Borough of Pottstown, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 1735, 4/12/1993; as amended by Ord. 1792, 2/13/1995]
This Part is enacted under authority of the Vehicle Code [75 P.S. § 6109(a)(22)] and gives authority to the Borough to remove and impound those vehicles which are parked in a tow-away zone and in violation of the parking regulations of this chapter. Vehicles which have been abandoned (as defined by the Vehicle Code) or which are disabled or parked in a manner as to interfere with the traffic or pose a hazard to others may be towed under the provisions of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
[Ord. 1735, 4/12/1993]
The Borough shall have authority to remove and impound or to order the removal and impounding of any vehicle parked overtime or otherwise illegally, provided that the circumstances of its parking were within the conditions stated in § 701 of this Part, provided that no such vehicle shall be removed or impounded except in strict adherence to the provisions of this Part or the provisions of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
[Ord. 1735, 4/12/1993; as amended by Ord. 2021, 5/8/2006]
The following designated streets and/or parking lots are hereby established as tow-away zones. Signs shall be posted to place the public on notice that their vehicles may be towed for violation of the Borough parking regulations:
Street or Lot
Location
Any designated time-limit parking zone
Any municipal parking lot as described in Part 6 of this chapter
[Ord. 1735, 4/12/1993; as amended by Ord. 1792, 2/13/1995; by Ord. 1824, 5/13/1996, § 1; and by Ord. 1976, 3/8/2004, § 2]
1. 
The Police Department, through any on-duty supervisor, may override any provision of this Part in an emergency or unusual towing situation.
2. 
Every licensed tower (Class I and II) shall have general commercial liability insurance in a form satisfactory to the Borough for property damage and personal injury claims in an amount satisfactory as established from time to time by resolution of Borough Council.
3. 
Every licensed tower (Class I and II) shall meet equipment standards and procedures set forth by resolution of Borough Council.
4. 
The first licensed tower (Class I or II) dispatched to the scene of a vehicular accident shall be responsible for the removal of debris at the scene of the accident with no fee(s) charged to any person for such removal.
5. 
No licensed tower (Class I or II) shall cause any vehicle towed by said tower to be deposited or parked upon any street, alley, traffic-way or sidewalk within the legal boundaries of the Borough of Pottstown.
6. 
When no emergency circumstances exist, owners of vehicles that are disabled because of mechanical failure or that are disabled as the result of a vehicular accident may request any licensed tower (Class I or II) for the removal of their vehicle(s), provided that said licensed tower can respond to remove the vehicle in a reasonable amount of time.
7. 
Removal and impounding of vehicles under this Part shall be done only by Class I licensed towers [Chapter 13, Part 3, § 301(1)(L)], except as noted in § 704, Subsection 6, of this Part. In addition to the provisions set forth in this Part, Class I licensed towers shall:
A. 
Have their primary business location located within the legal boundaries of the Borough of Pottstown. Note: If a Class I Towing License(s) was awarded to a tower(s) whose primary business location(s) is not within the legal boundaries of the Borough of Pottstown [Chapter 13, Part 3, § 301(1)(L)], said tower(s) must be located within two driving miles of any legal boundary of the Borough of Pottstown and within the legal boundaries of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
B. 
Verify, through a limited annual criminal history check, that the principle(s) of the towing business and any tow vehicle operators, who will be operating Class I tow vehicles, have not been convicted of, pled guilty to, or pled no contest to any misdemeanor or felony crime in the past 10 years.
C. 
Provide for the inclusion of the Borough of Pottstown on their liability insurance (Chapter 15, Part 7, § 704, Subsection 2) as an additional insured.
D. 
Charge no person more for towing and storage of vehicles than that amount established from time to time by resolution of Borough Council.
E. 
Except as noted above (§ 704, Subsection 7D), not demand or collect any other fees from any person whose vehicle is removed or impounded under this Part.
F. 
Maintain separate and secure storage facilities for impounding vehicles with a minimum capacity to accommodate eight average-sized passenger vehicles or light trucks.
G. 
Not charge any additional fees to move an impounded vehicle, which has been processed for evidence by the Police Department, from the evidentiary processing site to the licensed tower's storage facility.
H. 
Not charge any storage fees while a vehicle is housed at the Police Department evidentiary processing site (only charging storage fees for the time the vehicle is physically stored at the Class I licensed tower's storage facility).
I. 
Be available 24 hours a day in a rotation, established from time to time by mutual agreement between the two Class I licensed towers or by resolution of the Borough Council, through no more than two telephone numbers for that purpose (telephone numbers that utilize pagers — alpha, numeric and/or voice — are not acceptable).
J. 
Meet all criteria as set forth in this Part. Verification of compliance shall be determined by an annual inspection, by the Police Department, of all Class I licensed towers' storage facilities, tow vehicle(s), required equipment and, by annual criminal history checks as noted in § 704, Subsection 7B, of this Part.
8. 
All licensed towers (Class I and II) are expected to abide by and to be governed by this Part. Additionally, no licensed tower will act, operate or function in any manner (including both criminal and noncriminal acts) which would bring discredit or embarrassment to themselves or to the Borough of Pottstown. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action. Disciplinary action shall range from suspension or revocation (as noted in this section) to immediate revocation, depending upon the severity of the infraction. Said disciplinary action shall be imposed by the Pottstown Borough Manager, upon recommendation of the Chief of Police.
A. 
Class I towers.
(1) 
A Class I licensed tower found to be in violation of any provision(s) set forth in this Part, either by acceptance of disciplinary action or by a hearing before the Safety Committee of the Borough of Pottstown, will be subject to a suspension of their Class I towing license as follows:
(a) 
First violation: 15 days' suspension.
(b) 
Second violation: 30 days' suspension,
(c) 
Third violation: revocation of Class I license.
(2) 
A Class I tower whose license was suspended for any reason within the previous two years will not be considered during the next Class I towing license bidding process that immediately follows said suspension.
(3) 
A Class I tower whose license was revoked for any reason will not be considered during the next two Class I towing license bidding processes that immediately follow said revocation.
(4) 
A Class I tower whose license was suspended or revoked for any reason shall pay a license reinstatement fee in an amount established from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
B. 
A Class II licensed tower found to be in violation of any provision(s) set forth in this Part, either by acceptance of disciplinary action or by a hearing before the Safety Committee of the Borough of Pottstown, will be subject to a five-day suspension of his or her Class II towing license.
(1) 
A Class II tower whose license has been suspended for any reason within the previous two years will not be considered during the next bidding process for a Class I towing license.
(2) 
A Class II tower whose license was suspended for any reason shall pay a license reinstatement fee in an amount established from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
[Ord. 1735, 4/12/1993]
The payment of towing and storage charges shall not relieve the owner or driver of any vehicle from liability for any fine or penalty for the violation of the provision of this Part for which the vehicle was removed or impounded.
[Ord. 1735, 4/12/1993]
In order to reclaim his vehicle, the owner shall pay towing and storage costs, plus a fee of $25, of which $10 shall be transferred to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation by the garage to which the vehicle was taken.
[Ord. 1735, 4/12/1993]
The Borough shall cause a record to be kept of all vehicles impounded under this Part and shall be able at all reasonable times to furnish the owners or the agents of the owners of those vehicles with information as to the place of storage of the vehicle.
[Ord. 1735, 4/12/1993]
No vehicle shall be removed under the authority of this Part or the Vehicle Code if, at the time of the intended removal, the owner or the person for the time being in charge of the vehicle is present and expresses a willingness and intention to remove the vehicle immediately.
[Ord. 1735, 4/12/1993]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this Part shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of $50, together with all costs of disposing of the vehicle under the provisions of the Vehicle Code, 75 P.S. § 7301 et seq. (1977), as hereafter amended, supplemented, modified or reenacted by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania.
[Ord. 1735, 4/12/1993]
If, after a period of 15 days, the vehicle in storage remains unclaimed, a report shall be filed with PennDOT in accordance with § 7311 of the Vehicle Code, by the person having legal custody of the vehicle. If the vehicle has not been claimed after 30 days, the vehicle may be transferred to a licensed salvor, who will then be responsible for filing the proper reports and disposing of the vehicle in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 73 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 110 et seq., as amended).