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Village of Monroe, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Monroe 1-17-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 43.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 185, Towing, adopted 5-12-1992 by L.L. No. 3-1992, as amended.
The Village of Monroe hereby determines that providing regulations for the prompt and safe removal of disabled, abandoned, and impounded vehicles from public roadways within the Village is necessary for the public health, safety and general welfare of the residents and traveling public within the Village. This chapter will not supersede any specific orders issued by police agencies addressing specific situations (such as vehicles impounded for criminal investigation purposes). This chapter shall apply only to the rotating tow lists for towing agencies summoned by the Village of Monroe Police Department for the purpose of removing vehicles due to impounds, motor vehicle accidents, disabled vehicles, abandoned motor vehicles, or motorists requesting a service call.
Whenever used in this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCIDENT
Any incident or occurrence in which one or more vehicles contact each other or other objects, thereby causing personal injury or property damage.
CRUISING
The driving of a wrecker along any road, street or highway Village for the purpose of soliciting business in the Village.
DRIVER
Any person driving a tow truck for hire upon public roadways.
FOR HIRE
Any incident where a fee, charge or other consideration is directly or indirectly imposed for towing, carrying or removing of a vehicle, including any case where any person makes repairs on a towed vehicle for compensation, even if no charge is expressly imposed for towing such vehicle.
IMPOUND/STORAGE FACILITY
A secured fenced-in area for at least five towed or impounded vehicles. The license holder must have the ability to store at least two vehicles inside a building or garage on the facility premises.
OWNED
Owned, rented or leased.
PERSON
Includes an individual, partnership, any incorporated association, a corporation or any other entity.
SERVICE CALL
A request for assistance from a tow truck that does not involve towing but is limited to rendering emergency assistance for such categories as battery charges, fiat tires, lockouts or gasoline.
TOWING
The moving or removing of disabled motor vehicles or abandoned motor vehicles by another vehicle for hire at the request of any entity of the Village of Monroe. Towing includes recovery unless the context indicates otherwise.
WINCHING
The act of using a motorized cable on a tow wrecker to pull a vehicle for any purpose including, but not limited to, aligning a vehicle that is sideways, overturned, off road in a ditch or embankment, a vehicle that is locked in the parking gear and no keys are available, or a vehicle that has suspension/axle damage which will not allow the vehicle to roll off the flatbed. Winching shall not apply to vehicles being pulled onto a wrecker from the street.
[Added 7-24-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
WRECKER
A vehicle registered as a tow truck and used for the purpose of towing or carrying another vehicle that has been or is involved in an accident, disabled, abandoned or illegally parked.
A. 
Cruising shall be defined as driving along the public streets or roadways solely for the purpose of soliciting towing or repair work, without having been first called or otherwise requested to provide service. Cruising for the purpose of soliciting towing or repair work shall be unlawful.
B. 
The stopping of any truck or service vehicle within 500 feet of the scene of any accident or disabled vehicle on any public street or highway in the Village of Monroe without the prior authorization of a member of the Village of Monroe Police Department, the operator of the vehicle, or the owner of the vehicle shall be presumptive evidence of the intent of the operator of a tow truck or service truck to solicit towing or repair work, except if the owner flags down a passing tow or service truck.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the business of towing for the Village of Monroe unless a license shall have first been obtained.
B. 
Exception. Tow operators without a license from the Village of Monroe may enter the Village of Monroe to remove a motor vehicle when a situation exists when a licensed tow truck operator's wrecker does not have the capacity to handle the vehicle to be removed; or upon the owner's request at the scene of an accident or disabled vehicle.
A. 
Applications for licenses issued hereunder shall be made upon forms prepared and made available by the Village of Monroe Clerk's office and shall include:
(1) 
The name, home address and actual business address of the applicant and whether he or she is the owner or lessee.
(2) 
A description of the wrecker for which the license is desired, including the year, make, model, type, registration number, type of registration, VIN, highway usage permit number, and DOT number (if applicable).
(3) 
Copies of driver's licenses for every operator of every tow vehicle.
(4) 
Proof of insurance in the form approved by the Village of Monroe Board and in accordance with § 185-10 of this chapter.
(5) 
Any other relevant information which the Village Board or Chief of Police may require from time to time as it deems appropriate.
B. 
All applicants must be a New York State licensed repair shop in good standing, and the licensed shop must be located at the same site as the impound/storage facility.
C. 
All license holders are required to take credit cards, money orders or cash for all tow list services.
[Amended 2-19-2019 by L.L. No. 3-2019]
[Amended 7-24-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
A. 
Within seven days after receipt of an application as herein provided, the Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made of the applicant and of his proposed business operation to be licensed.
B. 
Within 30 days of approval of the towing application, the Chief of Police shall cause a terminal inspection of all licensed wrecker(s) to be scheduled and may delegate the aforesaid inspection to any police officer who is trained and certified by the New York State Department of Transportation as a commercial vehicle inspector or by an independent New York State Department of Transportation Certified Commercial Vehicle Inspector. The inspector shall report to the Chief of Police whether the wrecker(s) is/are in a thoroughly safe and sanitary condition. Any licensed wreckers that are not in compliance will be taken out of service until all violations have been corrected and reinspected.
A. 
The Chief of Police shall approve the issuance of a license upon making the following findings:
(1) 
That there has been total compliance with the requirements of this chapter and all other governing laws, statutes and ordinances.
(2) 
That the tow vehicle has been properly registered and inspected by the State of New York and has the necessary stickers affixed. No tow vehicle which is using dealer license plates shall be licensed as a wrecker.
(3) 
That the insurance policies or certificates required herein have been procured and supplied and are in effect.
(4) 
That the applicant maintains its repair shop and impound/storage facility within 1/2 mile of the Village boundary line and that such facility meets the criteria as required.
(5) 
That the required impound area has the capacity to store a minimum of five motor vehicles outside within a secured area surrounded by a fence with a minimum height of six feet as well as space to accommodate two vehicles in an inside secured area. All towing company premises, including the location of the towing company and impound yard, shall be in compliance with all local zoning, building, fire and safety codes as certified by the Building Inspector.
[Amended 7-24-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
(6) 
That the applicant is capable of collecting impound and storage fees at the impound facility where such vehicles are stored.
(7) 
Applicants shall be available for calls, impound or service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.
(8) 
A towing company shall be responsible for all damage done to a vehicle, including thefts from the vehicle, while it is under control of the towing company.
(9) 
That the applicant has the capability of removing abandoned vehicles in any and all conditions (locked, no wheels, etc.).
(10) 
That the applicant shall remove any vehicle that the Police Department may lawfully direct it to so do and shall store the same at its storage facility until said vehicle is reclaimed by the lawful owner, or is otherwise disposed of according to law.
(11) 
That the applicant shall not make any repairs to any vehicles towed or removed by it by order of the Police Department without first receiving written authorization of the owner thereof or his authorized agent.
(12) 
The licensee shall not assign, transfer, convey or subcontract the license or any part thereof unless it has the prior written consent of the Village Board.
B. 
Impounded vehicles shall not be released under any circumstances unless authorized in writing by the Village of Monroe Police Department.
C. 
Access to personal property on or inside a vehicle which has been towed and is stored by the licensee will be permitted with the approval of the Village of Monroe Police during normal business hours. A licensee shall not withhold personal property or access thereto in order to obtain satisfaction of towing or impound fees.
D. 
An annual towing license to operate a towing business in the Village of Monroe shall be determined by resolution of the Board of Trustees upon a public hearing duly noticed not less than five days prior and may be modified from time to time in the same manner.
[Amended 7-24-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
A. 
Upon the approval of the Chief of Police, the Village Clerk shall issue a license to the applicant, a copy of which must be kept in all towing vehicles while conducting operations under the license.
B. 
The term of said license shall be from January 1 to December 31 and shall take effect on the first day of the month following issue, which fee shall be prorated to reflect the month in which the license was issued.
[Amended 6-6-2006 by L.L. No. 3-2006[1]; 7-24-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also provided that any license issued prior to the adoption of L.L. No. 3-2006 shall be prorated in accordance with the revised expiration date (formerly May 31).
C. 
Licenses are not transferable, delegatable or assignable.
On each side of every tow vehicle, the license holder shall display, or cause to be displayed by painting, or other similar permanent means, the name, address, and phone number of the licensee by letters and numbers which must contrast in color and be legible during daytime hours, from a distance of 50 feet away. The owner shall also display or cause to be displayed the towing license in a location easily observed from the rear of the tow vehicle.
A. 
No tow vehicle shall be licensed hereunder, nor shall any licensed tow vehicle be operated within the Village, unless there shall be deposited with the Village Clerk the following insurance policies or certificates of insurance:
(1) 
Auto garage keeper's legal liability policy covering fire, theft, and explosion in the minimum amount of $50,000, with each accident deemed a separate claim, naming the Village of Monroe as insured. Proof of the Village's insurability shall be submitted to the Village Clerk prior to the issuance of a permit.
(2) 
Auto garage legal liability policy covering the operation of the licensee's equipment, or tow vehicle for any bodily injury or property damage. This policy will be in the amount of $1,000,000 per person and $3,000,000 per accident, and naming the Village of Monroe as insured. Proof of the Village's insurability shall be submitted to the Village Clerk prior to the issuance of a license.
B. 
Each policy herein must contain an endorsement providing 30 days' notice to the Village in the event of any material change therein or intention to cancel said policy for any cause. In the event that any policy is changed so as to fail to conform to any of the above requirements or if any policy or insurance is to be canceled for any reason, the Village Clerk shall notify the person responsible for the policy, and it shall be corrected or reinstated or replaced with the conforming policy within 30 days after notice is received by the Village, but before the date of cancellation. If the policy or certificate is not corrected, reinstated or replaced within 10 days prior to the date of cancellation, the Village Board or Chief of Police shall immediately suspend the towing license and shall pick up from the owner all indications of licensing, including any stickers, cards or other means of identification.
Charges for the transportation, hauling or service of disabled or impounded vehicles shall not exceed the rates established by the Monroe Village Board, which rates may be reviewed annually by the Police Department and the Monroe Village Board with input from licensed tow agencies.
No person who is under the age of 18 years shall drive a tow vehicle. Tow vehicle operators must possess a valid driver's license for the class of vehicle that is being operated, along with the tow truck endorsement, and be experienced in the towing of vehicles.
[Amended 7-24-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
The type of equipment that shall be contained on tow wreckers shall be determined by resolution of the Board of Trustees and may be modified from time to time in the same manner. Said equipment shall include, at a minimum, emergency flashing amber lights visible from front and rear, a CO2 or dry-powder fire extinguisher with a minimum capacity of five pounds, one container of oil-absorbing material with a minimum capacity of five gallons, a carton containing at least one dozen red railroad-type flares, reflective vests, a shovel and a broom for clearing the highway of nonhazardous debris, if any, screwdrivers, pliers and a crescent wrench. All equipment shall be maintained in good condition and in satisfactory working order.
A. 
No licensee may charge for towing services, cleanup or storage covered by these regulations more than the schedule of charges established and/or approved by the Village Board.
B. 
A licensee shall not require that a vehicle be towed to any particular shop for repairs, but may tow the vehicle to any location designated by the operator of the towed vehicle. The tow company may refuse to tow to any location other than its yard if there is no one at the alternate location to accept control and responsibility for the vehicle or if weather conditions or some other articulable factor makes it unsafe or impractical to do so.
C. 
No licensee shall induce or require any operator of any motor vehicle being charged for towing or other services to execute a waiver of liability for damages to his vehicle caused by the licensee, and no such waiver of liability shall be legally enforced. This shall not apply in cases of off-road recovery or lockouts.
D. 
No yard charges will be assessed for moving of vehicles while in the licensee's possession. Vehicles must be available for release at the rates approved by the Village Board, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and Saturday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. An additional charge of $50 may be imposed for release of the vehicle after those hours as well as Sundays and holidays. The determination to open after hours for the purpose of releasing vehicles will rest solely with the licensee.
E. 
A schedule of towing/impound rates applying to all tow-call list services shall be determined by the Board of Trustees by resolution upon a public hearing duly noticed not less than five days prior and may be modified from time to time in the same manner.
[Amended 7-24-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
F. 
A license holder may not solicit owners for permission to tow to lots or locations other than its designated impound/storage lots. Without an owner's request or written permission all tows must be to the license holder's designated lot. Failure to do so is a violation of the license requirements.
A. 
A licensee performing towing services for the Village or requested by a police officer shall perform on a rotating basis. When the owner or operator of a disabled vehicle requests a particular tow company, that tow company shall be called and no tow vehicle shall be assigned from the rotating tow list. No licensee shall respond to the scene of an accident except upon notification by the police officer in charge, police headquarters, or upon the request of the owner or operator of a disabled vehicle. The rotating tow list will be on a week-by-week basis. The week will begin each Monday at 0001 hours and will end Sunday at 2400 hours.
B. 
A licensee shall be required to respond to the scene within a maximum of 15 minutes during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and within 25 minutes during the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. from the time he is notified of a call by the Police Department. These hours include weekdays, weekends, and holidays. A licensee who does not answer a telephone call for assistance or who advises that he/she is unable to send a tow for any reason shall forfeit the remainder of that week and their next full on-call week on the towing roster. A licensee who fails to arrive at the designated location where assistance is requested within the time frames established shall forfeit the remainder of that week and their next full on-call week on the towing roster. Three such violations in one calendar year shall result in the licensee being suspended, without a hearing, from the rotating list, including the heavy-duty list, for a period of six months.
[Amended 7-24-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
C. 
The Monroe Police Department shall keep two separate and independent tow lists. The first list will be for all vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating or actual weight under 10,000 pounds. The second list, which shall be known as the "heavy duty list," shall be for all vehicles with an actual or registered weight of 10,000 pounds or over.
D. 
Only one assumed name per entity/NYS Repair Shop License will be allowed on the rotating tow lists, multiple D/B/As from one business, corporation or address will not be placed on the list if it can be shown they are one in the same.
Each towing firm responding to a call for service must supply the owner/operator of the vehicle who is at the scene with a card containing the tow firm's business name, address, telephone number, hours of operation, a written estimate of the expected charges and the accepted manner of payment.
Nothing provided herein shall be construed to prevent the Village of Monroe from contracting with a particular tow service for services to be provided in lieu of relying on a rotating list as provided whenever the Police Department and the Village Board determine the best interest of the Village so requires.
The Police Department shall have the power to require tow vehicles to remove vehicles where:
A. 
There is obstruction of a public right-of-way or private property pursuant to vehicle and traffic laws.
B. 
A vehicle has been vandalized or presents a fire or safety hazard or is an attractive nuisance.
C. 
An abandoned vehicle bears no discernible registration or identification data.
D. 
An abandoned vehicle is not licensed or operable.
E. 
A vehicle is violating any emergency no parking provisions as set forth in the Village Code.
F. 
Any other condition where permitted or required by law.
[Amended 7-24-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
A licensee called to the scene of an accident must, in accordance with the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1219(c), at the scene, sweep away or clean up any nonhazardous debris, provided that he is furnished with police protection against moving vehicles at the scene. There shall be no charge by the licensee for the normal cleanup of debris resulting from the accident. The licensee shall be able to charge their hourly shop rate, per employee at the scene, for any cleanup over 30 minutes, such as the removal of cargo from a vehicle or roadway.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to service a motor vehicle at or removed from the scene of an accident where the police officer requires or requests that an examination be made of the damaged vehicles to determine whether the vehicle was defective or where the police officer requires photographs or diagrams of the vehicle or scene.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any tow company or tow operator to move, remove, or tow away any motor vehicle involved in an accident without first notifying the Village of Monroe Police of the motor vehicle accident and obtaining their approval to move or remove said vehicle involved in any such accident.
C. 
Failure to maintain good standing as a New York State licensed repair shop will result in being suspended from the tow list until the shop returns to good standing.
A. 
Any license issued hereunder may be suspended immediately by the Chief of Police or Village Board for up to 30 on-call days if the licensee violates any provision of this chapter, any rule or regulation adopted hereunder or any local law of the Village after investigation by the Police Department. A licensee may be suspended permanently in the event that he/she exhibits a course of conduct which repeatedly violates the provisions of this chapter. If the license holder does not accept the suspension, he may request a hearing with the Village Board, to be held within 30 days. If the licensee appeals a stay it will be granted and the operator placed back on the on-call list until a hearing before the Village Board. All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Village Clerk and the Chief of Police and sent by certified mail. If the licensee is convicted of any felony, crime or is guilty of making a false statement or misrepresentation in his application, any license issued hereunder may be suspended pending a hearing for revocation by the Village Board.
B. 
No license shall be revoked by the Village Board hereunder without a hearing thereon.
A. 
The Village Clerk shall give notice thereof, stating the name and address of the applicant or licensee concerned, the subject matter of the hearing and the date, place and hour designated therefor, by mailing the copy of the notice of hearing to the applicant or licensee concerned at the address shown upon the most recent application of such applicant or licensee at least 15 days before such hearing, by certified mail. The hearing is to take place within 30 days of the suspension or appeal.
B. 
Upon any hearing, the applicant or licensee involved shall be entitled to be represented by legal counsel and to present such competent and material testimony or other evidence in his own behalf as may be relevant to the subject matter of the hearing.
C. 
All witnesses shall be sworn and examined under oath.
D. 
Within 45 days after the hearing, the Village Board shall render its decision, which may be to suspend or revoke any license issued hereunder within five business days. Such decision shall be in writing with the reasons for such decision, and shall be mailed to the parties involved by certified mail.
A. 
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense and shall also be subject to a civil penalty. Each incident of such violation shall constitute a separate offense and violation.
(1) 
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both.
(2) 
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each such violation.
B. 
The Village Board may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the Village in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation of this chapter and may pursue any other remedy provided for by law.
C. 
In addition, the Village Board, after a hearing, may suspend or revoke any license issued hereunder for violation of any of the provisions of this chapter for such period of time as found appropriate after the hearing.
A. 
The Police Department shall be responsible for enforcement of any violation of this chapter.
B. 
The Police Department shall be responsible for performing background checks on all individual applicants, partners, officers, principals or agents of applicants, but nothing shall be interpreted to require the Police Department to perform checks beyond those which it is authorized or has the capacity to perform.
C. 
The Police Department shall periodically inspect each licensee's vehicle for compliance with this chapter.
D. 
The Chief of Police is empowered to adopt departmental regulations to implement the enforcement of this chapter.