Township of Haverford, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The following words and phrases, which are not defined in § 102 of the Vehicle Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section for purposes of this Article.
DISABLED MOTOR VEHICLE
[Amended 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
A disabled motor vehicle shall be a vehicle which meets one or more of the following conditions:
A. 
A vehicle which is unable to operate or move under its own power for any reason.
B. 
Any sharp or protruding metal, broken or missing glass or rusted cavities.
C. 
A vehicle suspended from a lift, supported by jacks or propped up by another object which is not part of the said disabled vehicle.
D. 
A vehicle which has flat or missing tires for a period of more than 72 consecutive hours.
E. 
A vehicle which has any missing parts or which would allow for the harborage of vermin.
F. 
A vehicle which does not bear a current registration or inspection sticker.
DUTY TOWER
A person engaged in the business or performing the services of operating a vehicle wrecker, tow truck, car carrier or other vehicle whereby disabled, wrecked or abandoned vehicles are towed or otherwise removed from the place where they are disabled, wrecked or abandoned, which "duty tower" shall have been appointed by the Haverford Township Board of Commissioners for the aforesaid services.
[Added 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
EMERGENCY SITUATION
One which is caused by accident, casualty or other unexpected circumstances which renders a motor vehicle inoperative or immobile, provided that no such emergency situation shall be deemed to exist for a period of more than 12 consecutive hours after said accident, casualty or other unexpected circumstances.
FLATBED WRECKER
A flatbed vehicle equipped with a roll body and which is designed for and capable of lifting and transporting passenger and commercial vehicles.
[Added 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
HEAVY-DUTY WRECKER
A vehicle with a minimum twenty-five-ton capacity, designed for and capable of lifting and transporting passenger and commercial vehicles.
[Added 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
LEASED
A vehicle leased for a fixed period of greater than 18 months and for a fixed flat rate to a duty tow contractor. The lessor must be a business, company or corporation whose usual and customary business is that of leasing motor vehicles.
[Added 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
LIGHT-DUTY WRECKER
A vehicle designed for and capable of lifting and transporting passenger vehicles or motorcycles, including wheel lift or sling/recover wreckers.
[Added 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Haverford, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
[Added 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any motor vehicle to allow, or for any person to park a disabled motor vehicle or permit a disabled motor vehicle to stand, whether attended or unattended, upon any public highway within the Township of Haverford for a period of more than 48 consecutive hours. It shall also be unlawful for the owner of any motor vehicle to allow or for any person to repair, fix or service a disabled motor vehicle upon any public highway within the Township of Haverford except in an emergency situation.
B. 
Any motor vehicle found upon the public highways of the Township of Haverford in violation of any provision of this section may be removed and impounded. Prior to being removed and impounded, the Township of Haverford Police Department shall ascertain the name and address of the owner of such vehicle and forward to such owner, by regular mail, notification that such vehicle may be removed and impounded if such vehicle is not moved by the owner, or someone acting on his behalf, within 48 hours.
[Amended 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
The Chief of Police of the Township 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 the Township in violation of any provision of the law or of any ordinance of the Township; provided, however, that no such vehicle shall be removed or impounded except in strict adherence to the provisions of this Article.
[Amended 10-14-1975 by Ord. No. 1619; 3-21-1977 by Ord. No. 1661; 5-30-1978 by Ord. No. 1706; 12-27-1988 by Ord. No. 2034; 2-25-1991 by Ord. No. 2107; 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
A. 
License required. No person shall be called by the Township or its Police Department as a tower for the purpose of removal of disabled or wrecked vehicles unless that person is granted a duty tow license by the Board of Commissioners of Haverford Township.
[Amended 3-8-2004 by Ord. No. 2413]
B. 
License application.
(1) 
Applications for a duty tow license shall be made to the Township Manager upon a form available from his office, which form shall require the following information:
(a) 
The name, address and telephone number of the business for which the license is sought.
(b) 
The name, home and business addresses and telephone number of all the owner(s) or, in the case of a corporation, stockholder(s) of the business for which the license is sought, together with a designation of the business organization (i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.).
(c) 
A list of tow trucks, vehicle wreckers, car carriers or other vehicles available for service to Haverford Township. A description of each vehicle (make, model, type, year and vehicle identification number), copies of current registrations and insurance cards, the name and address of the owner/lessee of each vehicle or piece of equipment and the location where regularly parked or stored shall be included.
(d) 
A certificate of insurance providing a minimum of $500,000 automobile liability and garage liability or other proof acceptable to the Township that the applicant has obtained the liability insurance required for the issuance of a duty tow license.
(2) 
Applications shall be completed and signed by the owner(s) of the business for which a duty tow license is sought, or, in the case of a corporation, the president of the corporation.
(3) 
Applicants must execute an agreement to indemnify the Township for any and all losses or expenses incurred by virtue of any acts performed in the course of service.
(4) 
Applications for duty tow licenses must be accompanied by a fee of $100 to offset the cost of investigation and processing of licenses.
(5) 
The applications shall be reviewed by the Police and Code Enforcement Departments within 20 days of receipt of the completed application and application fee. Incomplete applications shall be promptly returned to the applicant. A report shall be filed with the Township Manager for recommendation to the Board of Commissioners by each department responding to applications.
(6) 
Applicants for duty tow licenses must have a minimum five years' experience as a tower.
[Amended 3-8-2004 by Ord. No. 2413]
(7) 
Vehicles required.
(a) 
The following vehicles shall be owned or leased exclusively by the applicant and shall be available on call for service at the request of the Township or its Police Department: three combination flatbed or wheel-lift trucks.
[Amended 5-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2503]
(b) 
All of the aforesaid required vehicles shall bear a sign indicating the name and telephone number of the applicant's towing business and must be made available for inspection by the Township.
(c) 
Applicants must show proof that access to heavy-duty equipment, including a heavy-duty wrecker, is available to the applicant on a twenty-four-hour basis. The duty tower will make all necessary arrangements for all heavy-duty towing requests and the appropriate fee.
[Amended 1-10-2000 by Ord. No. 2329]
(8) 
The applicant's place of business shall be located within the Township boundaries in order that the response time to a call for duty tow service is immediate.
(9) 
After consideration of the Township Manager's recommendations, the Board of Commissioners shall appoint duty towers by January 31 of each year to serve for a period of two years from the date of issuance with an additional year upon approval of the Board of Commissioners. Secondary towers shall be placed on standby to substitute services for a primary tower who is unable, for any reason, to fulfill duty tow services. The primary towers shall have on-call status as determined by the Township Manager.
[Amended 3-8-2004 by Ord. No. 2413; 1-13-2014 by Ord. No. 2715]
(10) 
Each duty tower shall pay a license fee as fixed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners. Upon payment of the license fee, the Police Department shall issue a license to appointed duty towers. Such licenses shall be effective for a period of one year from the date of issuance.
(11) 
The applicant shall have a clean business record that would withstand a police background investigation. The contractor and its shareholders, officers and directors shall not have been convicted of fraud, theft, receiving stolen property and/or other dishonest business practices.
[Added 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 2647]
C. 
Specific duties of duty tow licensees shall be as follows:
(1) 
All licensees shall keep and maintain all of the vehicles listed on its application in a safe and operable condition which shall pass the Motor Vehicle Inspection Standards of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and shall have said vehicles immediately available to answer calls for service by the Police Department during the duty tow shift assigned to the license.
(2) 
All licensees shall respond within 15 minutes from their receipt of the Police Department's call requesting service to the arrival of the licensees towing vehicle at the location of the disabled or wrecked vehicle, except during adverse roadway conditions.
[Amended 3-8-2004 by Ord. No. 2413]
(3) 
If any licensee cannot respond to the service call from the Police Department with the appropriate towing vehicle or within the required response time, the licensee shall so advise the police dispatcher. If a licensee's vehicle 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 duty tower shall be called.
(4) 
Any licensee who performs duty towing services as an independent contractor to the Township of Haverford shall not exceed the maximum rates established in this chapter.
(5) 
All licensees shall be responsible for removing vehicular parts and debris from the highway. No liquid cleanup is required of the licensee with the exception of oil dry when needed.
[Amended 3-8-2004 by Ord. No. 2413]
(6) 
All licensees shall comply with all rules and regulations established by the Township Manager or Police Department.
(7) 
Duty tow licensees must secure a towed vehicle in a designated impound yard with windows closed and doors locked whenever possible. The vehicle's key must be deposited with a copy of the invoice for services in the impound yard office.
(8) 
An invoice for each tow service must be completed by the licensee, which invoice shall include the following information:
(a) 
The incident number.
(b) 
The 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, disabled or impounded).
[Amended 3-8-2004 by Ord. No. 2413]
(9) 
A tag supplied by the Township shall be completed and affixed to any towed vehicle. The bottom portion shall be given to the police officer requesting the tow.
[Amended 3-8-2004 by Ord. No. 2413]
(10) 
Towed vehicles requiring police investigation may be towed to specific locations by direction of police officials. Upon completion of investigative matters, towed vehicles will be returned to the impound yard, without additional charges to the Township, for release after the vehicle owner has paid the appropriate charges.
[Added 1-10-2000 by Ord. No. 2329]
[Amended 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
A. 
License application.
(1) 
Applications for impound yard operators shall be made to the Township Manager upon a form available from his office, which form shall require the following information:
(a) 
The name, address and telephone number of the business for which an impound yard license is sought.
(b) 
The name, home and business addresses and telephone number of all the owner(s) or, in the case of a corporation, stockholder(s) of the business for which the towing license is sought, together with a description of the type of business organization (i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.).
(c) 
The address and description of the premises upon which any disabled, wrecked or abandoned vehicle will be towed to and/or stored, including the size of the area on the premises available for storage of vehicles, the approximate number of vehicles which may be stored in the area, whether the area is fenced, height of fencing and a description of security precautions or protection methods for vehicles stored in said area.
(d) 
A certificate of insurance or other proof acceptable to the Township that the applicant has obtained $300,000 of garage keeper's liability and garage liability insurance required for the issuance of an impound yard operator's license.
(2) 
Application for an impound yard operator's license shall be completed and signed by the owner(s) of the business for which the license is sought, or, in the case of a corporation, the president of the corporation.
(3) 
Applicants must execute an agreement to indemnify the Township for any and all losses or expenses incurred by virtue of any acts performed in the course of service.
(4) 
Applications must be accompanied by an application fee of $100 to offset the cost of investigating and processing the application.
(5) 
The application shall be reviewed by the Police and Code Enforcement Offices within 20 days of the receipt of the application and fee. Incomplete applications shall be promptly returned to the applicant. A written report shall be forwarded to the Township Manager from each of the departments reviewing the applications.
(6) 
Impound yard licenses shall be issued for a period of two years, with an additional year upon approval of the Board of Commissioners.
[Amended 3-8-2004 by Ord. No. 2413; 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 2647]
(7) 
A fenced-in storage yard or other secure facility containing not less than 7,500 square feet shall be located on the premises from which the applicant's business is conducted, and such yard or storage area shall be authorized by the appropriate zoning, use and occupancy and other municipal permits. Said storage yard shall be well lit at night, segregated from employee or customer parking and screened from adjacent residential uses by a planted buffer screen. Applicants shall permit the inspection of the storage yard by the Township.
(8) 
Applicants place of business shall be located within the Township boundaries.
(9) 
The Board of Commissioners shall appoint two impound facilities by January 31 of each year. After appointment by the Board, appointees shall pay a license fee as fixed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners. The impound yard license shall be effective for a two-year period from the date of its issuance. Appointed yards shall serve as Township impound yards according to a schedule established by the Township.
[Amended 1-10-2000 by Ord. No. 2329; 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 2647]
(10) 
The applicant shall have a clean business record that would withstand a police background investigation – the contractor and its shareholders, officers and directors shall not have been convicted of fraud, theft, receiving stolen property and/or other dishonest business practices.
[Added 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 2647]
B. 
Specific duties of impound yard operators shall include the following:
(1) 
Operators shall obtain and keep current a certificate of salvage for all abandoned vehicles and the proper disposal of the vehicles, and a current, valid salvor's license and salvor's bond as required by the State Department of Motor Vehicles.
(2) 
Impound yard operators must notify the Police Department if its secured storage yard is full so that wrecked vehicles may be directed to an alternate facility.
(3) 
Impound yard operators shall comply with all rules and regulations established by the Township Manager for such facilities.
(4) 
Impound yard operators shall not exceed maximum storage fees as provided by this chapter.
(5) 
Operators shall permit the owners of vehicles towed to have access to their vehicles while in storage in order to inspect the vehicle or remove any personal property from the vehicle which is not physically attached to the vehicle.
(6) 
Operators shall maintain a log of all vehicles stored at the property, listing the date of arrival, make, model, year, vehicle identification number and plate number.
(7) 
Operators shall permit access to the storage facility and operators records to Township police and licensed duty towers.
(8) 
Within five business days of the disposal of a towed vehicle, operators shall return to the Police Department the Township-supplied tag with the disposition of the vehicle noted on the reverse of the tag.
(9) 
Impound yard operator(s) will be responsible for the removal of abandoned vehicles at the direction of the Police Department and have a tow truck registered or leased in that business name. Removal and disposal of abandoned vehicles must be in accordance with all state regulations.
[Added 3-8-2004 by Ord. No. 2413]
[Amended 3-14-1983 by Ord. No. 1866; 2-25-1991 by Ord. No. 2107; 2-12-1996 by Ord. No. 2238; 1-10-2000 by Ord. No. 2329; 5-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2503; 2-9-2009 by Ord. No. 2569]
A. 
Towing and storage fees. The charges for the removal and towing of motor vehicles pursuant to this article shall not exceed $125 for each vehicle up to 7,000 pounds; light-duty trucks 7,001 to 17,000 pounds shall not exceed $150; and charges for heavy truck towing over 17,000 pounds are based on size, weight and distance. The charges for the storage and impounding of such motor vehicles shall not exceed $50 for every twenty-four-hour period or fraction thereof. The standard cleanup fee is $25; if excessive cleanup is needed, a flat fee of $45 will be charged. If the vehicle sustains damage to the windows, a flat fee of $6 for Collision Wrap® can be charged. Should a tow be requested to the scene by the Police Department and the tow operator is released from the scene to return later, a flat fee of $30 can be charged in addition to the standard tow fee of $125. A $50 flat fee administration charge will be charged on all tows. An interim stop at a police facility shall not justify an additional tow charge. Such charges shall be paid by the owners of such motor vehicles or by the person who is found to have caused the violation of this article.
B. 
Hooking fees. In all instances when a vehicle is hooked and the owner/operator returns prior to the vehicle being removed, tow operators shall charge no more than $75 as a hooking fee and shall release the vehicle.
C. 
Police administration fee. Prior to release of the vehicle, the impound yard shall collect an administrative fee of $25. This payment shall be made to the Township for each vehicle towed during the tower's duty period. Records of such payment will be included in the monthly reports provided to the Police Department.
[Added 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 2647]
[Amended 1-10-2000 by Ord. No. 2329]
Within 12 hours from the time of removal of any vehicle under authority granted by this article, notice of the fact that such vehicle has been impounded shall be sent by the Chief of Police of the Township to the owner of record of such vehicle. Such notice shall designate the place from which such vehicle was removed, the reason for its removal and impounding and the pound in which it shall have been impounded.
A. 
The payment of any towing and impounding charges authorized by this article shall, unless such payment shall have been made under protest, be final and conclusive and shall constitute a waiver of any right to recover the money so paid.
B. 
In the event that any towing and impounding charges so imposed shall be paid under protest, the offender shall be entitled to a hearing before a Magistrate or court of record having jurisdiction, in which case such defendant shall be proceeded against and shall receive such notice as is provided in the Vehicle Code in other cases of summary offenses, and shall have the same rights as to appeal and waiver of hearing.
[Amended 5-9-1994 by Ord. No. 2203]
A. 
Any duty tower or impound yard operator who violates any provision of the license requirements, or procures a license by providing a false statement, omission of material fact or by fraudulent conduct, shall be subject to license revocation. Such revocation shall continue, without rebate of either the application fee or license fee, until such time as the Township Manager determines that the licensee is in full compliance with the terms and conditions required herein.
B. 
Any duty tow or impound yard license shall be revoked without reinstatement, upon finding by the Township Manager of any of any of the following grounds:
(1) 
The licensee no longer meets the standards for issuance of such license.
(2) 
The licensee's application is found to be defective in any way or contains misinformation or omissions of fact.
(3) 
Failure of the licensee to comply with any of the terms of this chapter when, in the sole discretion of the Township Manager, such failure is willful and intentional or when such failure or the reckless conduct of the licensee or its operator jeopardizes the personal safety of a police officer or any other individual.
[Amended 5-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2503]
The payment of towing and storage charges authorized by this Article shall not operate to relieve the owner or operator of any vehicle from liability for any fine or penalty for violation of any law or ordinance on account of which such vehicle was removed and impounded.
A. 
No vehicle shall be removed under the authority of this article if, at the time of the intended removal thereof, the owner or person for the time being in charge of such vehicle is present and expresses a willingness and intention to remove such vehicle immediately.
B. 
The following regulations shall apply to the towing of vehicles parked or left unattended on private property without the consent of the property owner:
(1) 
No towing service shall remove vehicles parked or left unattended on private property without the consent of the property owner. In addition, the towing service must be issued a license by the Township authorizing them to do so. The license shall be issued for a fee as provided by resolution of the Board of Commissioners and may be amended from time to time. Such license shall be renewed annually and shall be issued by the Haverford Township Police Department upon completion of a Department application form containing, as a minimum, the following information:
(a) 
The name and address of the towing service.
(b) 
The name and business address of all persons or entities having an ownership interest in the towing service.
(c) 
The name and address of all persons from whose property in Haverford Township the towing service is authorized to remove vehicles.
(d) 
The address of the storage yard where vehicles removed from private property in Haverford Township will be towed.
(e) 
The name of the bonding company and the name and address of the bonding company agent through whom the bond required by this section has been issued.
C. 
The Chief of Police, upon determining that any provision of this section has been violated, and 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 Police Committee of the Board of Commissioners.
D. 
Authorized towing services shall:
(1) 
Maintain a current bond with the Township in the sum of $10,000 in form and with corporate surety satisfactory to the Township Solicitor, conditioned upon the faithful performance and discharge by the towing service of his duties as bailee of removed vehicles and to indemnify the owners of vehicles against loss, injury or damage while in his custody.
[Amended 12-10-2007 by Ord. No. 2520]
(2) 
Towing services must provide certificates of insurance as follows: in the minimal amount of $500,000 combined single limit for any auto, hired autos, nonowned autos; $100,000 for each personal injury; and garagekeepers' liability in the amount of $50,000 per occurrence.
(3) 
Comply with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code[1] with respect to the removal and storage of vehicles from private property or the removal and impoundment of vehicles from public property.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 75 Pa.C.S.A. ~ 101 et seq.
(4) 
Make payment of any final judgment for personal injuries or property damage rendered with respect to the performance of services regulated by this article.
(5) 
Notify the Haverford Township Police Department of the removal of a vehicle from private property within two hours of such removal and provide a description and license number of the vehicle thus removed.
(6) 
Provide the Haverford Township Police Department with a true and correct copy of each and every contract between the applicant and another with respect to the removal of vehicles from private property within the Township.
(7) 
Display the name of the service or the person operating it, together with a valid phone number therefor, by signs on both sides of the tow truck.
(8) 
Maintain, during off hours, either a telephone operator, answering service 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) 
Charge for storage only at a single rate for each twenty-four-hour period that the vehicle is in the poundkeeper's yard.
E. 
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) 
A sign, at least three feet by two feet in size, shall be 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. The posted towing fee shall be an all-inclusive fee. No additional fees beyond the posted towing and storage fees may be charged to the owner.
(2) 
Within a lot containing less than 20 parking spaces, additional signs at least 18 inches by 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 shall be readily visible to operators.
(3) 
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.
[Added 5-30-1978 by Ord. No. 1706; amended 5-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2503]
Each and every official tower of disabled vehicles for the Township of Haverford shall enter into a contract with the Township, which provides for the towing of vehicles owned by the Township up to 17,000 pounds at no expense to the Township of Haverford.
[Added 1-10-2000 by Ord. No. 2329]
The tower shall be responsible for Township-related towing, which includes, but shall not be limited to, towing relating to a Township construction project, Township special event, special police investigation that may yield nonpayment by vehicle owner.