Town of New Paltz, NY
Ulster County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of New Paltz 12-19-2002 by L.L. No. 7-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 41-1 Declaration of purpose.

It is hereby declared and found that it is of vital importance to the traveling public that disabled vehicles be removed from the highways as promptly as possible, that delay in removal results in restricting the movement of traffic unnecessarily and causes street accidents. The towing of disabled motor vehicles from the highways of the Town of New Paltz is a matter affecting the public interest and consequently should be subject to supervision and administrative control for the purpose of safeguarding the public against traffic problems and confusion at the scene of accidents, fraud and exorbitant rates and similar abuses. The Town Board believes that establishing a towing list for use by the police can accomplish this purpose.

§ 41-2 Establishment of policy.

A. 
It is the intent of the Town Board of the Town of New Paltz to establish a fair and uniform Town-wide policy for the towing of vehicles. The following issues have been taken into consideration in the development of this policy:
(1) 
The needs of the public.
(2) 
The needs of the towing industry.
(3) 
The needs of the Town police.
B. 
To meet the needs of the public, unethical or unfair business practices on the part of private towing companies acting at the direction of Town policemen must be regulated. Towing companies who wish to participate in the Town towing program must demonstrate that they can give prompt, safe and professional service.
C. 
The needs of the towing industry must be met by providing them with a consistent Town system for the equitable distribution of tow calls within the Town. This provides the towing industry with clear and concise requirements for continued service to the community. This policy also allows for a fair and equitable means to resolve disputes between tow operators.
D. 
The community needs tow operators who are competent and able to respond to calls within a minimum of time delay. This requirement mandates an appropriate administrative response to deal with those towing agencies which do not provide services which meet Town standards.

§ 41-3 Criteria for tow operators.

The Town Board requires that any towing business which applies for inclusion on the Town police towing list, within the Town, must meet the following standards:
A. 
All towing businesses must maintain a minimum of $1,000,000 insurance for each occurrence and on-the-hook and in-the-yard coverage of at least $100,000.
B. 
All towing businesses must maintain a valid inspection and registration for each of their towing vehicles.
C. 
All towing businesses must have secure indoor and outdoor storage areas within the Town of New Paltz available in which to store specified vehicles out of public access and staffed with at least one employee of the registered repair shop, who shall be present at least on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and who shall be authorized to release towed vehicles to claimants.
[Amended 7-25-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
D. 
All towing businesses must maintain adequate equipment to perform the required towing tasks. Each tow truck operator shall maintain a valid operator's license for the class of vehicle being driven to and from the tow scene.
E. 
All towing businesses must be capable of a twenty-minute response time to the scene of the tow after receiving the request for their services.
F. 
All towing companies must make their facilities and equipment available for scheduled inspections. These inspections will be made to ensure that each company maintains a valid Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) shop registration, with employees on the premises who are engaged in or capable of engaging in repairs to motor vehicles, vehicle registrations, vehicle inspections and vehicle insurance. The Town police must give two weeks' notice before inspecting any towing company's vehicles or facilities.
[Amended 7-25-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
G. 
All towing businesses shall comply with the requirements for the charging of fees as established from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.

§ 41-4 Towing list procedures.

A. 
Two rotational towing lists shall be kept. One towing list shall be for normal passenger vehicles and light trucks. The second list shall be used for towing companies capable of towing larger commercial-type vehicles. Only towing companies located within the Town shall be included on each towing list. (This will be determined by the business location as recorded on the DMV shop registration.) In the event that satisfactory towing services cannot be obtained in the Town, towing companies from adjoining townships may be utilized to provide particular services.
B. 
Priority for contacting towing companies shall be made in the following sequence:
(1) 
Emergency needs at the towing scene.
(2) 
Owner request for a specific towing agency (within a reasonable distance).
(3) 
Next towing business from the rotational towing list.
C. 
Towing businesses will initially be placed on the towing list in random order. Once the use of the towing list has been commenced, new businesses to be included on the list shall be placed on the bottom of the list.
D. 
Tow calls from the towing list shall be made from the top of the list. Each company shall be allowed 10 rings to answer the phone. Once a towing agency has responded to a call, or failed to respond, their name shall be placed at the bottom of the rotation list. If a towing agency uses an answering service or pager, voice contact must be made with the calling agency within five minutes.
E. 
A towing log shall be maintained at the Town police answering point. After a towing agency has been contacted, or failed to answer in 10 rings, the call shall be logged onto the towing log. The log shall include the name of the towing company, the time the call was made and whether or not the company responded. Upon the company's response to the scene, the officer at the scene shall advise the dispatch point of the arrival. The arrival time shall then be recorded on the towing log.

§ 41-5 Additional operational guidelines for towing companies.

In addition to the above criterion and procedures, the following guidelines shall also be adhered to:
A. 
Tow companies shall be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tow companies must be willing to respond to any type of tow call, whether it be a collision, disabled vehicle, impound, etc. Tow companies who do not desire to tow at night or on weekends, etc., or who elect to respond only to certain types of tow calls, will not be considered for placement on the towing list. (This does not preclude the tow company from being called as a result of an owner's request.) Failure to respond to three calls, absent extenuating circumstances, will result in temporary suspension from the towing list for a period of 20 consecutive days.
B. 
Tow companies must provide one permanent day and/or night phone number. Absent mitigating circumstances, tow companies will not contact Town police and attempt to leave phone numbers of on-call tow truck operators.
C. 
If a tow company shall utilize an answering service, the twenty-minute response time shall commence when the original phone call is made and not from the time voice contact is made with the tow company.
D. 
Tow companies must accept standard methods of payment for their service, like credit cards, and not be restricted to cash-only transactions.
E. 
In the event that a company is removed from the tow list, the owner of such company will be afforded the opportunity to meet with the Town Board to discuss the reason(s) for removal.

§ 41-6 Additional operational guidelines for Town police and employees.

In addition to the aforementioned procedures, Town police and Town employees shall comply with the following guidelines:
A. 
The towing of vehicles will be completed in accordance with both the Town Police Manual and the instructions, guidelines and procedures set forth in this policy.
B. 
If applicable, the towing of a vehicle shall be done by the owner's/operator's request. If the owner/operator has no preference, or is not present, or is unable to provide a proper response, then the tow will be performed by the next tow company on the established tow list for that particular town.
C. 
Police officers and employees shall avoid offering personal recommendation to motorists who have no preference of a towing company. Members shall inform the person in need that a tow list is maintained, compromised of certain companies which have all met certain criteria, thus affording them the opportunity to be utilized for towing calls.
D. 
The tow company, whether the owner's request or from the tow list, shall not be changed once it has been notified to respond to a scene.
E. 
If the tow list calls fail to obtain a response to an incident, then the closest available, and authorized, tow company from an adjacent town shall be utilized. The same principle shall apply when seeking heavy-duty commercial-type tow trucks. If there is none available within the Town, then the closest to the scene from an adjacent town shall be utilized.

§ 41-7 Severability.

If any section, paragraph, subdivision, clause or provision of this chapter shall be adjudged as invalid, such adjudication shall apply only to the section, paragraph, subdivision, clause or provision so adjudicated and the remainder of this chapter shall be deemed valid and effective.

§ 41-8 When effective.

This chapter shall be effective immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.