[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Mount Hope 2-17-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 238.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, whenever used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings given to them by this section:
- ABANDONED VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which is unattended or obstructing traffic and which, in the judgment of the Police Department, shall be removed.
- Any incident or occurrence in which one or more vehicles come into contact with each other or another object thereby causing personal injury or property damage.
- DISABLED VEHICLE
- Any vehicle that requires towing because of accident or because it is unable to proceed under its own motive power.
- Any person driving a tow truck upon the public highways for hire.
- FOR HIRE
- Includes any incident where a fee, charge or other consideration is directly or indirectly imposed for towing, carrying or removing any vehicle, and shall be inclusive of repairs made on a towed vehicle for a consideration, although no charge is expressly imposed for the towing of such a vehicle.
- Includes the control and direction of the use of a vehicle for towing from places within the Town of Mount Hope, for hire.
- RESTRICTED LICENSE
- That license issued to the owners of towing trucks authorizing the holder thereof to engage in all tow truck operations, except that he will not be permitted at scenes of accidents unless specifically called by the person in charge of the disabled vehicle and will not be placed on the preferred tow truck list at police headquarters.
- SCENE OF ACCIDENT
- Includes any area of a street to which a vehicle is removed to prevent obstruction of traffic, and will remain so until the vehicle or vehicles is removed, either under its own power or by a properly licensed tow truck.
- Any place of business where there is maintained or operated, on a full-time basis, an automobile wrecking, filling station, public garage, gasoline station, junkyard or motor vehicle service station, as these terms are defined in the Code of the Town of Mount Hope, with sufficient storage for at least two disabled vehicles, provided that the same is a New York State licensed motor vehicle repair shop.
- The moving or removing of disabled or abandoned motor vehicles by a tow truck for hire.
- TOW TRUCK
- A motor vehicle which is either equipped for the purpose of carrying, lifting, pushing, pulling or otherwise removing, for hire, any motor vehicle or motor vehicles, or is used in the business of removing such vehicles.
- UNRESTRICTED LICENSE
- That license which is issued to owners of towing trucks permitting the holder thereof to be placed on a preferred roster of tow trucks located at police headquarters in addition to being permitted to do all normal towing.
It shall be unlawful to operate a tow truck for hire in the Town of Mount Hope unless the owner thereof shall have obtained a license from the Town Clerk.
A license shall be obtained by filing an application therefor, on forms furnished by the Town Clerk, verifying under oath:
The full name, residence address, date of birth, place of birth, personal description, social security number and business address of the applicant.
The number of tow trucks proposed to be operated by the applicant and description of each tow truck, including the make, model, year of manufacture and New York State registration number.
Address of place from which tow trucks are proposed to be garaged and dispatched.
The name and address of the insurance carrier which covers each tow truck against public liability in the limits required by law, which insurance shall be maintained in force during the period covered by the license in a sum not less than $500,000 for personal injury and $50,000 for property damage, with the Town named as additional insured.
All crimes of which the applicant or any member thereof, or any officer, if a corporation, has been convicted, stating the name and location of the court and the date on which such convictions were had and the penalties imposed therefor.
The experience of the applicant in the towing of vehicles for hire.
Said license is to be for a period of one year and shall be renewable yearly upon payment of the annual license fee to the Town Clerk. All monies received for such license fees shall be paid to the Town Clerk and shall be credited to the general funds of the Town.
All licenses issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire on January 31 of each year and shall be renewed during the month of January.
Upon receipt of a license application, the Town Clerk shall transmit the same to the Town Police Department.
The Town Police Department shall cause a full criminal background check to be performed on all persons named in the application.
The Town Police Department shall have 30 days in which to report back to the Town Clerk.
The criminal background check, together with the recommendation of the Chief of Police or his designee, shall be provided to the Town Board, and no license shall be issued except upon approval by a majority of the Town Board.
Applicants for a restricted license will be required to pay a nonrefundable fee determined by Town Board resolution and will be limited to normal towing and will not be permitted at scenes of accidents unless specifically called by the person in charge of the disabled vehicle.
Applicants for an unrestricted license will be required to pay a nonrefundable fee determined by Town Board resolution, per year, and, in addition to normal towing privileges, will be placed on a preferred roster of tow trucks. Licensees will be assigned weeks in which they will rotate with each other. The week will begin at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning and will conclude at 6:59 a.m. the following Monday. A copy of the assigned weeks will be maintained at police headquarters. A list will also be forwarded to the Orange County 911 Center for its use. When a vehicle owner or other authorized person at the scene of the accident requests the police officer at the scene for a specified tow truck owner, the police officer shall so inform police headquarters or the 911 Center, and the requested tow truck owner shall be notified of the request, if available. In the event that no request is made, or in the event the requested tow truck owner does not respond, the desk officer at police headquarters or staff at the 911 Center shall notify the tow truck owner assigned that week on the preferred roster. Upon failure to respond, the desk officer at police headquarters or the 911 Center staff shall call the next succeeding tow truck owner on the preferred roster until the tow service is accepted. A record concerning the date and the acceptance or refusal of each call shall be made. Each licensed tow truck owner on the preferred roster who fails or refuses to accept a tow service when called in his proper turn on the roster shall be deemed to have forfeited that turn on the roster.
In order to qualify for an unrestricted license:
The licensee must:
All tow trucks shall have sufficient equipment to properly pick up and tow a disabled vehicle or a fire-damaged vehicle.
No such license shall be issued unless the applicant agrees to charge no more than the following maximum rates for towing within the Town of Mount Hope:
For all passenger cars, regardless of weight, and other vehicles one ton to 1 3/4 tons and lighter, not to exceed $125, excluding incidental work such as winching and dolly towing, during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and not to exceed $175 between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
These towing charges shall not apply to the towing of motor trucks or special equipment exceeding 1 1/2 tons' capacity.
The rates set forth above may be altered by the Town Board by resolution alone.
It shall be unlawful for any licensee to demand or receive any payment in excess of the rates permitted by this chapter or shown on the schedule filed by the tow truck owner with the Chief of Police, and violation of this section shall subject the violator to loss of license in addition to other penalties set forth herein.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to solicit towing work by any means whatsoever from any person at or near the scene of an automobile accident within the Town of Mount Hope. It shall be unlawful for any tow truck to proceed to the scene of an accident or disablement without having first been requested or notified to do so by the vehicle owner or a police officer, and the operator of any tow truck so doing shall be deemed to have committed a violation of this chapter. Violation of this section shall subject the violator to loss of license in addition to other penalties set forth herein.
Each tow truck operated hereunder shall have inscribed on the side of such vehicle the trade name and business address of the owner in letters not less than three inches in height, either painted or otherwise securely affixed in a conspicuous place as herein provided.
It shall be unlawful to tow away any motor vehicle which has been involved in an accident, disablement or abandonment without prior consent of the owner, or of an authorized operator, or of the police officer at the scene of the accident.
In the event that the licensee called does not respond as quickly as is necessary, in the opinion of the police officer in charge at an accident scene, the police officer may call another licensed operator.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply when the owner of a damaged car specifically requires the car to be taken from said Town by an unlicensed tow truck from outside of the Town.
An offense against any provision of this chapter shall be a violation which shall be punishable, upon conviction, by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Chief of Police or his designated representatives.