[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Warwick 4-13-1992 by Ord. No. 92-8. Amendments noted where applicable.]
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future; words used in the plural shall include the singular. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings indicated herein below:
- DISABLED OR WRECKED OR ABANDONED OR IMPOUNDED VEHICLE
- An automobile, truck, truck tractor, trailer, motorcycle, motor home or other vehicle or device, in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, road or street, which is no longer capable of safe operation on a highway, road or street and presents safety hazard to the public by virtue of its location on or adjacent to a public highway, road or street in the Township of Warwick.
- FLATBED WRECKER
- A flatbed vehicle equipped with a roll body and winch designed for and capable of lifting and transporting passenger and commercial vehicles.
- Vehicles must be leased for a fixed period of greater then three years and for a fixed flat rate. A lessor must be a business, company, entity or corporation whose usual and customary business is that of leasing motor vehicles.
- LIGHT-DUTY WRECKER; WHEEL-LIFT WRECKER
- A vehicle designed for and capable of lifting and transporting passenger vehicles.
- Any individual person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Police Department of the Township of Warwick, County of Bucks.
- A person engaged in the business or offering the services of a vehicle wrecker, tow truck, car carrier or other vehicle whereby disabled or wrecked or abandoned vehicles are towed or otherwise removed from the place where they are disabled or wrecked or abandoned by use of a vehicle so adapted to that purpose.
- The Township of Warwick, County of Bucks.
No person shall offer his services to or be called by the Township or its Police Department as a tower for the purpose of removal of disabled or wrecked or abandoned vehicles unless that person is the holder of a current towing license as hereinafter provided.
An application for a towing license shall be made to the Township upon a form available from the Township, which form shall require the following information:
The name, address and telephone number of the business for which the towing license is sought.
The type of business organization under which the business is operated (i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership corporation, etc.).
The name, home and business address and telephone numbers of all of the owner(s) or, in the case of a corporation, stockholder(s) of the business for which the towing license is sought.
A list of the tow trucks, vehicle wreckers, car carriers or other vehicles available for service to the Township, including a description of each vehicle or piece of equipment (type, make, model, year, etc.), the name and address of the owner/lessee of each vehicle or piece of equipment and their location and hourly availability.
The address and description of the premises upon which any disabled or wrecked vehicles will be towed to and/or stored, including the size of the area on the premises available for storage of vehicles, the approximate number of vehicles which may be stored in the area, whether said area is fenced and a description of any security precautions or protection methods for vehicles stored in said area.
A certificate of insurance or other proof acceptable to the Township that the applicant has obtained the general liability and garage keeper's liability insurance required for the issuance of a towing license.
In the event that there are less than two licensed towers approved by the Township, the Township may issue licenses during the calendar year in order to increase the number of licensed towers to two.
An application for a towing license shall be made and signed by the owner(s) of the business for which the license is sought or, in the case of a corporation, the president of the corporation.
Applicants must execute an agreement to indemnify the Township for any and all losses or expenses incurred by virtue of any acts performed in the course of service.
The application shall be received by the Township and the Township Police Department within 20 days of receipt of the application and application fee, and the Township shall promptly thereafter advise the applicant of whether the license has been approved, disapproved or included on the waiting list.
Towing licenses shall be issued for a period of one year, commencing on January 1 and terminating on December 31 of each year. Any applicant whose application for a license has been approved shall be issued a license effective the following January 1.
A towing license shall be issued to all applicants who meet all of the following requirements:
The following vehicles shall be owned or leased exclusively by the applicant, garaged on the premises from which the applicant's towing business is conducted and available on call for the service at the request of the Township or its Police Department:
All of the aforesaid required vehicles shall bear a sign indicating the name and telephone number of the applicant's towing business, and the applicant shall make said vehicles available for verification by the Township.
All of the aforesaid required vehicles shall be maintained in a safe and usable operating condition.
A fenced-in storage yard or other secure facility, open or closed, shall be located on the premises from which the applicant's towing business is conducted, and such yard or storage area shall be authorized by the appropriate zoning, use and occupancy and other municipal permits. A storage area must be available to hold a minimum of five vehicles. The applicant shall permit inspection of the storage yard or facility by the Township. The applicant shall install screening and comply with all the provisions of the state and federal highway beautification acts.
The applicant's place of towing business shall be located within the Township boundaries in order that the response time to a call for service is immediate. In the event that any tower or towers who have been in continuous-duty tow service to the Township of Warwick at the time of the enactment of this chapter are in violation of this subsection, said tower or towers shall not be denied a license under this subsection.
All of the aforesaid vehicles shall be equipped with a two-way communication system, such as two-way radios or mobile telephones.
A towing license shall be issued to each applicant whose application has been approved by the Township upon payment to the Township of a license fee as set by the Board of Supervisors.  The Board of Supervisors of the Township of Warwick is empowered to change, revise or amend the amount of this fee by resolution duly adopted by the Board of Supervisors without necessitating an amendment to this chapter.
The towing license shall be prominently displayed on the premises where the applicant's towing business is conducted.
Along with the issuance of a towing license, a vehicle sticker shall be issued for each vehicle listed on the application, which sticker shall be prominently displayed on the right front door of each such vehicle.
A towing license shall be effective for a period of one year from the date of its issuance.
A towing license is issued by the Township on condition of and with the express agreement of the licensee that the licensee shall, at all times, act as independent contractor to and not as an employee of the Township or its Police Department and that payment for services rendered pursuant to said license shall be by the owner, operator or custodian of the disabled, wrecked or abandoned vehicle.
All licensees shall keep and maintain all of the vehicles listed on its application in a safe and operable condition and in a condition which shall pass the motor vehicle inspection standards of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and shall have said vehicles immediately available to answer calls for service by the Police Department during the duty-tow shift assigned to the licensee. All licensees shall not use or employ a vehicle which does not have the required towing license vehicle sticker displayed as set forth hereinabove to answer calls by the Township or its Police Department.
All licensees shall respond within 15 minutes from their receipt of the Police Department's call requesting service to the arrival of the licensee's appropriate towing vehicle at the location of the disabled or wrecked or abandoned vehicle, except in bad weather or adverse road conditions.
If any licensee cannot respond to the service call from the Police Department with the appropriate towing vehicle or in a minimal response time, the licensee shall make arrangements with another licensee to respond to the call and shall so advise the police dispatcher. If a licensee's vehicle is delayed while in transit to the requested location, the vehicle operator shall advise the police dispatcher of the delay and of his present location, whereupon a determination shall be made by the appropriate police official as to whether another licensee shall be called.
Fees charged by the licensee when towing or storing towed vehicles as an independent contractor to the Township of Warwick shall not exceed current prevailing rates.
All licensees shall be responsible for removing vehicular parts and debris from the highway. Licensees are required to perform basic liquid cleanup following an accident. Basic liquid cleanup shall include cleanup requiring no more than 100 pounds of oil-absorbent material and removal of the liquid and oil-absorbent material.
[Amended 9-16-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-7]
All licensees shall comply with all rules and regulations established by the Police Department with regard to use of the duty tow.
If the owner or operator cannot remove the disabled or wrecked or abandoned vehicle or refuses or fails to have the vehicle removed within a reasonable time, a Township police officer shall call the towing licensee assigned to the police duty tow to affect such a removal.
The Police Department shall establish rules and regulations for the establishment of a police duty tow, the rotation of assignment of towing licensees to the duty tow and the use of the duty tow by Township police officers.
The Township reserves the right to suspend the license of an operator at any time if an inspection by a Township police officer or a Township official determines that the required equipment is missing or inoperable or unsafe. Any such suspension of any operator's license shall continue, without rebate of either the application fee or license fee, until such time as the Township determines the applicant is in full compliance with the terms and conditions of this chapter.
The operator agrees to execute a hold-harmless agreement for any and all claims, actions or causes of actions arising from suspension of a license for the reasons set forth in Subsection A above at the time of initial application for a towing license.
The Township shall give the operator warning or notice that the operator is in violation of the provisions and terms of this chapter prior to any formal action to suspend the license. The Township shall permit the operator to correct deficiencies within the time frames as follows:
A towing license shall be revoked upon a finding by the Township of any of the following grounds:
The license was procured by fraudulent conduct or false statement or omission of a material fact, and, in this event, the license shall be null and void and as if an application had never been filed.
The licensee failed to perform or violated any of the duties of a licensee set forth hereinabove.
The licensee no longer meets all the standards for issuance of a towing license.
The licensee's application is found to be defective in any way or contains misinformation or omissions of fact, and, in this event, the license shall be null and void and as if an application had never been filed.
The licensee's license had been suspended three times.