[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Sea Cliff 9-17-1979 by L.L. No. 18-1979, effective 10-15-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Tow Truck Law of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff."
For the purposes of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
- WRECKER or TOW TRUCK
- A vehicle for hire, equipped with a crane, winch or similar device designated to push, pull or raise a disabled vehicle and remove same from the place where it is disabled. The following shall not be considered "wreckers" or "tow trucks" under this chapter:
- A. Vehicles of a governmental agency.
- B. Vehicles used exclusively for towing disabled motor vehicles which are owned, leased or operated by the owner or lessee of the towing vehicle or by a person, firm or corporation which is affiliated with the owner or lessee of the towing vehicle, and such vehicles have legibly inscribed on each side, in letters not less than three inches high, the legend "Not for Public Hire."
It shall be unlawful to operate a wrecker or tow truck in the Village of Sea Cliff unless the owner and all drivers and helpers employed by such owner shall hold a valid license therefor from the Town Clerk of the Town of Oyster Bay and, except as provided in § 135-5 hereof, unless a tow truck permit shall first be obtained from the Board of Trustees, signed by the Mayor and countersigned by the Clerk, as hereinafter provided. It shall be unlawful for the holder of a restricted license from the Town of Oyster Bay to operate his wrecker or tow truck at the scene of an accident, unless specifically requested by the Nassau County Police.
No tow truck permit shall be issued by the Village unless an application therefor shall have been filed with the Village Clerk. The fee for and duration of such permit shall be as set forth in Chapter A142, Schedule of Fees. Such fee shall accompany each application, which shall be in writing, and shall be filed in duplicate with the Village Clerk. The form for such application shall be as prescribed by the Village Clerk and shall contain the following information:
A permit may cover one or more wreckers or tow trucks operated by the same owner.
The provisions of this chapter requiring the obtaining of a tow truck permit shall not apply to cases where without solicitation the owner of a damaged car shall specifically request that the same be towed by a person who has not obtained a tow truck permit.
The Mayor shall have power to suspend any tow truck permit issued pursuant to this chapter for the violation of any rules thereof or of any rules and regulations promulgated by him; for the failure of the owner or operator of any towing car to render services to the owner or driver of a disabled vehicle who is able and willing to pay the rates and charges as in § 135-10 hereof; or if the owner or operator of any towing car shall collect a fee in excess of the maximum fee for such services permitted by the Town of Oyster Bay.
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive along any street in the Village and solicit towing work. Solicitation of towing work by the owner, operator or other occupant of a wrecker or tow truck while parked on any street is also prohibited. A wrecker or tow truck operator shall not proceed to the scene of a disabled motor vehicle without first having been requested or notified to do so by the owner of such vehicle or his authorized representative or the Nassau County police. Responding to a call merely upon notification from gas station attendants, taxicab drivers or other unauthorized persons shall be considered in violation of this section.
No vehicle involved in an accident or otherwise disabled shall be removed without authorization, on a form prescribed by the Town Clerk of the Town of Oyster Bay signed by the owner of the vehicle or other person in charge thereof. The authorization shall be for the towing and storage of the vehicle only and shall show the rates to be charged for towing and storing the vehicle. The signed authorization shall be retained by the licensed tow car owner for a period of six months and shall be exhibited upon demand to any official of the Village, Town of Oyster Bay, or any member of the Nassau County Police Department.
When a law enforcement officer from the Nassau County Police Department is at the scene of an accident and in his estimation compliance with Subsection A of this section is impractical, the necessary towing authorization may be provided for on the appropriate Nassau County Police Department form. Such form is to be completed and filed according to standards established by the Nassau County Police Department.
The owner or driver of any disabled motor vehicle shall have the right to require the services of any available wrecker or tow truck, and it shall be unlawful for any owner, driver or helper of any wrecker or tow truck to refuse to render such services if the owner or driver of the disabled motor vehicle is able and willing to pay the fee prescribed therefor. This section shall apply only if it is physically possible for the wrecker or tow truck to tow the disabled motor vehicle and such wrecker or tow truck is not already going to or returning from a call for assistance.
Rates and charges for towing and storage shall be in accordance with the owner's schedule as filed with the Town Clerk of the Town of Oyster Bay, pursuant to licensing provisions thereof.
No fee shall be charged, either directly or indirectly, for making an estimate for repairs on any motor vehicle involved in an accident or otherwise disabled, without the prior written agreement of the owner of the disabled vehicle. A written agreement for repairs shall be in the form as required by the Town of Oyster Bay. All other provisions of the Town of Oyster Bay Code of Ordinances or successor legislation thereto, relating to repair agreements, repair charges, towing bills and excess charges, shall also apply.
Each wrecker and tow truck operated upon the streets of the Village shall be kept fit, of good appearance and in a safe condition for towing and shall comply with all requirements of the Town of Oyster Bay Code of Ordinances or successor legislation thereto as to inspection, appearance and posting of rates.
The Mayor, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, is hereby empowered to promulgate and prescribe rules and regulations for the proper administration and enforcement of this chapter.
The Village Clerk shall file a certified copy of this chapter with the Town Clerk of the Town of Oyster Bay.