[Amended 7-21-1988 by Ord. No. 1393; 3-8-2007 by Ord. No. 1771; 10-4-2012 by Ord. No. 1849]
This article is enacted under authority of § 6109(a)(22) of the Vehicle Code and gives authority to the City of Washington to remove and impound those vehicles which are parked in a tow-away zone and in violation of parking regulations of this chapter and such other vehicles as may be need to be removed or otherwise impounded by the City. Vehicles which have been abandoned (as defined by the Vehicle Code) or which are parked in such a manner as to interfere with traffic or pose a hazard to others, or which have otherwise been ordered or directed to be removed or impounded by the Washington Police Department or such other department of the City of Washington, may be towed under the provisions of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code.
Editor's Note: 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 6109(a)(22).
The City of Washington shall have authority to remove and impound or to order the removal and impounding of any vehicle parked overtime or otherwise illegally parked or owing in excess of $50 in unpaid fines or such other vehicle that has been ordered or directed to be removed or impounded by the City of Washington Police Department or such other department of the City, provided that no such vehicle shall be removed or impounded except in strict adherence to the provisions of this article or the provisions of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code or other ordinance of the City of Washington.
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 City parking regulations: street side between parking lot.
Removal and impounding of vehicles under this chapter shall be done only by approved storage garages that shall be designated from time to time by City Council. Every such garage shall submit evidence to City Council that it is bonded or has acquired liability insurance in an amount satisfactory to City Council as sufficient to indemnify owners of impounded vehicles against loss or damage to those vehicles while in the custody of the garage keeper for the purpose of towing or storage. The approved storage garage shall submit to City Council its schedule of charges for towing and storage of vehicles under this chapter and, when the schedule is approved by City Council, those charges shall be adhered to by the approved storage garage; no different schedule of charges shall be demanded of or collected from any person whose vehicle is removed or impounded under this chapter by any approved storage garage. City Council shall delete from its list of approved storage garages any garage that makes any unapproved charge in connection with any vehicle removed or impounded under this chapter.
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 chapter for which the vehicle was removed or impounded.
In order to reclaim his vehicle, the owner shall pay towing and storage costs, plus a twenty-five-dollar fee, of which $10 shall be transferred to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation by the garage to which the vehicle was taken. In addition, prior to the release of said vehicle, the owner of said vehicle must receive an impoundment release clearance from the Washington City Police Department before said vehicle can be released from the towing impound. The owner must complete an impoundment release form on a document prescribed by the City and pay an impoundment release fee of $25, in addition to any and all other fees to be paid by the owner under this article. Any towing contractor who releases an owner's vehicle from its impound without first requiring the owner to obtain an impoundment release clearance shall be responsible and liable to the City for paying said fee.
The City of Washington shall cause a record to be kept of all vehicles impounded under this article 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.
No vehicle shall be removed under the authority of this article 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.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of $50 together with all costs of disposing of the vehicle under provisions of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 7301 et seq. (1977), as hereafter amended, supplemented, modified or reenacted by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania.
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. § 101 et seq., as amended).
Editor's Note: See 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 7311.