Township of Lower Southampton, PA
Bucks County
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[Ord. 377, 3/22/1989, § 101; as amended by Ord. 389, 6/27/1990, § 4]
For the purpose of this part, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings indicated herein below. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future; words used in the singular shall include the plural; and words used in the plural shall include the singular. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
DISABLED OR WRECKED OR ABANDONED OR IMPOUNDED VEHICLE
An automobile, truck, truck tractor, trailer, motorcycle, motor home, or other vehicle or device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, road or street which is no longer capable of safe operation on a highway, road or street and presents a safety hazard to the public by virtue of its location on or adjacent to a public highway, road or street in the Township of Lower Southampton.
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.
HEAVY DUTY WRECKER
A vehicle with a minimum twenty-five-ton capacity designed for and capable of lifting and transporting passenger and commercial vehicles.
LEASED
Vehicles must be leased for a fixed period of greater than three years and for a fixed flat rate. Lessor must be a business, company, entity or corporation whose usual and customary business is that of leasing motor vehicles.
LIGHT DUTY WRECKER; WHEEL LIFT WRECKER
A vehicle designed for and capable of lifting and transporting passenger vehicles.
PERSON
Any individual person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Police Department of the Township of Lower Southampton.
TOWER
A person engaged in the business or offering the services of a vehicle wrecker, tow truck, car carrier or other vehicle, whereby disabled or wrecked or abandoned vehicles are towed or otherwise removed from the place where they are disabled or wrecked or abandoned by use of a vehicle so adapted to that purpose.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Lower Southampton.
[Ord. 377, 3/22/1989, § 102]
No person shall offer his services to or be called by the Township or its Police Department as a tower for the purpose of removal of disabled or wrecked or abandoned vehicles unless that person is the holder of a current towing license as hereinafter provided.
[Ord. 377, 3/22/1989, § 103; as amended by Ord. 389, 6/27/1990, § 2; and Ord. 532, 9/10/2008]
1. 
Applications for a towing license shall be made to the Township Manager upon a form available from his or her office, which form shall require the following information:
A. 
The name, address and telephone number of the business for which the towing license is sought.
B. 
The type of business organization under which the business is operated, i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.
C. 
The name, home and business addresses and telephone numbers of all the owner(s) or, in the case of a corporation, stockholder(s) of the business for which the towing license is being sought.
D. 
A list of the tow trucks, vehicle wreckers, car carriers or other vehicles available for service to the Township, including description of each vehicle or piece of equipment (type, make, model, year, etc.), the name and address of the owner/lessee of each vehicle or piece of equipment, and their location and hourly availability.
E. 
The addresses and description of the premises upon which any disabled or wrecked vehicles 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 said area is fenced, and a description of any security precautions or protection methods for vehicles stored in said area.
F. 
A certificate of insurance or other proof acceptable to the Township that the applicant has obtained the general liability and garage keeper's liability insurance required for the issuance of a towing license.
2. 
Applications for a towing license shall be made 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. 
The application for a towing license shall be accompanied by an application fee in an amount as established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
5. 
The application shall be reviewed by the Township Manager and the Township Police Department within 20 days of the receipt of the application and application fee, and the Township Manager shall promptly thereafter advise the applicant of whether the license has been approved or disapproved.
6. 
Towing licenses shall be issued for a period of one year, commencing on January 1 and terminating on December 31 of each year. Any applicant whose application for a license has been approved shall be issued a license effective the following January 1.
A. 
In the event that there are less than four licensed towers approved by the Township, the Township may issue licenses during the calendar year in order to increase the number of licensed towers to four.
B. 
Applications shall be reviewed and approved or denied in the chronological order in which they are received by the Township Manager. An application shall not be deemed received by the Township Manager unless it is completed and contains all of the items set forth in § 13-503 hereof.
C. 
At no time shall there be more than four licensed towers approved by the Township.
[Added by Ord. 582, 2/28/2018]
[Ord. 377, 3/22/1989, § 104; as amended by Ord. 389, 6/27/1990]
A towing license shall be issued to all applicants who meet all of the following requirements:
A. 
The following vehicles shall be owned or leased exclusively by the applicant, garaged on the premises from which the applicant's towing business is conducted, and available on call for the service at the request of the Township or its Police Department:
[Amended by Ord. 582, 2/28/2018]
(1) 
One flatbed wrecker.
(2) 
A minimum of one light-duty wrecker, and one wheel-lift wrecker.
B. 
All of the aforesaid required vehicles shall bear a sign indicating the name and telephone number of the applicant's towing business, and the applicant shall make said vehicles available for verification by the Township.
C. 
All of the aforesaid required vehicles shall be maintained in a safe and usable operating condition.
D. 
A fenced-in storage yard or other secure facility, open or closed, containing not less than 10,000 square feet, shall be located on the premises from which the applicant's towing business is conducted, and such yard or storage area shall be authorized by the appropriate zoning, use and occupancy, and other municipal permits. The applicant shall permit inspection of the storage yard or facility by the Township. The applicant shall install screening and comply with all the provisions of state and federal highway beautification acts.
E. 
The applicant's place of towing business shall be located within the Township boundaries in order that the response time to a call for service is immediate. In the event that any tower or towers who have been in continuous duty tow service to the Township of Lower Southampton at the time of the enactment of this part are in violation of this paragraph, said tower or towers shall not be denied a license if the place of their towing business is within a three-mile radius of the Township.
F. 
All applicants shall maintain the following insurance and present proof thereof to the Township upon request:
(1) 
General public liability insurance in the minimum amount of $1,000,000.
(2) 
Garage keepers' legal liability insurance in the minimum amount of $100,000.
G. 
All of the aforesaid vehicles shall be equipped with a two-way communication system such as two-way radios or mobile telephones.
H. 
All licensed towers are required to operate a fenced-in storage yard or other secured storage facility within Lower Southampton Township. The storage yard or secured storage facility must be solely used for towing storage and operations and may not be comingled with other business purposes.
[Added by Ord. 582, 2/28/2018]
(1) 
Licensed towers who have been granted permits within the Township without interruption from the enactment of this subsection are omitted from this requirement so long as permits are renewed annually without interruption. In the event that a lapse occurs for an annual period, this exemption is no longer applicable.
[Ord. 377, 3/22/1989, § 105; as amended by Ord. 532, 9/10/2008]
1. 
A towing license shall be issued to each applicant whose application has been approved by the Township Manager upon payment to the Township of a license fee listed on the towing license application, in an amount as established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
2. 
The towing license shall be prominently displayed on the premises where the applicant's towing business is conducted.
3. 
Along with the issuance of a towing license, a vehicle sticker shall be issued for each said vehicle listed on the application, which sticker shall be prominently displayed on the right front door of each said vehicle.
4. 
A towing license shall be effective for a period of one year from the date of its issuance.
[Ord. 377, 3/22/1989, § 106]
A towing license is issued by the Township on condition of and with the express agreement of the licensee that the licensee shall, at all times, act as an independent contractor to and not as an employee of the Township or its Police Department, and that payment for services rendered pursuant to said license shall be by the owner, operator or custodian of the disabled, wrecked or abandoned vehicle.
[Ord. 377, 3/22/1989, § 107; as amended by Ord. 389, 6/27/1990, § 5; and Ord. 396, 3/27/1991, § 1]
1. 
All licensees shall keep and maintain all of the vehicles listed on their 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 by the licensee. All licensees shall not use or employ a vehicle which does not have the required towing license vehicle sticker displayed as set forth hereinabove to answer calls by the Township or its Police Department.
2. 
All licensees shall respond within 15 minutes from their receipt of the Police Department's call requesting service to the arrival of the licensee's appropriate towing vehicle at the location of the disabled or wrecked or abandoned vehicle, and within 30 minutes in the event that additional towing vehicles are necessary, except in bad weather or adverse road conditions.
[Amended by Ord. 582, 2/28/2018]
3. 
If any licensee cannot respond to the service call from the Police Department with the appropriate towing vehicle or in a minimum response time, the licensee shall make arrangements with another licensee to respond to the call and 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 another licensee shall be called.
4. 
Fees charged by the licensee, when towing as an independent contractor to the Township of Lower Southampton, shall not exceed the maximum rates established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Southampton. The Township shall review, upon request of the then current duty towers, the fee schedule resolution adopted pursuant to this part at intervals of not less than six months, and is empowered to change, amend or revise said fee schedule by resolution.
5. 
All licensees shall be responsible for removing vehicular parts and debris from the highway. Liquid cleanup of oil and antifreeze is also the responsibility of the licensees. No additional liquid cleanup is required of the licensee. Fee for cleanup shall be as set forth and included in the Township's fee schedule resolution.
[Amended by Ord. 582, 2/28/2018]
6. 
All licensees shall comply with all rules and regulations established by the Police Department with regard to use of the duty tow.
7. 
Fees charged by the licensee for storage shall not exceed the maximum rates established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Southampton.
8. 
Licensees 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.
9. 
All licensees shall make reasonable accommodations to accept payment. Facilities must have the ability to receive and accept payment tendered at the location where the vehicle is stored
[Added by Ord. 582, 2/28/2018]
10. 
All licensees shall refrain from employing any individuals who have been convicted of theft, fraud, a violent criminal offense, or for felony narcotics crimes.
[Added by Ord. 582, 2/28/2018]
11. 
All licensees shall refrain from charging fees for towing vehicles of the Police Department of Lower Southampton Township.
[Added by Ord. 582, 2/28/2018]
[Ord. 377, 3/22/1989, § 108]
1. 
All disabled or wrecked vehicles shall be removed from the roadway immediately following an accident, in accordance with the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
2. 
If the owner or operator cannot remove the disabled or wrecked or abandoned vehicle or refuses or fails to have the vehicle removed within a reasonable time, a Township police officer shall call the towing licensee assigned to the police duty tow to effect such a removal.
3. 
The Police Department shall establish rules and regulations for the establishment of a police duty tow, the rotation of assignment of towing licensees to the duty tow, and the use of the duty tow by the Township police officers.
[Ord. 377, 3/22/1989, § 109; as amended by Ord. 396, 3/27/1991, § 2]
1. 
A towing license shall be suspended upon a finding by the Township Manager of any of the following grounds:
A. 
That any of the equipment which is required to be owned or leased by the licensee under this part is missing, inoperable or unsafe.
B. 
Any failure of the licensee or its operators to comply with § 13-507, Duties of licensees, Subsections 1, 2 or 3 (first offense).
C. 
Any such suspension of an operator's license shall continue, without rebate of either the application fee or license fee, until such time as the Township Manager or the Township Manager's designee determines that the licensee is in full compliance with the terms and conditions of this part as it relates to the equipment required hereunder.
2. 
A towing license shall be revoked upon a finding by the Township Manager of any of the following grounds:
A. 
The license was procured by fraudulent conduct or false statement or omission of a material fact.
B. 
The licensee's failure to perform or violation of any of the duties of the licensee as set forth hereinabove in § 13-507, Duties of licensees, Subsections 4 through 8, inclusive.
C. 
The licensee no longer meets all of the standards for issuance of a towing license.
D. 
The licensee's application is found to be defective in any way or contains misinformation or omissions of fact.
E. 
A second failure of the licensee to comply with § 13-507, Subsections 1, 2 or 3, where the licensee's license has been suspended on one prior occasion for a violation of the terms of these sections of this part.
F. 
Failure of the licensee to comply with any of the terms of this part 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.