Town of Hyde Park, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Hyde Park as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 104.
[Adopted 12-28-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
A. 
The Town Board hereby declares and finds that it is of vital importance to the public traveling on state, county or Town highways within the Town of Hyde Park that disabled vehicles be removed from the highways as promptly as possible; that delay in removal of disabled vehicles unnecessarily retards the movement of traffic, impedes the access of emergency vehicles within the Town and has the potential to cause further accidents. The Town Board finds that the towing of disabled vehicles from the highways of the Town of Hyde Park is a matter affecting the public interest and safety of the Town.
B. 
The Town Board finds that the most effective way to curb the current dangerous practices of irresponsible towers is to allow only such towing operators as are actually necessary to respond to an accident. To accomplish this purpose, the provisions of this article will require that only tow truck operators placed on a rotational list maintained by the Hyde Park Police Department shall be authorized to respond to the scene of the accident or the disabled vehicle.
C. 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, an owner or operator of a disabled motor vehicle or motor vehicle involved in an accident shall be free to select a tow truck operator of his or her choice.
D. 
The Town Board finds further that in order to discourage tow truck operators from rushing to accident sites, it is necessary to prohibit such operators from soliciting business at the accident scene and to prohibit them from approaching within 300 feet of the accident. The provisions of this article shall not apply to vehicles having a gross vehicle weight in excess of 15,000 pounds.
For purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
DISABLED VEHICLE
Any vehicle for which towing is necessary because of a vehicular accident or for which towing is necessary because of the vehicle's inability to proceed under its own motive power due to reasons other than a vehicular accident.
PARTICIPANT
A tow truck operator that has a permit to be on the rotational tow list.
PERSON IN CHARGE OF A VEHICLE
The operator or owner of a vehicle or any person designated by the owner to contract for the towing or repairing of such vehicle.
POLICE CHIEF
The Chief of the Town of Hyde Park Police Department or his designee.
POLICE OFFICER
A police officer as defined by New York Criminal Procedure Law § 1.20(34).
ROTATIONAL TOW LIST
A list of authorized tow truck operators, prepared and maintained by the Police Department, that are authorized to respond to disabled vehicles or motor vehicle accidents within the Town of Hyde Park.
TOW TRUCK
A vehicle that is equipped with a crane, winch, tow bar, push plate, bed or other device designed to pull or push a vehicle or to raise a vehicle or the front or rear end thereof.
TOW TRUCK NOTIFICATION DISPATCHER
The Town of Hyde Park Police Department Dispatcher or such other person or agency that is responsible for the dispatching of tow trucks to the scene of a disabled vehicle within the Town of Hyde Park.
TOW TRUCK OPERATOR
A person or business entity licensed to engage in the business of towing for hire.
VEHICLE
A vehicle as defined in § 159 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and having a maximum gross vehicle weight of less than 15,000 pounds.
[Amended 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
A participant must possess a valid permit issued pursuant to this article to be included on the Town of Hyde Park rotational tow list.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or any agent, servant or employee engaged in a towing or wrecking service to solicit business at the scene of a motor vehicle accident.
B. 
No tow truck operator shall come within 300 feet of the scene of any motor vehicle accident within the Town of Hyde Park, unless a specific request for the services of such tow truck operator has been requested by the person in charge of a disabled vehicle, the tow truck notification dispatcher, a police officer or other emergency personnel. It shall be an affirmative defense that the tow truck operator was justified in coming within 300 feet of the scene of the motor vehicle accident when he or she was not specifically requested to be there when his or her presence was required as an emergency measure to avoid an imminent public or private injury.
C. 
A violation of this section shall be deemed an offense punishable as follows:
(1) 
For a first offense, a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $300.
(2) 
For a second offense committed within five years of the first offense, a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $750 or a period of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both.
(3) 
For a third offense committed within five years of the first offense, a fine of not less than $750 nor more than $1,500 or a period of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both.
D. 
A participant in the rotational tow list program who violates this provision is subject to suspension or removal from the program in addition to the other penalties imposed by this section.
[Amended 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
A. 
The Town of Hyde Park, by the adoption of this article, hereby authorizes the establishment of a procedure to dispatch tow truck operators to the scene of accidents on public highways in the Town known as the "rotational tow list."
B. 
For each zone that has been established, the Police Chief shall maintain a list of tow truck operators who have complied with the requirements of this article and are permitted to participate in the Town of Hyde Park rotational tow list.
C. 
The Police Chief shall set the number of participants for each rotational tow list; however, the maximum number on such list shall not be more than 10 tow truck operators nor less than five.
D. 
The rotational tow list shall be amended by the Police Chief on the first working day of the month, only in the event of an addition or deletion of a participant(s). Upon approval, new participants will initially be placed at the bottom of the rotation list for the zone(s) for which they have been accepted.
E. 
The rotational tow list(s) shall be filed with the Police Chief, the Town Board and the Town Clerk and shall be available to the public for inspection.
A. 
Every tow truck operator who desires to operate from the Town of Hyde Park rotational tow list, except as herein otherwise provided, must make written application, under oath, on such forms as the Police Chief shall provide. Such forms are subject to approval of the Town Board by resolution.
B. 
The application shall contain pertinent information, including but not limited to:
(1) 
The address of the applicant.
(2) 
All crimes, if any, of which the applicant or any officer, director or member of the applicant, or any driver employed by the applicant, has been convicted, stating the name, if any, and location of the courts and the dates on which such convictions were had and the penalties imposed therefor.
(3) 
The length of time the applicant has engaged in the towing of vehicles for hire.
(4) 
The address of the place from which tow trucks are proposed to be garaged and dispatched.
(5) 
The location of any and all garages, buildings and storage yards proposed to be used by the applicant for the storage of towed vehicles.
(6) 
The number of tow truck vehicles proposed to be operated by the applicant and a description of each such vehicle.
(7) 
The name, address and driver's license number of each driver employed by the applicant.
(8) 
The applicant shall furnish proof that every tow truck to be used by such applicant under such permit is insured under a liability insurance policy as follows:
(a) 
With respect to each tow truck, not less than $300,000 for personal injury or death of any one person resulting from any one accident; not less than $1,000,000 for personal injury or death for two or more persons resulting from any one accident; and not less than $75,000 for injury to or destruction of property of one or more persons resulting from any one accident. Coverage shall also be provided for the towed vehicle. Coverage limits must be maintained throughout the duration of the permit period. Failure to maintain insurance coverage shall mandate removal from the rotational tow list.
[Amended 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
(b) 
The applicant's insurance policy must include an endorsement naming the Town of Hyde Park and its agents, officers and employees as additionally insured and an endorsement providing for 30 days' advance notice before cancellation or material change of coverage. The notice is to be mailed to the Town of Hyde Park, 4383 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, New York 12538, Attn: Tow List.
(c) 
The applicant must designate a phone number where the towing service can be reached at all times. There shall be no more than one phone number per applicant on file at any given time. The telephone numbers provided shall not be a pager system or a voice mail system, but shall have a live individual answering the call.
C. 
Each applicant shall submit a complete current schedule of fees for all services in connection with the towing and storage of motor vehicles from the rotational tow list. The fee schedule shall provide, in relevant part, that where the towed vehicle is impounded at the direction of a law enforcement officer for purposes of an investigation of a crime or traffic accident, and where the owner and/or operator of the vehicle is not the alleged perpetrator of the crime or traffic violation, the towing charge shall be no more than $100.
[Amended 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
D. 
The Town Board reserves the right, in its discretion, to impose an annual or biennial fee for participation in the rotational tow list, which fee shall be set forth in the Town's Fee Schedule.[1]
[Amended 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said fee schedule is on file in the Town offices.
[Amended 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
A. 
The applicant must own, lease or sublease business premises which include either lighted and fenced outdoor storage facilities or indoor storage facilities within the boundaries of the Town of Hyde Park. In addition, the applicant must maintain a place of business either within the Town of Hyde Park or within a 1/4 mile of the boundary of the Town of Hyde Park.
B. 
The vehicle storage facility shall be under the exclusive control of the applicant, shall not be used by any other towing company and shall consist of a location that is open to the public, where towing company personnel are employed and where all records required by this article are maintained.
C. 
An applicant's permit to participate in the rotational tow list is valid only for such business premises as identified in its application. Such permit to participate in the rotational tow list shall be revoked when the business premises of such applicant is moved from the location that was identified in the application unless the participant has notified the Police Chief of its change of address.
D. 
Applicants must be willing and able to provide towing service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long.
E. 
Applicants must promptly respond to a request from the tow truck notification dispatcher. To be eligible to be placed on the rotational list, an applicant must be able to provide a tow truck at the disabled vehicle's location within 20 minutes after notification by the tow truck notification dispatcher.
F. 
Tow truck requirements:
(1) 
The company name must be permanently affixed on each side of the wrecker or tow truck. All lettering setting forth the company name must be legible in a contrasting color.
(2) 
In addition to any other equipment required by applicable state and federal law, a tow truck responding to a disabled vehicle must be equipped with the following minimum equipment:
(a) 
Flashing or revolving amber lights on the truck;
(b) 
A dry chemical fire extinguisher with a minimum of 10 psi of pressure;
(c) 
One dozen red flares;
(d) 
Three triangular road reflectors;
(e) 
Safety chains;
(f) 
Rigid tow bar;
(g) 
Lifting boom or flatbed;
(h) 
A winch;
(i) 
Equipment to tow vehicles with damaged or missing wheels;
(j) 
Broom;
(k) 
Speedy Dry, sand or other substance to control fluid spills;
(l) 
Pry bar;
(m) 
Hacksaw; and
(n) 
Shovel.
G. 
Tow truck operators employed by the applicant must possess a valid driver's license appropriate for the class of tow trucks listed in the application with applicable tow truck endorsements.
A. 
Upon certification by the Police Chief that the applicant has complied with all applicable provisions of law, and payment of the prescribed fee, the Police Chief shall issue a permit to the applicant for each vehicle listed on the application.
[Amended 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
B. 
If the Police Chief shall deny any application for a permit, such denial shall be in writing and state the reasons therefor. Any applicant who shall be denied a permit shall have the right to appeal such denial to the Town Board at its next regular meeting. A decision of the Town Board to approve or deny such an application after an appeal to it shall be in writing and entered into the Town Clerk's minutes. Such decision shall be final.
Each permit and sticker issued hereunder shall not be transferred from one person to another nor from one vehicle to another.
Every participant who desires to add to the number of tow trucks it is duly permitted to operate shall file an amendment to its application with the Police Chief or his or her designee containing the following information:
A. 
The name and address of the applicant.
B. 
The applicant owner's permit number.
C. 
Proof of required insurance, valid registration and inspection.
D. 
A description of each such additional tow truck, including the make, motor number and the year manufactured.
A. 
Initial permits issued during calendar year 2012 shall be valid through December 31, 2012.
B. 
All permits shall terminate December 31, 2012, and every two years thereafter.
C. 
Renewal applications must be submitted 30 days prior to the expiration date.
A. 
In the event of an emergency or a threat to safety requiring immediate assistance, the police officers or other emergency personnel at the scene, in their sole discretion, have the right to utilize a tow truck that has a rapid response and not call for tow truck service off the rotational tow list.
B. 
Upon arrival to the scene of any disabled vehicle or motor vehicle accident, a police officer, or other emergency personnel if no police officer is present, shall inquire with the person in charge of the vehicle requiring a tow if he or she has a preference for a particular tow truck service. The police officer or other emergency personnel, in their sole discretion, may refuse the requested tow truck service if the response time would cause undo inconvenience in time or safety at the scene. If the request is acceptable, the police officer will notify the tow truck notification dispatcher to contact the tow truck operator requested by the person in charge of the vehicle.
C. 
If there is no emergency or threat to safety requiring immediate assistance, and the person in charge of the vehicle does not make a valid request for a particular tow truck service, the police officer on the scene, or other emergency personnel if no police officer is present, shall contact the tow truck notification dispatcher to request tow truck service from the rotational tow list.
D. 
The tow truck notification dispatcher shall make all requests for wrecking, towing and storage services for disabled vehicles located within the Town of Hyde Park from the rotational tow list.
E. 
The tow truck notification dispatcher shall notify the participant that appears on the top of the rotational tow list. If no response is received, the tow truck notification dispatcher shall move to the next participant on the list.
F. 
When called, the participant shall advise the tow truck notification dispatcher if a tow truck is available and the estimated time of arrival. If no tow truck is available or, if in the discretion of the police officer making the request, the response time is insufficient under the circumstances to properly protect the public health and safety, the next participant on the list shall be called for that particular towing event.
G. 
If no participant is available or able to provide towing services, the tow truck notification dispatcher may request towing services from any other available source.
H. 
Once a participant has responded to a call, or failed to respond, its name shall be placed at the bottom of the rotation list.
I. 
If a participant is called from the rotational tow list and the response is cancelled prior to arrival, or upon arrival without any service being rendered, the tow truck operator shall notify the police officer on scene who shall then notify the tow truck notification dispatcher so that the tow truck company can be restored to the top of the rotational tow list.
J. 
The participant may not charge any fee for responding to the scene if no vehicle is towed.
K. 
The tow truck notification dispatcher shall maintain the Hyde Park tow log. The log shall include the name of the towing company, the time the call was made and whether or not the company responded.
L. 
Upon the participant's response to the scene, the police officer at the scene shall advise the tow truck notification dispatcher of the arrival. The arrival time shall then be recorded in the Hyde Park tow log.
A. 
Any vehicle with a maximum gross vehicle weight of less than 15,000 pounds which has been involved in a vehicular accident and which cannot be safely driven under its own power must be removed from the accident scene by the tow truck notified pursuant to the provisions of § 103-12. A police officer at the scene shall make the determination whether the vehicle may be safely driven under its own power in the event of any question.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any participant in the rotational tow list program to refuse to tow a motor vehicle after having appeared on the scene at the request of the tow truck notification dispatcher, provided that the wrecker or tow truck equipment is capable of towing the vehicle.
C. 
The responding tow truck shall tow the disabled vehicle to the premises address on the responding company's permit or to a location designated by the person in charge of such vehicle; provided, however, that placement of such vehicle is not in violation of any other law.
D. 
Any tow truck called to the scene of an accident must remove any debris, vehicle parts or other road hazards resulting from the disabled vehicle. Except in the case of a major fuel or fluid spill, the participant shall place Speedy Dry, sand or other substance to absorb the fuel or fluid spill.
E. 
Such disabled vehicle shall be towed to the storage facility of such responding company or to a location within the Town designated by the person in charge of such vehicle; provided, however, that placement of such vehicle in such location is not in violation of any other law.
F. 
A vehicle towed to a storage facility shall at all times be stored within such storage facility while the vehicle is in the custody of the towing company. Such storage facility shall be the premises listed on the permit for use by such towing company.
G. 
Participants shall not be required to tow motor vehicles with a maximum gross vehicle weight in excess of 15,000 pounds.
H. 
Participants shall take reasonable care to prevent damage to or loss of a customer's vehicle or personal property contained therein.
I. 
Participants must abide by all lawful instructions, directions and requests of the police officer in charge of the accident.
A. 
Participants must be open for redemption of vehicles towed in the rotational tow list program during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, at a minimum. In all instances, participants shall make vehicles available for redemption to the owner of the disabled vehicle, his or her agent, or an authorized insurance company representative. The participant may be closed for redemption on public holidays.
B. 
Participants shall not release vehicles towed in the rotational tow list program unless the person redeeming the vehicle presents sufficient proof that he or she is the owner of the vehicle or is the owner's agent. Sufficient proof of ownership includes:
(1) 
The vehicle's New York State Department of Motor Vehicles registration receipt (or equivalent out-of-state vehicle registration) or certificate of title.
(2) 
If the vehicle is being redeemed by an insurance company as agent for the owner, the insurance company shall present a notarized receipt for release form on the insurance company's letterhead signed by a representative of the insurance company.
C. 
Upon presentation of sufficient proof of ownership and payment of the authorized charges, the disabled vehicle shall be immediately released.
D. 
The participant shall accept major credit cards.
E. 
At any time when a participant is required to be open for redemption pursuant to this section, any vehicle owner shall be permitted to inspect his or her vehicle and remove items of personal property contained therein if it can be dismantled and removed from the vehicle without the use of any tool, and any agent shall be permitted to inspect such vehicle, whether or not the payment for towing and storage has been made. No charge shall be assessed to the vehicle owner or the vehicle owner's agent for such inspection. The participant shall be given a receipt for any property removed from a vehicle while it is in the custody of the participant.
F. 
The Hyde Park Police Department shall be notified if a vehicle has not been claimed within 48 hours.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 103-14, Recordkeeping, was repealed 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012. This local law also provided for the renumbering of former §§ 103-15 through 103-19 as §§ 103-14 through 103-18, respectively.
Participants may withdraw from the rotational tow list program 10 days after they have notified the Town Board and Police Chief, in writing, by regular mail, of their intention to end their participation.
A. 
After due notice and opportunity to be heard, the Town Board may suspend any participant in the rotational tow list program from continued participation in such program for up to one year for a violation of any of the provisions of this article.
B. 
After due notice and opportunity to be heard, the Town Board may remove any participant in the rotational tow list program and bar such participant from continued participation in such program:
(1) 
If any such person has been found guilty of two violations of this article within the preceding twenty-four-month period;
[Amended 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
(2) 
If any such person failed to or refused to release any accident vehicle after presentation of sufficient proof of ownership or the owner's written authorization, and upon full tender of payment for all fees and charges due;
(3) 
If any such person was unavailable to respond to a dispatch or has failed to respond to a dispatch for removing a vehicle from the scene of an accident on at least three occasions within any six-month period; or
(4) 
For any persistent violations of this article.
C. 
The Police Chief, for good cause shown, may, prior to giving notice and an opportunity to be heard, temporarily suspend a towing company from participation in the rotational tow list program for up to 10 days. Notice of such temporary suspension shall be served on the towing company by certified mail, return receipt requested. The Police Chief shall provide the towing company with the opportunity for a hearing within 10 days after the notification of suspension, after which the Town Board shall forthwith make a determination as to whether such suspension should continue and the length of such suspension and, in addition, may impose any penalty or sanction authorized by this article.
[Amended 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
[Amended 9-17-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
The Town Board shall retain authority to promulgate such other rules and regulations as it deems necessary, consistent with the intent of this article.
This article shall not be construed to prohibit any other person or firm from engaging in the business of providing towing, wrecking or mechanical services within the Town.