Township of Ridley, PA
Delaware County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Ridley 2-27-2002 by Ord. No. 1823.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 306, Vehicles, Towing of, adopted 5-24-1995 by Ord. No. 1737, as amended.
Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES

Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 299.

Storage of vehicles on private property — See Ch. 303.

§ 306-1
Purpose and intent. 

§ 306-2
Towing costs and hooking fees for passenger cars and vehicles weighing 9,000 pounds or below. 

§ 306-3
Towing costs and hooking fees for vehicles above 9,000 pounds. 

§ 306-4
Storage costs. 

§ 306-5
Computation of time for purpose of storage fee calculation. 

§ 306-6
Towing unattended vehicles from public or private property. 

§ 306-7
Registration plate used as evidence. 

§ 306-8
Changes to be made by resolution. 

§ 306-9
Appeal procedure. 

§ 306-10
Violations and penalties. 

§ 306-1 Purpose and intent.

[Amended 8-26-2009 by Ord. No. 1952]

The purpose and intent of this chapter is to regulate towing rates and towing services as permitted by 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3353 to provide for proper licensing of towing services and notice to the Ridley Township Police where vehicles are towed from public or private property without the consent of the owner or operator of the vehicle by a towing service operated on behalf of a private property owner; and to avoid erroneous reports of stolen vehicles being submitted to the Ridley Township Police Department. Towing companies should be exempt from compliance with the towing ordinance while engaged in the repossession of a vehicle on behalf of lienholders or lessees of vehicles. However, prior to beginning the repossession of a vehicle, the towing company must call 911 to notify the Township of Ridley Police Department of its intention to repossess the vehicle and must wait at least 15 minutes for police response before commencing with the repossession. When the police respond, the towing company must provide the police with the name of the vehicle owner and the address at which the repossession is intended to take place.

§ 306-2 Towing costs and hooking fees for passenger cars and vehicles weighing 9,000 pounds or below.

[Amended 8-26-2009 by Ord. No. 1952]

The cost of towing passenger cars or other vehicles weighing 9,000 pounds or below, "hooked" and removed from the premises, shall not be in excess of $95 for each crane tow, wheel lift or flatbed removal. In all instances when a passenger car or other vehicle weighing 9,000 pounds or below is hooked on a crane tow or wheel lift, fitted with wheel dollies, or hooked to be moved onto a flatbed and the owner/operator returns prior to the vehicle being removed, tow operators shall charge no more than a $50 hooking fee and shall release the vehicle to the owner/operator immediately upon receipt of the fee. Said owner/operator shall have 30 minutes after returning to pay the hooking fee in order to obtain release of the vehicle.

§ 306-3 Towing costs and hooking fees for vehicles above 9,000 pounds.

The cost of towing a vehicle weighing over 9,000 pounds shall not be in excess of $165 per hour. In all instances when a vehicle weighing more than 9,000 pounds is hooked on a crane tow or wheel lift, fitted with wheel dollies, or hooked to be moved onto a flatbed and the owner/operator returns prior to the vehicle being removed, tow operators shall release the vehicle to the owner/operator immediately upon receipt of the hourly fee.

§ 306-4 Storage costs.

A. 

The cost for storage for any impounded vehicle shall be as follows:

(1) 

Passenger car or vehicle weighing 9,000 pounds or below: amount charged by any towing service operator with respect to any passenger car or vehicle weighing 9,000 pounds or below towed from the Township of Ridley shall not be in excess of $40 per day.

(2) 

Vehicle weighing over 9,000 pounds: amount charged by any towing service operator with respect to any vehicle weighing over 9,000 pounds towed from the Township of Ridley shall not be in excess of $75 per day.

B. 

Vehicle owners/operators must have the ability to recover their vehicles from any impound lot Monday through Saturday during reasonable business hours. In addition to Sunday, the impound lot may be closed on the following national holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.

[Amended 8-22-2007 by Ord. No. 1923]

§ 306-5 Computation of time for purpose of storage fee calculation.

All daily fees charged for the storage of vehicle pursuant to this chapter shall be calculated on a twenty-four-hour basis rather than by calendar days.

§ 306-6 Towing unattended vehicles from public or private property.

The following regulations shall apply to the towing of any vehicle parked or left unattended on public or private property without the consent of the property owner, including, but not limited to, repossession of vehicle on behalf of a lienholder or leaseholder:

A. 

No towing service shall remove any vehicle parked or left unattended on private property without the consent of the property owner. In addition, any towing service shall first secure a license from the Township of Ridley prior to doing any towing from any public or private property located in Ridley Township. A license shall be issued for a fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners per calendar year and shall be issued by the Ridley Township Police Department upon completion of the Department application containing at a minimum the following information:

(1) 

Name and address of towing service.

(2) 

The name and business address of all persons or entities having an ownership interest in the towing service.

(3) 

The name and address of all persons from whose property in Ridley Township the towing service is authorized to remove vehicles.

(4) 

The address of the storage yard where vehicles which are removed from private or public property in Ridley Township will be towed.

(5) 

The name of the bonding company and the name and address of the bonding company agent through whom the bond required by this section has been issued.

(6) 

Any changes in the information required in Subsection A(1) through (5) herein shall be reported in writing to the Ridley Township Police Department within one week of such change.

B. 

The Captain of Police, upon determining that any provision of this section has been violated, in addition to any other penalties provided herein, may revoke a license issued hereunder, together with the right to reapply for a subsequent license, for a period of up to two years. Appeal from such revocation shall be to the Public Safety Committee of the Board of Commissioners.

C. 

Authorized towing services shall:

(1) 

Maintain a current bond with the Township in the sum of $10,000 in form and surety satisfactory to the Township's Solicitor, conditioned upon the faithful performance discharged by the towing service of its duties as bailee of removed vehicles, and to indemnify the owner of vehicles against loss, injury or damage while in his custody.

(2) 

Provide certificates of insurance as follows: in the minimum of amount of $500,000 combined single limit for hired autos, non-owned autos; $100,000 for each personal injury; and $50,000 per occurrence for garagekeeper's liability.

(3) 

Comply with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code with respect to the removal and storage of vehicles from private property or the removal and impoundment of vehicle from public property.

(4) 

Notify the Township of Ridley Police Department by telephone, in person or by facsimile transmission of the removal of a vehicle from public or private property within 30 minutes of such removal and provide a description and license number of the vehicle thus removed and the location to which it has been taken.

[Amended 8-26-2009 by Ord. No. 1952]

(5) 

Provide the Ridley Township Police Department with a true and correct copy of each and every contract between the applicant and the owner and/or lessee of the private property with respect to the removal of vehicles from private property within the Township.

(6) 

Display the name of the towing service and or the person operating it, together with a valid phone number therefor, by signs on both sides of the tow truck.

(7) 

Maintain during off hours either a telephone operator answering service or telephone tape machine to provide owners or operators of towed vehicles with the necessary information as to the costs, the required method of payment and the procedure for claiming the towed vehicle.

(8) 

Prior to the issuance of any license, provide proof that they have paid occupational privilege tax to Ridley Township.

(9) 

Display a current towing license obtained from Ridley Township on the driver side window of the vehicle.

D. 

Signs on private lots. No person shall remove or cause to be removed a vehicle parked on a private lot without authorization unless signs are posted by the property owner as follows.

[Amended 8-26-2009 by Ord. No. 1952]

(1) 

That a sign at least three feet by two feet in size is placed at every entrance to a private lot clearly indicating that the parking lot is private, that unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owners expense, the name and phone number of the towing agency, the hours of tow operation, hours for vehicle retrieval and the towing, hooking and storage fees.

(2) 

That within a lot containing less than 20 parking spaces, additional signs at least 18 inches by 12 inches in size are to be posted approximately eight feet above ground level, clearly indicating that all unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owner's expense. One sign shall be posted for every four parking spaces and be readily visible from the parking spaces.

(3) 

That within a lot containing more than 20 parking spaces, the property owner shall prepare a site plan, subject to the approval of the Captain of Police, showing signage readily visible from all directions. Such signs, clearly indicating that all unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense, shall thereafter be posted and maintained pursuant to the approved site plan.

(4) 

In the event that the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code provides for a higher standard with regard to signs and posting of signs, said standards shall be followed.

§ 306-7 Registration plate used as evidence.

In any proceeding for a violation of the provisions of this chapter, the registration plate, if any, displayed on such motor vehicle shall be prima fade evidence that the owner of said motor vehicle was either operating said motor vehicle or was in the operation and control of said motor vehicle at the time of said violation.

§ 306-8 Changes to be made by resolution.

Any changes in the amount of towing, hooking or storage costs in this chapter will be established by resolution of the Board of Commissioners from time to time.

§ 306-9 Appeal procedure.

[Added 8-26-2009 by Ord. No. 1952
Editor's Note: This ordinance also renumbered former § 306-9 as § 306-10.
]

Any person who has requested an increase in towing, hooking or storage fees and who has been denied, or if no decision has been made within 30 days of the request, shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Commissioners within 30 days of the denial or of the expiration of 30 days after the request if no decision is rendered. The Board of Commissioners shall set a hearing date within 30 days of receiving such appeal request. At such hearing, the applicant is entitled to be heard and present evidence on its behalf. The Board shall render a decision on the request within 15 days following the date of the hearing.

§ 306-10 Violations and penalties.

Any person, partnership, cooperation or other legal entity violating the provisions of this chapter, shall, upon conviction before a District Justice, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $600, plus costs of prosecution, and in default of payment of such fine and costs shall be imprisoned for a period not to exceed 30 days.