[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of East Hampton 5-23-2000 (Ord. No. 8.07). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The business of offering the services of a vehicle wrecker or towing service whereby disabled motor vehicles are towed or otherwise removed from the place where disabled by use of a vehicle so designed for that purpose.
- Any person, firm, association, partnership, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- A vehicle designed for the purpose of towing or otherwise removing a disabled motor vehicle. A wrecker vehicle shall be deemed to be any vehicle approved for that purpose and use by the State Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Chief of Police shall prepare and maintain one list of licensed wreckers who shall be eligible to provide wrecker services in the Town at the scene of accidents or emergencies, to be called the "Town Wrecker List."
The Town Wrecker List shall include only licensed wrecker services that meet the following criteria:
Wrecker services must have their principal place of business within the Town of East Hampton.
Each wrecker service must be licensed or registered by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the State of Connecticut as a new or used car dealer or as a general repairer.
All persons operating any vehicle licensed under these rules must be properly licensed by the State to operate such wrecker or towing equipment.
Each wrecker service shall be listed on the Town Wrecker List in alphabetical order. Each wrecker service shall be entitled to one place on the Town Wrecker List, irrespective of the number of vehicles owned by it. Assignment from the Town Wrecker List shall be made on a rotation basis as set forth in this chapter.
The Chief of Police, or his designee, shall be in charge of the administration and assignment of wreckers. He shall at all times keep and maintain exact records of all calls and dispatches pursuant to this chapter, which shall be available for public inspection during regular business hours.
No licensee, employee or owner of a garage or a repair shop holding a license shall go to the scene of an accident or emergency unless dispatched to the scene by an authorized member of the Police Department or the operator of the disabled motor vehicle.
Under no circumstances shall any member of the East Hampton Police Department solicit business at the scene of an accident or emergency for any wrecker service.
Selection and assignment of wrecker services; response time.
When the operator or owner of any motor vehicle disabled at the scene of an accident or emergency is present and conscious, such operator or owner, or the agent of either of them, shall be entitled to select whatever wrecker service he desires, and a vehicle from said wrecker company shall be dispatched by the Police Department. Such information shall be entered in a log maintained by the dispatcher.
When an operator or owner, or the agent of either of them, is not present at the scene, is unconscious, or is in any way unable to make a choice or has no preference, the dispatcher of the Police Department shall be notified of the situation and the type of wrecker needed. Such information shall be entered in a log maintained for that purpose by the dispatcher. The dispatcher shall then dispatch to the scene the requisite number of wrecker vehicles. An entry shall be made in the log reflecting the date and time, the licensee notified, the identity of the licensee and the employee that received the dispatch call and such additional information as the Chief of Police shall deem necessary. Each licensee shall be called in turn in the order in which it is listed upon the Town Wrecker List, but no more than one wrecker vehicle shall be dispatched from each licensee at any one time.
Failure of a licensee to respond to the scene of an accident or emergency within 20 minutes (when considered reasonable) of the time of dispatch will be deemed to be an unreasonable delay and the next licensee on the Town Wrecker list will be called. Each refusal to respond or unreasonable delay shall be deemed a passed call. Accumulation of three passed calls in any calendar year will result in automatic suspension from the Town Wrecker List for a period of 60 days.
Whenever, in the discretion of the investigating officer or officers, death, serious bodily injury, and/or serious traffic congestion are likely to occur or have occurred, unless the scheduled wrecker is able to respond immediately, a request shall be made to the dispatcher to dispatch a vehicle from that wrecker which is able to respond immediately. The wrecker dispatched in such an emergency shall then be placed at the end of the Town Wrecker List.
Whenever a motor vehicle is disabled at the scene of an accident or emergency and is owned or operated by a firm which maintains its own towing facilities, it shall be permissible to summon the firm's wrecker vehicle, provided such wrecker vehicle is available without unreasonable delay.
If the garage or repair shop requested by the owner or operator of the disabled vehicle or the agent of either of them is not open for service or if the owner or operator, or the agent of either of them, is unable to make a selection on account of personal disability or absence from the scene, the vehicle will be taken to the premises of the wrecker service called for service to await further instructions from the owner or operator, or the agent of either of them.
In the event a garage or repair shop refuses to respond to a rotation call for towing or otherwise removing a disabled motor vehicle, that garage or repair shop will be placed on the bottom of the rotation list, and the garage or repair shop that does subsequently respond to that call on the rotation basis will not lose place on the rotation list.
No vehicle which has been involved in an accident shall be towed from the scene by any wrecker until the accident has been thoroughly investigated and the vehicle released for removal by an East Hampton police officer.
Wreckers on the Town Wrecker List shall be in good repair at all times and shall be made available for inspection by the Chief of Police or his agent, upon request. Any wrecker not in good repair or safe operating condition will be removed from the Town Wrecker List until corrected.
The license of each wrecker must comply with all requirements of the General Statutes of the state and the regulations of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The licensee of each wrecker shall charge such rates for services rendered under these rules as recommended by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the state.
No wrecker shall be placed on the Town Wrecker List without first obtaining a permit from the Chief of Police. Such permit shall be in writing and carried upon the vehicle(s) at all times. A fee as set from time to time by the Town Council shall be charged for the permit, which shall be valid for one year, beginning January 1, unless sooner revoked by the Chief of Police.
Application for placement on the Town Wrecker List shall be made upon forms to be designed by the Chief of Police and approved by the Town Manager/Town Council, and such forms may require such information as is reasonable necessary for the enforcement of this chapter.
Policies of insurance shall be of the nature and type and in the same amounts of coverage as are required of the Connecticut General Statutes and the regulations of the Department of Motor Vehicles in order that such a wrecker truck might be licensed by the state.
A copy of the wrecker service's insurance shall be attached to all applications. Said copy will be kept on file at the Police Department.
A wrecker called to the scene of an accident must remove the car regardless of age or condition. Failure to comply will result in removal from the rotation list for one month.
Police officers at the scene of an accident will determine if special equipment is needed and, if so, will notify the dispatcher.
This chapter shall take effect on January 1, 2001.