City of Erie, PA
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
CROSS REFERENCES
Impounding procedures — See 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 6109(a)(22).
Owner responsible for illegal parking — See TRAF. 503.04.
Parking generally — See TRAF. Art. 521.
[Ord. 5-2004, passed 1-14-2004]
The Chief of Police is authorized to remove and impound or to order the removal and impounding of any vehicle parking on any of the streets, highways or public property of the City in violation of the Vehicle Code or of any ordinance to the City or police regulations issued by authority of same. The Chief of Police is authorized to remove and impound or to order the removal and impounding of any vehicle involved in an accident that must, in the judgment of the Chief of Police or of the police officer responding to or investigating the accident, be removed from the scene of the accident. No vehicle shall be removed or impounded except in strict adherence to the provisions of the Vehicle Code and of this article.
[Ord. 3-1989 § 1, passed 1-25-1989]
Approved storage garages or pounds for the storage of such impounded vehicles shall be designated by resolution of Council approving a contract with such garage for services required under this article. No later than the first meeting in April of each year all such storage garages (towing companies) shall be re-certified by Council upon the recommendation of the Chief of Police.
[Ord. 30-1991 § 1, passed 3-27-1991; Ord. 33-2019, passed 5-16-2019]
Every such approved storage garage or pound shall carry garage keepers liability insurance in an amount not less than $50,000 for the indemnifying of the owner of any such impounded vehicle against the loss thereof, or injury or damage thereto, while in the custody of the poundkeeper. Additionally, each such storage garage shall carry liability insurance in the amount of $500,000 per person and $500,000 per incident, for any actions or claims which may arise from the services rendered for towing or storage, and each such storage garage shall further indemnify and hold harmless the City for any such claims or actions. Every policy of insurance required under this section shall name the City as an additional named insured. Every approved storage garage shall on an annual basis insure that a Certificate of Insurance is filed in the City Solicitor's Office.
[Ord. 20-2006, passed 6-7-2006; Ord. 22-2008, passed 5-21-2008]
The following are fixed and established as the charges that shall be made for the towing and storage of any vehicle removed and impounded for any cause, including involvement in an accident, under the authority of this article:
(a) 
Towing from any Location in the City.
[Amended by Ord. 33-2019, passed 5-16-2019]
Passenger cars, including station wagons, and light truck not exceeding 3/4 ton in load capacity
$120
Vehicles exceeding 3/4 ton in load capacity
$120
Semi trailers, tractors and other such vehicles, the prevailing rate for such towing and removal in the Erie area
(b) 
Extra work. Where extraordinary work is performed in extricating, towing or removing a vehicle, a reasonable charge shall be allowed. Any individual that feels such charge is unreasonable may appeal to the Towing Review Board. However, the towing charges shall first be paid in accordance with Section 527.06.
(c) 
Storage. Thirty dollars per day or any part thereof, commencing on the day or any portion of the day of the towing or removal of any vehicle. Fifteen dollars of this fee is to be paid by the storage contractor to the City.
[Amended by Ord. 33-2019, passed 5-16-2019]
(d) 
Towing fee payable to the City. The towing fee as set forth in Subsection (a) hereof shall include a $60 fee which shall be payable by the towing contractor to the City at the time of collection of the fee.
[Amended by Ord. 33-2019, passed 5-16-2019]
(e) 
Accident cleanup. Twenty dollars per vehicle shall be charged and $10 paid to the City by the towing contractor where a wrecker driver is needed following an automobile accident.
$50 per vehicle shall be charged and remitted to the City by the towing contractor where a City street sweeper is needed following an automobile accident.
[Ord. 48-1982 § 1, passed 7-14-1982]
Within 24 hours from the time of removal of any vehicle under authority granted by this article, notice of the fact that such vehicle has been impounded shall be sent by the Chief of Police to the owner of record of such vehicle. Such notice shall designate the place from which the vehicle was removed, the reason for its removal and impounding and the pound in which it shall have been impounded.
[Ord. 13-1964 § 1, passed 3-11-1964]
No person shall remove any vehicle from an approved storage garage or pound without first paying the towing and storage charges therefor.
[Ord. 26-1958 § 606, passed 4-18-1958]
The payment of any towing and impounding charges authorized by this article, unless such payment shall have been made "under protest," shall be final and conclusive and shall constitute a waiver of any right to recover the money so paid.
[Ord. 9-1989 § 1, passed 2-8-1989]
In the event that any towing and impounding charges so imposed shall be paid "under protest," the offender shall be entitled to a hearing. In all noncriminal matters such hearing shall be with the Towing Review Board. Where a parking ticket or other offense(s) occur(s), such hearing shall proceed to the City of Erie Traffic Court or District Justice Court having jurisdiction, in which case such defendant shall be proceeded against and shall receive such notice as is provided by the Vehicle Code, in other cases of summary offenses, and shall have the same rights as to appeal and waiver of hearing.
[Ord. 26-1958 § 608, passed 4-18-1958]
The Chief of Police shall keep a record of all vehicles impounded and shall be able at all reasonable times to furnish the owners or agents of the owners thereof with information as to the place of storage of such vehicles.
[Ord. 26-1958 § 609, passed 4-18-1958]
The payment of towing and storage charges shall not operate to relieve the owner or operator of any vehicle from liability for any fine or penalty for the violation of any law or ordinance on account of which the vehicle was removed and impounded.
[Ord. 48-1982 § 1, passed 7-14-1982]
No vehicle shall be removed under the authority of this article 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, and does so immediately. However, if a vehicle must first be extricated from snow, mud, a collision, or the like, in order to enable the owner or such person to remove the vehicle, a charge of $15 shall be allowed.
[Ord. 83-1975 § 1, 2, passed 9-3-1975]
(a) 
All approved storage garages shall post in a conspicuous place on their premises a notice containing the name and telephone number of the individual that a vehicle owner should contact in order to obtain access without undue delay to his drivable vehicle during hours that such garage is closed to normal business. Such notice shall also be submitted to the Police Bureau which shall at all reasonable times be able to supply such information to the vehicle owner or his agent.
(b) 
The aforesaid requirement shall apply to all contracts between the City and its towing contractors.
[Ord. 48-1982 § 1, passed 7-14-1982]
The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the Chief of Police or his designee. The Chief of Police may designate and promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.
[Ord. 3-1989 § 1, passed 1-25-1989]
All towing services under contract with the City, as well as all other towing services in private business, shall notify the Bureau of Police whenever a vehicle is towed from private property at the direction of the property owner with the following information: the date of the tow; the license number, vehicle identification number and make of the towed vehicle; the location from which it was towed and the reason for such tow; and the location where such vehicle is impounded.
[Ord. 9-1989 § 1, passed 2-8-1989]
A Towing Review Board shall be established which shall consist of a member of Council appointed by the President of Council, two City residents appointed by Council, an Administrator appointed by the Mayor, and a member of the Bureau of Police, appointed by the Chief of Police.
[Ord. 9-1989 § 1, passed 2-8-1989]
The Towing Review Board shall hold regular meetings to be determined by the Board members and shall be for the following purposes:
(a) 
Conduct administrative hearings pursuant to Title 2 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Chapter 5, Subchapter B to hear appeals concerning the removal of abandoned vehicles; and
(b) 
Review noncriminal disputes concerning vehicles towed by wrecker services under contract with the City to tow vehicles pursuant to this article and to make final determinations.
[Ord. 9-1989 § 1, passed 2-8-1989]
In addition to those requirements specifically enumerated in the rules and regulations promulgated by the Chief of Police in accordance with Section 527.13, the following criteria shall also be met by any wrecker service under contract with the City.
(a) 
No more than one member of any family shall have a towing contract with the City.
(b) 
No individual convicted of a felony or who has three or more unresolved complaints with the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, shall have or continue to be allowed to hold a contract for towing for the City.
(c) 
Any individual being considered for inclusion on the list of City Towing Contractors, shall be subject to a background investigation to be conducted by the Bureau of Police.
(d) 
The criteria listed in Subsections (a) through (c) hereof shall apply to partnerships, corporations or any other business entity as well as individuals.
[Ord. 4-1999, passed 1-27-1999]
The provisions of Section 6309.1 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 6309.1 are hereby adopted and incorporated herein by reference. For any vehicle or combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 17,000 pounds or less, the imposition of a fine or fines involving the vehicle totaling at least $250 for the offenses set forth in the said statute shall result in immediate immobilization of the vehicle for up to 24 hours while the owner makes payment in full or arranges installments; and if such payment or arrangement is not made, the vehicle or combination may be impounded, stored with notice to the required parties, and all costs of such impoundment added to the amounts recoverable from the violation.