be made to the Director of Public Safety for consideration on the approved list.
A. 
The applying towing company shall guarantee the provision of twenty-four-hour service starting at 9:00 a.m. every day scheduled throughout the year, and shall accept and promptly respond within a thirty-minute time period. Failure to respond within the time period shall cause the next tow on the list to be called. Five misses in a ninety-day period will result in automatic suspension and will subject the towing company to § 367-17 of this chapter.
B. 
During the winter months when the snow ban has been put into effect by the Director of Public Safety, every tow company on the tow list will supply at least one man and tow truck (unless otherwise notified) to tow vehicles when requested and remain in service until no further towing is required by the Police Division. For any violation of this section, the tow company will be subject to the procedures and sanctions of § 367-17.
C. 
The area must be owned or be under a multiple-year lease.
D. 
Every tow company must have at least one tow truck and one car carrier with the following:
(1) 
Every motor vehicle used for the purpose of towing disabled motor vehicles shall display the name, address and telephone number of the registered owner on both sides of the vehicle, in sharp color contrast to the background and of such size, shape and color as to be readily legible during daylight hours from a distance of 50 feet while the vehicle is not in motion. This section is also a requirement under the Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Laws, R.I.G.L. § 31-22-23.
(2) 
Flashing amber lights on all tow trucks and car carriers will be visible for a distance of not less than 500 feet. This section is also a requirement under the Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Laws, R.I.G.L. § 31-24-31.
(3) 
Said towing companies shall maintain a large broom on all tow trucks to be used for city-ordered tows to clear the scene of debris from the highway and push it into the gutter. Any large debris will be removed from the scene by the tow service. If a tow company or its agent refuses or fails to comply with this section the police shall have the option to call the next tow company on the rotation list to complete that particular tow. Also, for repeat failures, breaches or violations, the tow company will be subject to the procedures and sanctions of § 367-17.
E. 
To be considered or retained on the City's tow list, all taxes, water bills, assessments, debts or charges of any kind due the City of Pawtucket must be current.
F. 
Upon being placed on the city's list of tow companies approved by the Director of Public Safety, but prior to performing any tow services for the City of Pawtucket or the Pawtucket Police Division, each tow company or person must be approved by the Pawtucket City Council to do business for the City of Pawtucket or the Pawtucket Police Division.

§ 367-5 Referral of repair work.

Each tow company agrees to perform no repair work (nor refer repair work to others) without the written consent of the vehicle owner or his or her authorized agent.

§ 367-6 Surrender and release of vehicle; posting of towing charges.

A. 
Each said tow company agrees to surrender and release the towed vehicle to the owner or his or her duly authorized agent immediately upon demand and payment of authorized charges for towing and storage.
B. 
Unless otherwise provided by City ordinance or state law, the days and times to effectuate said releases shall be as follows:
(1) 
Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(2) 
Saturdays: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
(3) 
Sundays and holidays: Tow companies shall not be required to effectuate release, but may do so at the option of the tow company involved.
C. 
Until a vehicle is released by the Police Division, said tow companies agree to charge only the towing and storage fees specified by the appropriate City of Pawtucket ordinances.
D. 
Payment of authorized charges shall be by cash, certified check, standard money order, bank cashier's check or by major credit card, provided that the same is accepted and in use at the tow company involved.
E. 
Each said tow company agrees to display the current City of Pawtucket towing and storage charges for a towed vehicle. Section 367-16 will be displayed conspicuously to the view of the owner of the towed vehicle and in the immediate area where the normal business is conducted by said towing firm on releasing towed vehicles.
[Amended 7-25-1996 by Ch. No. 2420]
F. 
Also, any member of the Pawtucket Police Division shall have the authority to inspect a towing company that is governed by this chapter for compliance with the requirement of posting § 367-16 describing towing fees.
[Amended 7-25-1996 by Ch. No. 2420]

§ 367-7 Unsolicited responses prohibited.

Each tow company agrees to make no unsolicited response to the scene of an accident or abandonment. Only the owner, his or her agent or the police shall be the source of such request for towing.

§ 367-8 Notice to police of towed vehicles.

A. 
Each tow company on the approved list agrees to notify the Chief of Police (or his or her authorized officer) of any motor vehicle which it has towed and remains in storage and unclaimed for at least seven days. This notice and all pertinent information for each said vehicle must be listed and supplied in writing and in duplication, which will be delivered or mailed weekly to the Police Division, unless an authorized police officer picks up the same. The police officer accepting said forms from the tow company will sign it and give a copy to the tow company which will maintain said form until the authorized release or disposition of said vehicle.
B. 
With respect to abandoned vehicles towed, said tow companies will comply with Chapter 42 of Title 31 of Rhode Island General Laws as amended (entitled "Abandoned Motor Vehicles") and will also comply with any other pertinent or applicable state or federal statutes.
C. 
Any violation of this section will be subject to the penalties referred to in § 367-17.

§ 367-9 Record book of towed vehicles.

Each tow company agrees to keep a separate record book for vehicles towed as a result of a police call for tow service for impoundment. The record book shall show the following:
A. 
Year, make and registration of towed vehicle. (If registration is not available, list VIN number.)
B. 
Date, time, location and common carrier registration (CCR) number, when available.
C. 
Disposition and date of such disposition.
D. 
In the event of an overcharging complaint, the tow company must produce an itemized tow bill for the Pawtucket Police Division.

§ 367-10 Keeping of release forms; destruction.

[Amended 7-25-1996 by Ch. No. 2420]
Each tow company agrees to hold all release forms for a period of 60 days, after which the Police Division will collect all releases or shall be so instructed to destroy. Towers can destroy forms after 60 days.

§ 367-11 Availability of tow book and other records.

Each tow company agrees to make the tow book and all written consents available to the Director of Public Safety or any police office the Director may authorize.

§ 367-12 Public utilities certificate required; transfer.

[Amended 10-8-1991 by Ch. No. 2224; 7-25-1996 by Ch. No. 2420]
A. 
Each tow company agrees to hold a Rhode Island Department of Public Utilities certificate with an area of coverage, including Pawtucket as an area, as a minimum of coverage.
B. 
No said tow company or person on the city's approved tow list shall effectuate the transfer of said company's public utilities certificate to a prospective purchaser nor shall any transfer of ownership in whole or in part entitle the purchaser to remain on said city's tow list, unless and until the prospective purchaser is approved by the Director of Public Safety after the prospective purchaser shall have applied to the Director to remain on said tow list in accordance with these regulations and the appropriate City ordinance, and then approved by the Pawtucket City Council.

§ 367-13 Condemnation of tower's property.

If an existing company on said city's authorized tow list currently meets all requirements as to land area and equipment, has its or his or her real estate property involuntarily condemned or taken by eminent domain which results in said company's possessing less than the required land area, such an occurrence will not automatically result in said company's removal from the authorized tow list for said reason. Nevertheless, said company shall have a grace period of at least 60 days to show cause to the Director of Public Safety at an informal hearing as to said company's continuing capability and resources to continue the effective operation of the towing and the storage of motor vehicles to the reasonable satisfaction of the city.

§ 367-14 Parking restrictions; violations and penalties.

[Added 8-10-1989 by Ch. No. 2094]
A. 
Notwithstanding the aforementioned, no motor vehicle used for the purpose of towing disabled motor vehicles with a motor vehicle in tow or transport shall park without moving, in one location, at curbside on a public highway for a continuous period in excess of five minutes within a City zoning district designated as follows:
RL
Residential, one-family, large lot
RS
Residential, one-family
RT
Residential, two-family
RM
Residential, multifamily
RE
Residential, elevator apartment
B. 
Any tow company or other owner of a towing vehicle found to be in violation of the within no parking provision shall be fined an amount not to exceed $25.

§ 367-15 Hearing on violations.

[Amended 10-8-1991 by Ch. No. 2224]
Any tow company on said city's authorized tow list which fails to adhere to or comply with these rules and regulations or with the pertinent ordinances, or which shall violate or breach the same, then said tow company shall be subject to be summoned and to attend a hearing to be conducted by the Pawtucket City Council to show cause why said company should not be suspended for a reasonable period or terminated and removed from said authorized tow list. The company affected may be represented by an attorney.

§ 367-16 Towing rates for nonoperational and abandoned vehicles.

[Amended 7-25-1996 by Ch. No. 2420; amended 4-10-2003 by Ch. No. 2670[1]]
A. 
Removal or impounding of vehicles requested by the City's Police Department, Zoning Office, or other municipal department, relative to nonoperational and abandoned vehicles as defined in the ordinances of the City of Pawtucket either on City streets or on private property within the City, will be subject to the following towing rates:
(1) 
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
(a) 
Automobiles, including motorcycles and mopeds: ($45.).
(b) 
Trucks up to one ton: $60. Over one ton, rate set by PUC according to weight.
(c) 
In an emergency situation, where an emergency safety hazard exists on a City street, the tower will respond for an emergency tow outside of the above-listed regular tow hours.
B. 
All fees shall be paid to the towing company who supplied the service in the usual business manner before such vehicle shall be released.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that tow operators shall each apply to the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers (PUC) for a special reduced tariff rate schedule for the City of Pawtucket.

§ 367-17 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 7-25-1996 by Ch. No. 2420]
A. 
The following penalties apply with respect to offenses against this chapter:
(1) 
First offense not involving criminal charges: a written or a temporary suspension from the tow list not to exceed seven days.
(2) 
Second offense occurring within a twelve-month period: temporary suspension from tow list not to exceed 60 days.
(3) 
Violations or offenses exceeding the foregoing: long-term suspension or removal from the tow list.
B. 
Further, this section is not intended nor shall it be construed as preempting or revising pertinent applicable City ordinances or state law.