§ 37-7. Accident scene and police pick-up scene  

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  • (a) It shall be a Class C misdemeanor offense for a person to stop, park, halt, or operate a tow truck within three hundred (300) feet of an accident scene until requested by a peace officer to approach the accident scene in said tow truck.

    (b) The following actions will take place at the scene of any motor vehicle accident or situation that requires a tow truck to remove vehicles from the public streets or city right-of-way:

    (1) If the police officer makes a determination that a vehicle needs to be towed, the police officer shall ask, the vehicle owner or operator if conditions permit whether the vehicle operator has a preference for a particular tow truck. If the vehicle operator indicates a preference for a particular tow truck, the police officer shall have the vehicle operator complete the driver's towing form specifying the specific tow truck the vehicle operator is requesting. Upon completion of the driver's towing form, the police officer shall notify the communications dispatcher to request that particular tow truck if it is on the city's next-out rotation list in order to expedite the consent tow. If it is not on the city's next-out rotation list it shall be the responsibility of the owner or operator to contact the tow truck. If the vehicle is a traffic hazard and the requested tow truck is unable to respond within thirty (30) minutes the operator or owner will be advised that they must choose a tow truck that can respond within the 30-minute requirement, if not the next-out rotation tow truck shall be summoned by the police officer for a nonconsent tow. When a licensee is called by request, the city shall not change the licensee's position on the next-out rotation list. The licensee shall respond within thirty (30) minutes. If the licensee fails to respond within thirty (30) minutes, the dispatcher shall call the "next-out." No police officer shall suggest or recommend a particular towing company. No police officer shall attempt to influence a vehicle operator's selection of a towing company.

    (2) If the vehicle operator has no preference for a specific towing company, the police officer shall notify the communications dispatcher to send the "next-out" as shown on the rotation list. Once the police officer has notified the communications officer to send the "next-out," the licensee shall have thirty (30) minutes in which to arrive at the scene from the time the licensee is called unless the call is for a heavy-duty truck, in which case the licensee shall have forty-five (45) minutes in which to arrive at the scene. If the licensee fails to arrive at the scene within the required time, the city shall cancel the call, place the licensees at the bottom of the rotation list and call the "next-out." The city reserves the right to cancel the "next-out" as warranted by the situation on the scene. If the city cancels the "next-out" for any reason other than the company's failure to arrive within the allocated time limit, or the equipment does not meet the requirements of this chapter the company shall be placed on top of the rotation list and shall receive the subsequent "next-out" call.

    (3) Upon the arrival of the licensee, the police officer shall complete the driver's towing form in the presence of the tow truck driver. The vehicle operator and tow truck driver shall properly sign the form before the vehicle is towed from the scene.

    (4) Upon the proper completion of the driver's towing form, the tow truck driver shall deliver the vehicle directly to the licensee's vehicle storage facility or the location agreed upon with the owner or operator of the vehicle.

    (5) In multi-vehicle towing situations, the tow truck drivers shall have their choice of vehicles in the order the tow trucks were called out from the rotation list.

    (6) All tow truck drivers arriving or summoned to the scene shall obey all lawful orders given them by any police officer and shall not in any manner interfere with such police officer in the performance of the officer's duty. The police officer on the scene shall not advise or instruct a tow truck driver on the manner of towing except in case of a violation of this chapter.

    (7) No tow truck driver shall remove any wrecked or disabled or illegally parked vehicle from any public street or city right-of-way without authorization from a police officer, or any city authorized employee; however, the owner or operator of a stalled or disabled vehicle not involved in an accident may authorize a tow truck driver to remove the vehicle if no police officer is present.

    (8) Each tow truck driver who is dispatched shall be responsible for cleaning the street of any broken glass or other debris resulting from a collision. If more than one (1) tow truck is summoned, each driver shall bear equal responsibility for the clean up.

    (9) Before a vehicle is removed from an accident scene in rotational towing situations, the police officer on the scene shall sign the police department's driver's towing form, which shall include the tow truck driver's name, a brief description of any damage to the vehicle, and an inventory of the contents of the vehicle. Both the police officer and the tow truck driver shall sign the driver's towing form.

    (10) Licensees and their drivers, agents, or representatives shall not address complaints, conflicts or disagreements in an antagonistic manner at the scene of the accident or tow.

    (11) If a licensee is called for a rotation tow and the licensee determines the tow requires a heavy-duty tow truck the licensee may call a heavy-duty vehicle tow service rotation licensee and request their assistance, however only the fee for a heavy-duty tow in the appropriate zone will apply. Alternately the licensee may pass and retain its current position on the rotation list provided they have not attempted to complete the tow.

    (12) All nonconsent "over the seawall" tows shall require a use of a licensee from the heavy-duty tow service rotation licensee.

    (13) A licensee may only call additional tow trucks of that licensee's to give assistance on a tow. If the licensee is unable to complete a tow it will be deemed a pass except for subsection (11) of this subsection.

    (14) If a temporary city storage lot is used during a special event, the licensees that towed vehicles during the special event to the temporary storage facility shall remove such towed vehicles between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the day following the tow. If a licensee fails to remove a vehicle that it towed to the city's temporary storage lot by 6:00 a.m., the city shall take possession of the vehicle and the licensee shall forfeit any claim against that vehicle.

(Ord. No. 10-027, § 2, 3-11-10)