[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Tyrone 2-9-2009 by Ord. No. 1282. Amendments noted where applicable.]
§ 182-12 Effect of payment of towing and storage charges without protest/reports and disposition of unclaimed vehicles.
The Borough Council of the Borough of Tyrone believes that it is necessary for the health and safety of Borough residents to provide for a convenient and equitable towing system for the timely removal of motor vehicles damaged, abandoned, immobilized, illegally parked or disabled on public right-of-way or public property within the Borough of Tyrone.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BOROUGH OF TYRONE and/or TYRONE BOROUGH
- The Borough of Tyrone, County of Blair, and State of Pennsylvania.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police of the Borough of Tyrone or the said Chief's designee.
- STORAGE FACILITY
- A secured area for the storage of towed vehicles.
- TOWING COMPANY
- Any business engaged in the towing, removing or storing of motor vehicles at the request of Tyrone Borough. This includes the towing company owner and its employees.
- TOWING LIST
- The list of licensed towing companies maintained by the Chief of Police.
- For the purposes of this chapter, all automobiles, trucks, truck-tractors, trailers and other vehicles of any kind shall hereafter be referred to as "vehicle(s)."
- A vehicle designed and used for removing and transporting motor vehicles. This term shall also include a rollback truck, tow truck or other vehicle commonly used to perform towing services.
The Chief of Police and any police officer and or authorized employee of the Tyrone Borough Police Department designated by the Chief of Police shall be authorized to:
Order to be removed, cause to be removed, or remove and impound any vehicle parked on any Borough street, highway, or public property of the Borough in violation of any other provision of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code, Borough ordinance or traffic rule.
Any towing company engaged in the business of towing vehicles at the request of Tyrone Borough from highways, public rights-of-way, or other public property in Tyrone Borough shall be licensed annually in accordance with the provisions of this section.
Applications for license. Applications for license shall be submitted to the Chief of Police upon forms prepared and made available by Tyrone Borough. The application form shall be properly completed, signed and accompanied by the license fee. The Chief of Police shall review and inspect the required storage facility and towing equipment and all applications for compliance with the terms of this chapter.
Application/license fee. The nonrefundable application/license fee shall be in the amount as established by Tyrone Borough and adopted as part of Chapter 92, Fees, of the Code of the Borough of Tyrone. This fee is imposed to cover the cost of wrecker/storage facility inspection and license documentation processing.
Issuance of license. A towing license shall be issued only to towing companies that comply with the provisions of this chapter. The issuance of a towing license shall not create a property right for the towing company.
License renewal. All licenses, except those terminated for just cause as provided herein, are subject to an annual renewal fee, as established by Tyrone Borough from time to time, to be paid to Tyrone Borough each January. This fee is imposed to cover the cost of reinspection and license renewal document processing.
To be licensed to tow vehicles at the request of Tyrone Borough, towing companies shall maintain the following:
At least one wrecker that is in safe mechanical condition, and properly titled and registered.
The wrecker shall be owned or leased by the towing company and shall not be used or operated by any other towing company.
All wreckers shall be clearly marked with the towing company's name and telephone number on each side of the vehicle.
Towing companies shall provide its employees training on the proper clean up of accident debris from the roadways.
Established place of business and storage facility.
The towing company shall be directly accessible 24 hours a day, by no more than one phone number. The employment of answering machines or other such devices is not considered as making the company directly accessible.
All towing companies and storage facilities used for impoundment of vehicles towed at the request of the Borough shall be located within 10 road miles of the Tyrone Borough Municipal Building, 1100 Logan Avenue, Tyrone, PA.
[Amended 9-14-2009 by Ord. No. 1285]
The storage facility shall be owned or leased by the towing company owner.
The storage facility shall be capable of storing no less than three standard-sized vehicles and of being locked preventing general access to vehicles therein by means of a barrier at least six feet high. The towing company owner shall be responsible for the security of the stored vehicles.
The storage facility shall be regularly open for the conduct of business, receiving of payments due, release of vehicles, etc., a minimum of 40 hours, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Insurance. Towing companies shall be required to carry insurance at the minimum policy limits as set forth below. Towing companies shall also be required to provide the Borough of Tyrone with a copy of said insurance policy.
Automobile liability insurance in an amount not less than $500,000, combined single limits.
Workers' compensation insurance, as required by Pennsylvania law.
Garage keepers' liability insurance in an amount not less than $50,000 per single limit.
Garage liability insurance in an amount not less than $500,000 combined single limit.
Miscellaneous coverage to provide complete protection to the Borough against any and all risks of loss or liability, including comprehensive general liability.
Collision coverage for vehicles in tow.
The Borough shall be listed as an additional insured party on all policies, and such policies shall contain a provision requiring notification to the Borough prior to any policy revision or termination.
Towing companies shall provide Tyrone Borough with a letter of bonding indicating coverage in the minimum of $50,000.
Each insurance policy covering a towing company shall indicate that Tyrone Borough shall be held harmless once a vehicle has been hooked to the towing company's wrecker in preparation to be towed from a roadway.
The Chief of Police shall maintain the list of licensed towing companies, listed alphabetically, which may be requested to tow by authorized Tyrone Borough employees on a rotating basis.
"Rotating basis" means the towing company appearing on top of the list shall be requested first to do the tow. Once the towing company on the top of the list is requested, that name shall be placed on the bottom of the list. Thereafter, for each subsequent request, the process shall be repeated. However, in the event that the owner and/or operator of a vehicle needing a tow requests a specific towing company, that request shall not affect the requested towing company's placement on the rotation list.
If a towing company refuses, is not available, does not answer the phone or can't meet the required response time, said towing company shall be replaced by the next towing company. Any towing company that refuses a call or is unavailable three times within a two-month period shall be placed on review with the Chief of Police with the possibility of removal from the rotation list and nonrenewal of license.
This rotation may be waived when removal of a vehicle is critical to public safety, as determined by the investigating police officer at the incident scene. However, nothing herein shall be intended to permit or encourage towing companies to respond to accident/incident scenes without being summoned in accordance with the requirements of herein.
The towing company requested shall respond to the tow location within 20 minutes of the request, unless there are circumstances, such as adverse road conditions, that are beyond the towing companies control that would prohibit them from doing so.
Towing companies licensed by the Borough shall be available to tow vehicles 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
All vehicles removed, transported or conveyed at the request of the Borough shall be stored at the towing company's storage facility, or at a property owned or controlled by the Borough, or at a location specified by the vehicle owner or operator.
Towing company owners shall comply with all local, state and federal laws and regulations and are responsible for insuring that all of their employees adhere to them.
Towing companies shall be responsible for the conduct of all drivers and employees. The driver's license of persons towing for a towing company is subject to inspection by the Chief of Police.
It shall be a prohibited act for any towing company to:
Subcontract towing services requested by the Borough.
Respond, tow or move a vehicle from or within public property without the consent of the owner or operator, or without being summoned by the Borough pursuant to § 182-6.
Use the "Borough of Tyrone" and/or "Tyrone Borough" in the name of the towing company.
Arriving at the scene of any incident/accident without being requested to do so by the Borough of Tyrone or the Blair County 911 Center and/or the owner/operator of a vehicle to be towed. "Responding/arriving at the scene of any incident/accident" shall mean by wrecker or by any other means of transportation, including private vehicle.
It shall be unlawful for any owner and/or employee of any towing company to approach any vehicle operator or passenger at the scene of any incident/accident to solicit a towing job.
Every licensed towing company shall make a written record of each vehicle towed or stored and maintain such records for a period of two years which shall be subject to inspection by the Chief of Police. The records shall contain the following information:
Registration plate number and state.
Make and color of vehicle.
Time call for service was received.
Time wrecker arrived at scene.
Date the vehicle was returned to owner/custodian.
Towing and storage charges for each towed vehicle.
Name of wrecker driver.
Each location to which the vehicle was towed.
Person authorizing the tow (owner/operator, Police Department, etc.).
No vehicle shall be removed under the authority of this chapter if, at the time of the intended removal thereof, the owner or person for the time being in charge of such vehicle is present and expresses a willingness and intention to remove such vehicle immediately.
The payment of towing and storage charges authorized by this chapter shall not operate to relieve the owner or operator of any vehicle from liability for any fine or penalty for violation of any law or ordinance on account of which such vehicle was removed and impounded.
§ 182-12 Effect of payment of towing and storage charges without protest/reports and disposition of unclaimed vehicles.
The payment of any towing and storage charges authorized by this chapter shall, unless made "under protest," be final and conclusive and shall constitute a waiver of any right to recover the fees paid.
In the event that towing and impounding charges are paid "under protest," the offender shall be entitled to a hearing before a Magisterial District Judge having jurisdiction, in which case the offender shall be proceeded against as is provided for by the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code in other cases of summary offenses.
The payment of towing and storage charges shall not relieve the owner or driver of any vehicle or other person found in violation of this chapter from liability for any fine or penalty for the violation of the provision of this chapter for which the vehicle was removed or impounded.
If after a period of 15 days the vehicle in storage remains unclaimed, a report shall be filed with PennDOT in accordance with § 7311 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code, by the person having legal custody of the vehicle. If the vehicle has not been claimed after 30 days, the vehicle may be transferred to a licensed salvor who will then be responsible for the filing the proper reports and disposing of the vehicle in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 73 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq., as amended from time to time).
Editor's Note: See 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 7311.
Upon conviction for violation of any provision of this chapter, in addition to the penalty in § 182-14, a towing company may be fined not less than $100 nor more than $300.
Any towing company or its employee who violates any provision of this chapter shall be issued a written warning for the first violation. Any subsequent violation may cause the termination of the towing company's license. The towing company is not entitled to a warning for any violation of § 182-8 of this chapter and may have their license terminated for the first violation.
The towing company shall be notified, in writing, by registered mail, no less than five calendar days prior to the termination of their license. The notice of termination shall state the reason(s) for termination and the effective date of termination. The towing company shall have 14 calendar days to appeal the termination, in writing, to the Borough Manager. The Borough Manager or designee shall hold a hearing within 10 calendar days of written receipt of the towing company's request for appeal. The towing company may appeal the Borough Manager's decision, in writing, to the Blair County Court of Common Pleas within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the Borough Manager's decision.
The following designated streets and/or parking lots are hereby established as tow away zones. Signs shall be posted to place the public on notice that their vehicles may be towed for violation of the Borough parking regulations: