Township of Springfield, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Springfield 3-14-1995 as part of Ord. No. 1311. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 132-1 Purpose and intent.

[Amended 3-12-2002 by Ord. No. 1394]
The purpose and intent of this ordinance is to regulate towing rates and towing services as permitted by 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3353; to provide for proper licensing of towing services and notice to the Springfield Township Police where vehicles are towed from public or private property without the consent of the owner or operator of the vehicle by a towing service operating on behalf of a private property owner, and to avoid erroneous reports of stolen vehicles being submitted to the Springfield Township Police Department.

§ 132-1.1 Repossession activity.

[Added 3-12-2002 by Ord. No. 1394]
Notwithstanding the provisions hereinabove, towing companies will be generally exempt from compliance with this Towing Ordinance while they are engaged in repossession of vehicles on behalf of holders of liens on vehicles. However:
A. 
At least one hour prior to beginning the repossession of a vehicle, the towing company must notify the Springfield Township Police Department of its intention to repossess the vehicle; give the Springfield Township Police Department the name of the vehicle owner and the address at which the vehicle repossession is going to take place. Furthermore, the towing company shall present to the Police Department proof of its right to repossess the vehicle.
B. 
When not engaged in repossession activity, towing companies must comply with the Towing Ordinance. The mere fact that a towing company performs repossession services from time to time in the Township does not provide the said towing company with a blanket exemption from this Towing Ordinance.

§ 132-2 Towing costs and hooking fees for vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds.

[Amended 2-13-2001 by Ord. No. 1378; 3-12-2002 by Ord. No. 1394; 12-13-2005 by Ord. No. 1444]
A. 
The cost of towing passenger cars, and other vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds, hooked and removed from the premises shall not be in excess of the charge as set forth in Chapter 40, Fee Schedule, of the Code of the Township of Springfield for each crane tow, wheel lift, flatbed tow, or any other type of tow. In all instances when a passenger car, or other vehicle weighing less than 10,000 pounds, is hooked and the owner/operator returns prior to the vehicle being removed, tow operators shall charge no more than a hooking fee as indicated in Chapter 40, Fee Schedule, of the Code of the Township of Springfield and must release the vehicle to the owner/operator immediately upon receipt of fee. The fee is indicated in Chapter 40, Fee Schedule, for the recovery of additional labor costs associated with the removal of oil and vehicle fluids and specialty tow services for overturned vehicles and winching services.
[Amended 8-10-2010 by Ord. No. 1507; 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 1560]
B. 
If the owner/operator is unable or unwilling to pay the hooking fee, the tow operator has the option of towing the vehicle to an impound facility or releasing the vehicle to the owner/operator and issuing a written bill at the scene.
C. 
Owners/operators of hooked vehicles and towing operators shall not engage in disorderly conduct.

§ 132-3 Storage costs of passenger cars weighing less than 10,000 pounds.

[Amended 2-13-2001 by Ord. No. 1378; 12-13-2005 by Ord. No. 1444]
A. 
The storage costs for any impounded passenger vehicle shall not be in excess as indicated in Chapter 40, Fee Schedule, of the Code of the Township of Springfield per twenty-four-hour period, which twenty-four-hour period commences at the time the vehicle is actually placed into the storage facility.
[Amended 8-10-2010 by Ord. No. 1507; 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 1560]
B. 
There will be no storage costs if the towed vehicle is retrieved on the same business day between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
C. 
Towing company must provide secure, well-lighted, and maintained facilities which at all times promote the safety and protection of towed and impounded vehicles and owners thereof who visit such facility.
D. 
Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., seven days per week, the towing company must have personnel available, at least once every hour, to return the towed or impounded vehicle to its owner or to allow the owner an opportunity to remove personal belongings such as medicine, cell phones, laptop computers, purses, perishable goods, etc. from the towed/impounded vehicle.

§ 132-4 Towing cost for vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds.

[Amended 3-12-2002 by Ord. No. 1394; 8-10-2010 by Ord. No. 1507; 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 1560]
The cost of towing vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds shall not be in excess in accordance with Chapter 40, Fee Schedule, of the Code of the Township of Springfield. In all instances when a vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds is hooked and the owner/operator returns prior to the vehicle being removed, tow operators shall release the vehicle to the owner/operator immediately upon receipt of fee. The fee is as indicated in Chapter 40, Fee Schedule, for the recovery of additional labor costs associated with the removal of oil and vehicle fluids and specialty tow services for overturned vehicles and winching services.

§ 132-5 Storage cost of vehicles other than passenger cars.

[Amended 2-13-2001 by Ord. No. 1378; 8-10-2010 by Ord. No. 1507; 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 1560]
The cost of storage of any impounded vehicle other than a passenger car shall not be in excess of as is indicated in Chapter 40, Fee Schedule.

§ 132-6 Towing unattended vehicles from public or private property.

The following regulations shall apply to the towing of any vehicle parked or left unattended on public or private property without the consent of the property owner, including but not limited to repossessors of vehicles on behalf of lienholders or lessors of vehicles:
A. 
No towing service shall remove any vehicle that is parked or left unattended on private property unless the private property owner or lessee consents in writing to such removal. In addition, any towing service shall first secure a license from the Township of Springfield prior to doing any towing from any public or private property located in Springfield Township. A license fee shall be incorporated into Chapter 40, Fee Schedule, of the Code on an annual basis and shall be issued by the Springfield Township Police Department upon completion of a department application containing, at a minimum, the following information:
[Amended 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 1560]
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the towing service.
(2) 
The name, business address and telephone number of all persons or entities having an ownership interest in the towing service.
(3) 
The name, address and telephone number of all persons from whose property in Springfield Township the towing service is authorized to remove vehicles.
(4) 
The name, address and telephone number of the storage yard where vehicles are removed from private property in Springfield Township will be towed.
(5) 
The name, address and telephone number of the bonding company and the name, address and telephone number of the bonding company agent through whom the bond required by this section has been issued.
(6) 
Any changes in any of the information required in Subsection A(1) through (6) herein shall be reported, in writing, to the Springfield Township Police Department within 24 hours of such change.
B. 
The Chief of Police, upon determining that any provisions of this section have been violated, in addition to any other penalties provided herein, may revoke a license issued hereunder, together with the right to reapply for a subsequent license, for a period of up to two years. Appeal from such revocation shall be to the Public Safety Committee of the Board of Commissioners.
C. 
Authorized towing services shall:
(1) 
Maintain a current bond with the Township in the sum of $10,000 in form and with surety satisfactory to the Township's Solicitor, conditioned upon the faithful performance discharged by the towing service of its duties as bailees of removed vehicles, and to indemnify the owners of vehicles against loss, injury or damage while in his custody.
(2) 
Provide certificates of insurance as follows: in the minimum amount of $500,000 combined single limit for scheduled autos, hired autos, nonowned autos; $100,000 for each personal injury; and $50,000 per occurrence for garage keeper's liability.
[Amended 3-12-2002 by Ord. No. 1394]
(3) 
Comply with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code with respect to the removal and storage of vehicles from private property or the removal and impoundment of vehicles from public property.
(4) 
Make payment of any final judgment for personal injuries or property damage rendered with respect to the performance of services regulated by this ordinance.
(5) 
Notify the Springfield Township Police Department by telephone, in person or by facsimile transmission of the removal of a vehicle from public or private property within 60 minutes of such removal and provide a description and license number of the vehicle thus removed and notify the Springfield Township Police Department in writing within six hours of the removal of the vehicle from private property on a form provided by the Springfield Township Police Department.
[Amended 3-12-2002 by Ord. No. 1394]
(6) 
Provide the Springfield Township Police Department with a true and correct copy of each and every contract between the applicant and the owner and/or lessee of the private property with respect to the removal of vehicles from private property within the Township.
(7) 
Display the name of the towing service, or the person operating it, together with a valid phone number therefore, by signs on both sides of the tow truck.
(8) 
Maintain during off hours either a telephone operator, answering machine or telephone tape machine to provide owners or operators of towed vehicles with necessary information as to the cost, the required method of payment and the procedure for claiming the towed vehicle.
(9) 
Prior to the issuance of any license, provide proof that they have obtained a business privilege tax license from Springfield Township.
(10) 
Display the current towing license obtained from Springfield Township on the driver's side window of the tow vehicle.
D. 
Signs on private lots. No person shall remove or cause to be removed a vehicle parked on a private lot without authorization unless signs are posted as follows:
(1) 
That a sign, at least three feet by two feet in size, is placed at every entrance to a private lot clearly indicating that the parking lot is private, that unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense, the name and phone number of the towing agency, the hours of tow operation and the towing and storage fees.
(2) 
That within a lot containing less than 20 parking spaces, additional signs at least eighteen by twelve (18 x 12) inches in size are to be posted approximately eight feet above ground level, clearly indicating that all unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense. One sign shall be posted for every four parking spaces and be readily visible from the parking spaces.
(3) 
That within a lot containing more than 20 parking spaces, the property owner shall prepare a site plan, subject to the approval of the Chief of Police, showing signage readily visible from all directions. Such signs, clearly indicating that all unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense, shall thereafter be posted and maintained pursuant to the approved site plan.
(4) 
In the event that the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code provides for a higher standard with regard to signs and posting of signs, said standards shall be followed.
(5) 
There shall be no additional fees other than the fees posted on the signs.
[Added 12-13-2005 by Ord. No. 1444]
(6) 
Signs must be reflective to increase visibility during hours of darkness.
[Added 12-13-2005 by Ord. No. 1444]
E. 
Police towing.
[Added 6-12-2001 by Ord. No. 1381]
(1) 
The Board of Commissioners shall appoint two towing companies each year to serve for a period of 12 months. The appointed towing companies will alternate as the primary towing service on a monthly basis. On those months when the towing company is not serving as the primary tower, it will be placed on standby as the secondary tower to substitute services for the primary tower when unable, for any reason, to fulfill towing services.
[Amended 5-10-2005 by Ord. No. 1433]
(2) 
No person shall be eligible to be named as a primary or alternate primary tower by the Board of Commissioners unless he/she first acquires a valid towing license from the Township of Springfield.
[Amended 12-13-2005 by Ord. No. 1444]
(3) 
Both the primary and/or secondary tower are expected to respond within 15 minutes from their receipt of the Police Department's call requesting service to the location of the wrecked or abandoned vehicle, except during adverse roadway conditions.
(4) 
If the primary or secondary tower cannot respond to the service call from the Police Department with the appropriate towing vehicle or within the required response time, the firm should so advise the police dispatcher. If the tower is delayed while in transit to the requested location, the vehicle operator shall advise the police dispatcher of the delay and of his present location, whereupon a determination shall be made by the appropriate police official as to whether the secondary tower shall be called.
(5) 
Any primary or secondary tower performing police towing service, as an independent contractor to the Township of Springfield, shall not exceed the maximum rates established in this chapter.
(6) 
All primary and secondary towers shall comply with the rules and regulations established by the Springfield Police Department.
(7) 
Primary and/or alternate primary towers must immediately transport towed vehicles to a secured yard with the vehicle's windows closed and all doors locked. The vehicle's keys shall be deposited with a copy of the service invoice in the impound yard office.
[Amended 12-13-2005 by Ord. No. 1444]
(8) 
An invoice for each tow service shall be completed by the primary and/or secondary tower and shall include the following information:
(a) 
Incident number.
(b) 
Date and location.
(c) 
Whether a police release is required.
(d) 
The make, model, vehicle identification number and license plate number.
(e) 
Indication of status (i.e., wrecked, stolen, abandoned, disabled or impounded)
(9) 
If the cause of the disability was due to an accident, primary and/or alternate primary towers must completely clean and sweep all debris from the accident scene prior to leaving same. There shall be no additional charge for clean up of the accident scene.
[Added 12-13-2005 by Ord. No. 1444]
F. 
The Chief of Police, or designee, is hereby authorized to remove and impound, or to order the removal and impounding, of any vehicle parked on any of the streets, highways or public property in Springfield Township in violation of any provision of the law or of any ordinance of the Township; provided, that the removal and/or impoundment of such vehicles strictly adheres to the provisions of this ordinance.
[Added 8-10-2004 by Ord. No. 1419]

§ 132-7 Registration plate used as evidence.

In any proceeding for a violation of the provisions of this ordinance, the registration plate, if any, displayed on such motor vehicle shall be prima facie evidence that the owner of the said motor vehicle was either operating said motor vehicle or was in operation and control of said motor vehicle at the time of said violation.

§ 132-8 Violation and penalties.

Any person, partnership, corporation or other legal entity violating the provisions of this ordinance shall be subject to the general penalty provision of the Code of the Township of Springfield, Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, entitled "General Penalty."

§ 132-9 Repealer.

All other ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

§ 132-10 Severability.

The provisions of this ordinance are severable, and if any section, clause, sentence or part or provision thereof shall be held illegal, invalid or unconstitutional, the decision of the Court shall not affect or impair the remaining parts and provisions of this ordinance.