City of Meriden, CT
New Haven County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Meriden 8-6-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 180.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 198.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 200.
Zoning — See Ch. 213.
Wreckers — See C.G.S. § 14-66.

§ 191-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Tow Truck Ordinance."

§ 191-2 Definitions and word usage.

[Amended 2-20-1990]
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
The City of Meriden.
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
A motor vehicle equipped for the purpose of removing wrecked, abandoned, inoperative or disabled vehicles.

§ 191-3 Permit required.

[Amended 2-20-1990]
No person shall engage in the business of operating a wrecker for the purpose of towing or transporting vehicles within the City or offer such services for police rotation towing without first obtaining a permit as hereinafter provided from the Chief of Police.

§ 191-4 Information required for application.

[Amended 2-20-1990]
Application for permits issued hereunder shall be made upon forms prepared and made available by the Chief of Police, and such forms shall include:
The name, home address, home telephone number, business address, business telephone number and business name of the applicant. In addition to the information herein stated, in the event that the applicant is a corporation or partnership, the names and addresses of its officers or partners, as the case may be, and the names and addresses of the person or persons charged with the day-to-day operation of the business shall be provided. All information required herein shall be kept up-to-date by the applicant by filing the update with the Chief of Police.
The location, number, description and Connecticut registration number of the tow trucks or flatbed carriers owned or operated by the applicant.
Additional documents submitted with the application shall include:
A copy of the applicant's current approved schedule of towing rates and storage charges, as required and filed pursuant to § 14-66 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended. The applicant shall also provide the Chief of Police with all subsequent approved schedules of rates and charges.
A notarized agreement by the applicant to protect, indemnify and save harmless the City of Meriden, its servants, agents and employees of and from any and all liability or claims of liability, expense damages, causes of action, suits, claims or judgments on the part of anyone growing out of any act or omission by any employee of said applicant in the performance of duties and obligations.

§ 191-5 Insurance required.

No permit shall be issued to an applicant hereunder until such applicant shall have deposited with the Chief of Police evidence of the following insurance:
Garage keeper's policy: a garage keeper's legal liability policy covering fire, theft and explosion in the amount of $300,000/$300,000.
Garage liability policy: a garage liability policy covering the operation of the applicant's business, equipment or vehicles for any bodily injury or property damage in the amount of $300,000/$300,000.

§ 191-6 Review of adequacy of insurance coverage.

[Amended 9-15-1980]
The amounts of these insurance policies shall be reviewed by the City Council every three years for their adequacy.

§ 191-7 Notice of change or cancellation of insurance policy.

Each insurance policy required herein must contain an endorsement providing for 30 days' notice to the City in the event of any material change or cancellation.

§ 191-8 Requirements for permit.

[Amended 2-20-1990]
The applicant must be duly licensed by the State of Connecticut and have complied with all the provisions of § 14-66 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, including but not limited to being a duly licensed used or new car dealer, repairer or limited repairer.
The business must comply with all applicable ordinances and regulations, including but not limited to zoning.[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 213, Zoning.
The business must provide inside storage space for a minimum of two vehicles and outside storage for a minimum of five vehicles.
In the event that the Police Department or the City of Meriden requests a tower to store towed vehicles, then the City shall provide adequate storage facilities and police protection for said towed vehicles.[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
The business shall be of sufficient operating size to accept and respond to all calls for municipal towing services, including but not limited to accidents, abandoned vehicles, parking violations, street cleaning, snow removal, parking bans and removal of vehicles illegally parked on private property.
A towing firm on the rotation list shall maintain a tow truck and tow truck operator on twenty-four-hour call.
The tow truck operator shall have a proper driver's license.
Unless otherwise specified, no wrecking firm may tow for another firm that has been called to tow a vehicle.
Each tow truck must be radio dispatched from a base station of the firm.
Wreckers must have a Federal Communications Commission licensed two-way radio system, with a minimum of 25 watts, within six months from issuance of a permit by the Chief of Police, not intended herein to include a CB. The installation and use of cellular telephone equipment providing direct two-way communication, in addition to or in lieu of said radio system, is permitted.
The business must own, maintain and have registered with the State of Connecticut at least one tow truck, and each truck shall be registered as a wrecker and have a state highway permit. Additionally, the tow truck equipment must comply with the following requirements:
Light-duty tow truck.
Shall have the lights and safety equipment as set forth in § 14-66(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
At least one push broom, one shovel, one axe, one winch bar/crowbar/wrecker bar and dollies shall be carried on each tow truck.
Shall have a minimum manufacturer's capacity of one ton, a boom capacity of not less than four tons, a power winch pulling capacity of not less than four tons (no electric winches), 100 feet of minimum three-eighths-inch cable and a tow sling, equipped with a safety chain.
Appearance of the truck shall be reasonably good, with equipment painted and the name of the firm lettered on both sides of the truck.
Heavy-duty tow truck.
Shall have the lights and safety equipment as set forth in § 14-66(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
At least one push broom, one shovel, one axe, one set of bolt cutters capable of cutting a one-half-inch bolt, and one pinch bar/crowbar/wrecker bar shall be carried on each tow truck.
Shall have a minimum manufacturer's capacity of not less than five tons, a boom capacity of not less than 15 tons, a power winch pulling capacity of not less than 25 tons, 200 feet of minimum nine-sixteenths-inch cable and air brakes so constructed so as to lock all wheels automatically upon failure.
Shall have available storage space to accommodate a minimum of one tractor-trailer at the place of business.
Appearance of the truck shall be reasonably good, with equipment painted and the name of the firm on both sides of the truck.
Flatbed carrier in lieu of tow truck. Such flatbed carrier:
Must have been manufactured and designed for the purpose of transporting, by acceptable industry standards, motor vehicles.
Must be registered and approved with and through the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of transporting motor vehicles.
Shall meet or exceed those requirements as established through the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles in the licensing of such flatbed carrier for the purpose of transporting motor vehicles.
Shall be maintained in accordance with all applicable criteria as established by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles while used in the commerce of transporting of motor vehicles and § 14-66 of the Connecticut General Statutes, where applicable.

§ 191-9 Presence at scene of accident.

No wrecker or any employee or owner of a garage or repair shop shall go to the scene of an accident unless dispatched to the scene by an authorized member of the Meriden Police Department or unless requested by the owner or operator of the damaged vehicle.

§ 191-10 Soliciting at scene of accident.

It shall be unlawful for any wrecker to go to the scene of an accident with the intent to solicit repair or tow jobs.

§ 191-11 Time limit for answering call.

Failure to respond to the scene of an accident within 20 minutes after being dispatched by the Police Department will be deemed an unreasonable delay, and a second wrecker will be dispatched from the rotation list. The wrecker failing to respond in the given time will be charged with a passed call.

§ 191-12 Suspension or removal from rotation list.

Wrecker firms which fail to respond to a call for services from the Police Department three times in a three-month period within a calendar year shall be suspended or removed from the wrecker rotation list. For the first offense suspension shall be 30 days; for the second offense, 90 days; and for the third offense, permanent removal from the rotation list roster. Each offense shall be removed from the record upon expiration of two years from the date of said offense.

§ 191-13 Request for hearing.

[Amended 9-15-1980]
The owner of a wrecker firm may ask for a hearing before the City Council to answer any charges of violations that are being brought against his/her firm or employees.

§ 191-14 Report of misconduct.

The overall responsibility for the safety of persons and property at the scene of an accident shall rest with the investigating officer. The following will apply if any wrecker operators violate any of the policy and procedure as stated in this order: the officer at the scene shall forward a written report of the wrecker's conduct and violation to his/her shift commander; the shift commander will forward this report to the Captain of Operation, who will forward the same to the Chief of Police for evaluation and record keeping. It shall be the duty of shift commander to see that this policy and procedure is followed.

§ 191-15 Wrecker rotation list; impoundment procedure.

A wrecker rotation list shall be maintained in the dispatcher's room, with participating wrecker firms kept up-to-date and logged as to when wrecker firms are called. The wrecker rotation list and record of wrecker offenses shall be available for inspection at all reasonable hours to any citizen.
When, in the opinion of the officer detailed to investigate an accident or any other official of the Police Department, a vehicle is to be impounded, the police shall put this in writing and provide the wrecker with the written request to impound the particular vehicle. Further, the Police Department shall provide rules and regulations as to how a procedure to impound a vehicle is to be governed.