[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Saco 5-1-1995 as Ch. V, Sec. 5-41, of the 1994 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The executive head of the Police Department of the City of Saco or anyone designated by him.
- The City of Saco.
- Written permission by the Chief of Police to be placed on the towing list.
- TOWING LIST
- A list, maintained by the Police Department, containing the names of those wreckers licensed by the City of Saco to respond to requests for the towing of vehicles made by the Police Department.
- A person engaged in the business of or offering the services of a vehicle wrecker or towing service whereby motor vehicles are or may be towed or otherwise removed from one place to another by the use of a motor vehicle adapted to and designed for that purpose.
Any person desiring to perform towing work at police request shall submit a letter to the Chief of Police, requesting to be placed on the towing list.
This letter shall include:
The name of the owner, his home and business address, home phone and the name under which the person does or will trade.
The location, size and security features of the storage location where towed vehicles will be stored.
The location to which the public must go to claim a stored vehicle.
A statement of willingness to provide wrecker service on a continuous twenty-four-hour-a-day basis, each day of the year.
A complete listing of the insurance policies, carriers and agents the owner would place into effect upon license approval.
A statement that the wrecker owner will accept responsibility for any and all personal property left in towed and stored vehicles, along with a description of the place he would use to adequately protect the property left in towed or stored vehicles.
The equipment listed in this chapter shall be available.
Within 30 days after receiving an application for a wrecker service license, the Chief of Police shall conduct an investigation to determine the truth and accuracy of the information contained in said application, and if the wrecker meets specifications and requirements set forth in this chapter, a license shall be issued, in writing, by the Chief of Police. If the Chief of Police finds the applicant qualified, the applicant's name will be placed on the towing list.
No wrecker shall be issued a license until the applicant has deposited with the Chief of Police a certified copy of the following policies:
A garage keeper's policy, covering fire, theft, windstorm, vandalism and explosion, in the amount of at least $25,000, with each vehicle suffering damage or loss being deemed a separate claim.
A garage keeper's liability policy, covering the operation of the licensee's business, equipment or other vehicles, for any bodily injury or property damage. This policy shall be in the minimum amount of $250,000 for any one person injured or killed and a minimum of $500,000 for more than one person injured or killed in any accident and a minimum of $25,000 for property damage.
Road service liability, covering the lifting, hoisting and towing of a vehicle, in the minimum amount of $25,000.
Each policy required above shall contain an endorsement by the carrier providing 30 days' notice to both the City and the insured in the event of any change in coverage under or cancellation of the policy. Each policy shall also contain an endorsement holding harmless the City or any of its officers or employees.
The lapsing or cancellation of any policy as required hereinabove shall result in the immediate termination of the wrecker's license without any action on the part of the City.
Each service shall be equipped with a wrecker of sufficient size to remove and tow any size passenger vehicle. All wreckers will be equipped with the following:
Adequate amber warning lights (state law).
CB radio (to be able to communicate with the Police Department).
Gasoline (or availability).
Flares or reflectors.
Fire extinguisher (state-approved).
Broom and shovel.
All of the above are mandatory and shall be in good working order, well maintained and subject to City inspection, not only prior to granting the license but at any time by the Chief of Police.
The owner will provide service 24 hours a day each day of the year and have an attendant available to receive calls and release stored vehicles.
The towing list will be maintained by the Chief of Police. The list will be used on a rotating basis. If a wrecker is called out of sequence for any justifiable reason, the service will not be credited on the list for that call.
To avoid discrimination against smaller wrecker services, no minimum size will be placed on the wrecker to be used. When an incident is too large for a particular service to handle, another service will be called and neither service credited for the call.
For those wrecker services meeting all physical requirements set forth in this chapter but not meeting the availability requirements of 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they will be placed on an alternate list and be called when the primary list has been exhausted.
A schedule of maximum rates to be charged vehicle owners by wreckers for specified services shall be established by the City Council after a public hearing.
Editor's Note: Copies of the current fee schedule are on file in the office of the City Clerk.
Each license issued hereunder shall be effective upon receipt and permanent. The license is nontransferable.
The following minimum regulations will be met on a continuous basis by all licensees:
The licensee shall operate and maintain storage facilities within the City.
The licensee shall permit the Chief of Police to conduct one regular and two random inspections of each towing vehicle during the term of the license.
The licensee shall permit the Chief of Police to conduct inspections of each storage area during the term of the license.
The licensee shall maintain such records as required by regulations promulgated by the Chief of Police pursuant to § 200-7 and shall permit their inspection by the Chief during normal business hours, including a copy of this chapter.
The licensee shall arrive on the scene within 20 minutes of receipt of a request for service from the police.
The vehicle must be towed, not driven, to a storage lot.
No vehicle shall be towed to a lot outside the City.
The licensee shall clean the accident area of all debris resulting from the accident, if there is any.
The licensee shall not make any repairs to the vehicle without the consent of the owner.
The licensee shall hold the City harmless from all claims for damages to property and injuries to persons resulting from the licensee's negligence in the towing or storage of vehicles pursuant hereto.
No wrecker may respond to the scene of an accident or emergency for the purpose of towing vehicles unless specifically called there by the police or person involved in the accident or emergency. This section is intended to prohibit wrecker owners from soliciting business at the scenes of accidents and emergencies and shall not be construed to prohibit any wrecker from contracting with any person, firm or corporation, provided that the wrecker owner, his agents and employees do not solicit towing contracts at the scenes of accidents or emergencies.
The Chief of Police may revoke or suspend any license when he finds that:
The license was secured by fraud or by the concealment of a material fact by the wrecker owner and such fact, if known, would have caused the refusal to issue a license;
The wrecker owner has violated any of the requirements or regulations established herein under this chapter; or
The City is not satisfied with the general services of the wrecker owner and/or employees or with the cooperation it has received while rendering service.
Any licensee or former licensee aggrieved by the action of the Chief of Police pursuant to §§ 200-3 and 200-11 may appeal to the City Administrator, in writing, within 10 days of such action. After a hearing thereon, the City Administrator may reverse, modify or uphold the decision of the Chief of Police.
If the administrative appeal is unsatisfactory, the licensee or former licensee may then appeal to the Council at its regular meeting, provided that 10 days have lapsed since the administrative hearing.