[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Pawtucket, approved 4-20-1989 by Ch. No. 2069; amended in its entirety 2-22-2018 by Ch. No. 3153. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Director of Public Safety is authorized to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for towing service companies to perform tow services for the City of Pawtucket and the Pawtucket Police Division. The rules shall be set as policy, but shall be subject to any applicable local ordinances and state law. The policy shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
Certificate of operating authority.
Rules regarding referral of repair work.
Rules regarding the surrender and release of vehicle; posting of towing charges.
Notice to police of towed vehicles.
Keeping of record book and release forms for towed vehicles.
Towing rates for nonoperational and abandoned vehicles.
No person or company (whether providing towing services or otherwise) shall be considered for or placed on the City's list of tow companies approved by the Director of Public Safety, nor shall a towing company currently on the list be allowed to remain on the list, unless said person or company holds and maintains in good standing a certificate of operating authority as issued by the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers.
Each tow company agrees to hold a Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers certificate with an area of coverage, including Pawtucket as an area, as a minimum of coverage.
Ownership of a tow company or person on the City's approved tow list must remain the same. Any change in ownership or corporate structure must be approved by the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to ensure the certificate of operating authority remains in good standing. To remain on said City's approved tow list, the new owners must be approved by the Director of Public Safety and then approved by the Pawtucket City Council in accordance with the rules and regulations in the City's tow policy and the appropriate City ordinance.
To be considered for approval by the Director of Public Safety, an applying tow company or person shall comply with the terms, conditions and provisions of the policy, which shall also apply to and be binding upon companies and/or persons already on said approved tow list.
Formal application shall be made to the Director of Public Safety for consideration on the approved list. Requirements for application shall be included in the policy.
To be considered or retained on the City's tow list, all taxes, water bills, assessments, debts or charges of any kind due the City of Pawtucket must be current.
Upon being placed on the City's list of tow companies approved by the Director of Public Safety, but prior to performing any tow services for the City of Pawtucket or the Pawtucket Police Division, each tow company or person must be approved by the Pawtucket City Council to do business for the City of Pawtucket or the Pawtucket Police Division.
The Director of Public Safety, or designee, may require a periodic recertification of all approved companies and/or persons on the tow list to ensure that all requirements of this chapter or the policy are continued to be met.
If an existing company on said City's authorized tow list currently meets all requirements as to land area and equipment, has its or his or her real estate property involuntarily condemned or taken by eminent domain which results in said company's possessing less than the required land area, such an occurrence will not automatically result in said company's removal from the authorized tow list for said reason. Nevertheless, said company shall have a grace period of at least 60 days to show cause to the Director of Public Safety at an informal hearing as to said company's continuing capability and resources to continue the effective operation of the towing and the storage of motor vehicles to the reasonable satisfaction of the City.
Any tow company on said City's authorized tow list which fails to adhere to or comply with the rules and regulations in the City's towing policy, or with the pertinent ordinances, or state law, or which shall violate or breach the same, then said tow company shall be subject to be summoned and to attend a hearing to be conducted by the Pawtucket City Council to show cause why said company should not be suspended for a reasonable period or terminated and removed from said authorized tow list. The company affected may be represented by an attorney.
The following penalties apply with respect to offenses against this chapter:
First offense not involving criminal charges: a written or a temporary suspension from the tow list not to exceed seven days.
Second offense occurring within a twelve-month period: temporary suspension from the tow list not to exceed 60 days.
Violations or offenses exceeding the foregoing: long-term suspension or removal from the tow list.
Further, this section is not intended nor shall it be construed as preempting or revising pertinent applicable City ordinances or state law.