Town of Newburgh, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Newburgh 10-1-1990 as L.L. No. 7-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 104.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Towing Law of the Town of Newburgh."
This chapter is enacted for the purpose of regulating towing services and solicitation in order that the peace, health, safety, welfare and good order of the Town of Newburgh and its inhabitants shall not be endangered or unduly disturbed.
When used in this chapter, unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
HEAVY-DUTY TOW SERVICE LICENSEE
A tow service meeting all of the requirements of this chapter which has been issued a heavy-duty tow service license by the Town. Such a licensee shall be considered both a regular and heavy-duty licensee for the purposes of this chapter.
HEAVY-DUTY VEHICLE
A motor vehicle which is a truck over one and one-half (11/2) tons, semitractor, tractor, bus or vehicle whose weight exceeds 10,000 pounds.
MOTOR VEHICLE OR VEHICLE
Every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, except devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
NONCONSENSUAL TOW
The movement or transportation of a vehicle by a tow truck without the prior consent or authorization of the owner or operator of the vehicle. A nonconsensual tow does not include a tow in which the vehicle owner or operator is present at the scene and expressly requests that a specific tow service remove his or her vehicle, unless, in the opinion of a responding police officer there may be an unreasonable time delay or traffic safety hazard.
[Added 12-19-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, joint venture, corporation or unincorporated association and any principal or agent thereof.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Police Department of the Town of Newburgh.
REGULAR TOW SERVICE LICENSEE OR LICENSEE
A tow service meeting all of the requirements of this chapter, except those required by § 170-14 for a heavy-duty tow service licensee, which has been issued a tow service license by the Town.
TOW SERVICE
A person engaged in the business or offering services whereby motor vehicles are towed or otherwise removed from the place where they are disabled, parked or initially impounded by use of a wrecker so designed for that purpose or by a truck, automobile or other vehicle so adapted to that purpose.
TOW TRUCK
A wrecker designed for the purpose of towing or otherwise removing vehicles from the place where they are disabled or parked or servicing the same or a truck, automobile or other vehicle adapted to that purpose.
WINCHING
o hoist, haul or push, by a winch not connected with a boom or not connected to the operation of towing, upon a flatbed. A separate action independent of and in addition to basic towing.
[Added 12-19-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
YARD FEE
Any fee, charge or other consideration directly or indirectly imposed by the tow service on the owner of a towed vehicle other than towing, storage or repair of the vehicle.
[Added 12-19-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
[Amended by 1-22-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]
No person engaged in business or offering services as a tow service in the Town shall appear on the lists provided for in § 170-17 of this chapter unless a license shall have been obtained from the Town Clerk and said license shall not have been revoked or suspended. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting any tow service whose business is based outside the Town from applying for the same license herein required and obtaining said license under the same terms as a business located within the Town. Licensed tow service may contract for the services in the Town of other tow services, but said tow services must also be licensed by the Town.
Every applicant for a license shall submit to the Town Clerk:
A. 
A written application supplying, under oath, the information below. Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements as to a material matter contained in said application shall be a violation of this chapter.
(1) 
Name and permanent home address of the individual filing the application.
(2) 
Name, including the full corporate name if the applicant is a corporation and any trade styles used, business address and telephone number of the tow service represented and the date of incorporation of any corporate applicant.
(3) 
Names and home addresses of all individuals with a financial interest in the applicant's business, including but not limited to partners, shareholders and principals, and names and home addresses of directors and officers of any corporate applicant.
(4) 
Names and addresses of all tow truck drivers employed by the applicant.
(5) 
The location, description and New York State motor vehicle identification number of the tow trucks owned or operated by the applicant.
(6) 
Whether the applicant or any partner, corporate officer or director, principal or agent in the tow service business of the applicant has been convicted of a crime or offense or has a pending indictment or arrest. If so, a statement containing the date of arrest or conviction, the crime or offense charged and the name of the person involved shall be provided.
[Amended 11-6-1995 by L.L. No. 7-1995]
(7) 
Whether the applicant or any partner, corporate officer or director, principal or agent is or was the holder of any tow service license issued by any other municipality or other governmental unit and their names and whether such license had ever been suspended or revoked. If so, a statement of the date of said suspension or revocation, the reasons cited by the governmental unit and whether the license was reinstated shall be provided.
B. 
Certificates of insurance for the coverage required by § 170-12G(1) and (2) which name the Town as an additional insured and include a statement indemnifying and holding the Town harmless from any damage and requiring 30 days' notice to the Town in the event of cancellation or nonrenewal shall be provided with the application.
A licensee shall notify the Town Clerk in writing of any change in the information supplied on the application prior to the issuance of the license and during the license period, including but not limited to any arrests or convictions of the licensee or any partner, corporate officer or director, principal or agent of the licensee.
The fees for all licenses are as prescribed by Chapter 104, Fees.
[Amended 11-18-2002 by L.L. No. 7-2002; 12-19-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
A. 
The tow service shall agree to charge not more than the following maximum rates for nonconsensual tows, including but not limited to when the request for tow service originates from the Town Police Department for an impounded vehicle, disabled vehicle, a vehicle which obstructs traffic or snow removal operations or which may otherwise be removed pursuant to this Code of the Town of Newburgh, or from any other Town department. Said rates may hereinafter be modified by the Town Board from time to time by resolution.
(1) 
Passenger cars.
(a) 
For passenger cars, passenger vans, motorcycles and other nonheavy-duty vehicles having a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or less $150 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
(b) 
For passenger cars, passenger vans, motorcycles and other nonheavy-duty vehicles having a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or less $175 between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
(c) 
Mileage: $5 per mile (a mileage charge for miles traveled to the vehicles location is prohibited).
(2) 
Heavy duty.
(a) 
For trucks, buses and all other motor vehicles with a weight greater than 10,000 pounds: $250.
(b) 
Mileage: $6.50 per mile (a mileage charge for miles traveled to the vehicles location is prohibited).
(3) 
Other.
(a) 
Speedy Dry: $25 per bag.
(b) 
Winching: $75.
(c) 
A reasonable extra charge may be made of $75 per 1/2 hour for labor and services to right an overturned truck or automobile or to remove from the highway any motor vehicle incapable of being towed, at any time of the day or night.
B. 
Tow service charges for tows subject to this section and for storage charges must be payable by both cash and credit card. Licensees must accept at least two major credit cards for all services.
A. 
Every tow service shall maintain a written schedule of all rates and charges, in compliance with the limitations of § 170-8 hereof, and shall make such schedule available to any person requesting the same at any time.
B. 
Whenever practicable, the owner or driver of any vehicle utilizing tow services shall be given a copy of a full schedule of rates at the time the towing services are rendered. In any event, a full schedule of rates shall be annexed to each bill for towing services.
[Amended 11-18-2002 by L.L. No. 7-2002; 12-19-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
No tow service shall charge a storage charge in excess of $50 for outside storage and $60 for storage inside weatherproof facilities per any twenty-four-hour period or portion thereof for any vehicle which has been towed pursuant to this chapter. Notwithstanding the above, no tow service appearing on the licensee list maintained by the Police Department as hereinafter provided shall charge the Town of Newburgh for any vehicle which has been impounded nor shall any licensee charge the Town in excess of $10 per any twenty-four-hour period for any Town vehicle. No yard fees shall be charged in addition to the storage charges provided herein in connection with services performed after a tow.
[Amended 12-19-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
No yard fees or any other charges except those provided for in § 170-8 and § 170-10 and charges for authorized repairs may be made by licensed tow services for towing, winching storage or related services.
A tow service license hereunder shall be issued subject to the following conditions:
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to service or tow away any motor vehicle which has been involved in an accident without the prior written consent of the owner or operator or the police officer at the scene of the accident.
B. 
No motor vehicle shall be serviced 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 or requests that photographs or diagrams be made of the scene.
C. 
The Chief of Police shall issue to a licensee a placard for each tow truck listed on his application, which the licensee shall at all times prominently display on the right front dashboard of each tow truck so that it is visible through the front windshield of said vehicle. Said placard shall contain the New York State vehicle identification number of the vehicle, the license number assigned to the tow service and such other information as the Chief of Police shall determine advisable. Said placard shall not be transferable from one tow truck to another.
D. 
On each side of every tow truck operated in the Town by a licensee there shall be legibly inscribed the name and address of the licensee or the person having the license number assigned to such tow service by the Town Clerk.
E. 
Tow services shall be responsible for the collection of all fees for service, towing or storage of any vehicle. Neither the Town nor any of its officers or employees shall act as agent for the collection of any fee, nor shall they be held responsible in the event of nonpayment of any moneys due to any tow services as a result of services performed in accordance with this chapter.
F. 
When called to the scene of an accident, the licensee shall be responsible for removing debris such as glass and metal fragments from the roadway, the shoulders of the road, the right-of-way and property contiguous to the scene, leaving the roadway safe for vehicular traffic. All collected debris shall be disposed of in a legal manner.
G. 
The licensee shall maintain:
(1) 
Public liability insurance for personal injury and property damage with an insurance carrier licensed to do business in the State of New York;
(2) 
An auto garage keeper's legal liability policy covering fire, theft and property damage that will cover any vehicle towed, impounded or stored; and
(3) 
Insurance policies under the Workers' Compensation Law (Chapter 41 of the Laws of 1914, as amended) and under the Disability Benefits Law (Chapter 600 of the Laws of 1949, as amended)[1] for employees.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Workers' Compensation Law § 200 et seq.
H. 
Licensees shall give the police immediate access to vehicles to be towed to perform a timely inventory of all personal property contained within the vehicle.
I. 
Licensees shall store vehicles in a secure fenced-in area and shall permit reclamation of towed vehicles by authorized persons at least 10 hours per day Monday through Friday, except for holidays, which hours must include either 8:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m., as the licensee shall elect and at least three hours on Saturdays, except for holidays. Hours of availability shall be filed with the Police Department. Storage of vehicles shall not violate Chapter 185, Zoning, of the Town's Municipal Code or other applicable provisions of law. Violation of any Town Municipal Code zoning provision by the licensee's place of business shall constitute a violation of this chapter and shall also constitute grounds for the denial or revocation of a license. Should the Town Board hereinafter designate a parcel or section of Town land as the site or pound for vehicle storage, licensees shall store towed vehicles on said site, unless otherwise requested by the vehicle owner or authorized operator, and pay any fees required by the Town.
[Amended 11-18-2002 by L.L. No. 7-2002]
A. 
Each tow truck operated in the Town by a licensed tow service shall be equipped with:
(1) 
Appropriate lighting as provided by the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
(2) 
At least 12 thirty-minute burning-type flares and three reflector-type flares.
(3) 
A fire extinguisher, the minimum rating of which shall be at least 15 pounds ABC.
(4) 
A crow bar, heavy-duty broom and shovel.
B. 
Each licensee shall keep and maintain towing equipment which is adequate and reasonable to perform such towing services in a reasonably workmanlike manner.
C. 
Each licensee shall notify the Town Clerk in writing of any addition to or change of tow trucks operated in the Town by the licensee and give a description of and New York State vehicle identification number for the new vehicle in said notice at least 10 days prior to operating a tow truck in the Town other than those appearing on its application. Any replacement or additional tow truck must comply with all the requirements of this chapter. The appropriate tow truck fee as provided for in Chapter 104, Fees, of the Code must be paid prior to operating the additional or replacement tow truck in the Town.
A heavy-duty tow service licensee shall maintain at least one heavy-duty tow truck capable of towing a vehicle whose weight exceeds 10,000 pounds. A heavy-duty tow service must comply with all other provisions of this chapter.
Every license issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire on the first day of October following the issuance thereof, and no such license is transferable from one tow service to another. An annual license renewal, applied for at least 10 days prior to expiration of the license, will be granted upon compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit towing or repair work at the scene of any motor vehicle accident within the Town.
B. 
The stopping of any tow truck within 500 feet of the scene of any accident on any public street or highway in the Town and the approach, movement or advance of the tow truck operator towards the scene without the prior authorization of the operator of the vehicle, owner of the vehicle, a member of the Town police force or a member of the New York State Police shall be presumptive evidence of the intent of the operator of a tow truck or service truck to solicit towing or repair work.
A. 
The Police Department shall maintain lists of regular and heavy-duty licensees who request to appear on said lists.
B. 
In the event of a motor vehicle accident, disablement, impoundment or call to the Police Department for towing assistance, except in the case of a specific request by the owner or operator, the Police Department shall notify regular licensees on said regular licensee list, on a rotating basis, that a tow is requested.
C. 
In the event of an accident, disablement, impoundment or call to the Police Department for towing assistance involving a heavy-duty vehicle, except in the case of a specific request by the operator, the Police Department shall notify heavy-duty licensees on said heavy-duty licensee list, on a rotating basis, that a tow is requested.
D. 
Only one licensee is to be notified per accident. In an emergency situation, more than one licensee may be requested to respond at the discretion of the officer in charge.
E. 
A call referred to a licensee at the specific request of the owner or operator shall not affect said licensee's entitlement to receive calls on the rotating list.
F. 
A licensee appearing on the licensee list shall be required to arrive at the scene of an accident, disablement or impoundment within 15 minutes of the placing of a tow request by the Police Department. This time limitation shall be deemed inapplicable to incidents involving extraordinary circumstances such as multiple accidents, blizzards, flooding and other natural disasters and other unusual circumstances. If a licensee does not answer the call of the Police Department or is not available when called, the licensee shall lose its turn on the licensee list rotation and must wait for the roster to be called in its entirety before he is eligible to be called again. Failure to arrive within the specified time period or refusal to tow away a vehicle after arrival shall be grounds for suspension of the licensee's license by the Chief of Police pursuant to § 170-20.
[Amended 11-18-2002 by L.L. No. 7-2002]
G. 
Licensees appearing on the licensee list shall be available for service calls 24 hours a day.
H. 
Licensees appearing on the licensee list must operate at least two licensed tow vehicles, at least one of which is operable at all times. More than one licensee may not claim to operate the same tow vehicle for purposes of this requirement.
I. 
Licensees appearing on the licensee list shall maintain public liability, personal injury and property damage insurance in accordance with the requirements of § 170-12G with a combined single limit of not less than $1,000,000 for each occurrence.
J. 
The Chief of Police is authorized to develop such other rules and regulations as he deems appropriate to maintain and enforce effective and responsive lists.
The Town Clerk, upon advice of the Chief of Police, may in each case deny a license or license renewal to any applicant whom he shall determine to be unable or incapable of complying with the requirements of this chapter or for any of the following causes:
A. 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements as to a material matter contained in the application for license.
B. 
Revocation of a tow service license, pursuant to this chapter, of the applicant or any proprietor, partner, corporate officer, director or principal or agent of the applicant.
C. 
Revocation or suspension of a tow service license issued by another municipality or governmental unit of the applicant or any proprietor, partner, corporate officer, director or principal of the applicant.
D. 
Prior suspension of the applicant's previous tow service license.
E. 
Failure to notify the Town Clerk, in writing, of any change in the information supplied on the applicant's previous application.
F. 
Conviction of the applicant or any partner, corporate officer or principal of the applicant of a misdemeanor or felony which, in the judgment of the Town Clerk, renders the applicant unfit or undesirable to carry on the activities of a licensed tow service.
G. 
Determination by the Town Clerk, after investigation and report by the Police Department, that the applicant, in his judgment, shall be an undesirable person or incapable of properly conducting a tow service business. Factors which the Town Clerk may consider but shall not be limited to in making a determination include prior arrest of the applicant or any partner, corporate officer or principal of the applicant on a misdemeanor or felony charge and a sufficient number of complaints to the Town Clerk or Police Department regarding the licensee's performance of tow services.
H. 
Storage of vehicles at the premises of the licensee or a person with a financial interest in the licensee in violation of Chapter 185, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Newburgh or violation of any other provision of the Code.
[Added 11-18-2002 by L.L. No. 7-2002]
A. 
Licenses issued under provisions of this chapter may be revoked by the Town Board after notice and hearing before the Town Board for any of the following causes:
(1) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements as to a material matter contained in the application for license.
(2) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements made by the licensee in the course of carrying on his activities of licensed tow service.
(3) 
Any violation of this chapter or Chapter 185, Zoning.
(4) 
Conviction of the applicant or any partner, corporate officer or principal of the applicant of a misdemeanor or felony which in the judgment of the Town Board renders the applicant unfit to carry on the activities of a licensed tow service.
(5) 
Determination by the Town Board that the licensee has become an undesirable person.
(6) 
Cancellation or failure to maintain insurance pursuant to the requirements of § 170-12G.
B. 
Notice of the hearing for revocation of a license shall be given in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of complaint and the time and place of the hearing. Such notice shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the licensee at his business address as provided by him in his application or such other address as the licensee shall provide to the Town Clerk by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, at least 20 days prior to the date set for the hearing.
[Amended 11-18-2002 by L.L. No. 7-2002]
The Chief of Police or his duly appointed agent, upon receiving information giving him reasonable cause to believe that the licensee or any partner, corporate officer, shareholder or director, principal or agent thereof has violated any provision of this chapter or has been convicted of any violation referred to in this chapter or has been convicted of any crime or offense, may forthwith temporarily suspend such license until such time as a hearing is held by the Chief of Police or his agent, as hereinafter provided, and the Chief of Police or his agent shall have rendered a determination thereon. Such temporary suspension shall not exceed 30 days without a hearing. The Town Board shall be notified in writing of any suspension. Any license issued hereunder may be suspended for a period of not more than three months by the Chief of Police or his agent if the licensee shall violate any provisions of this chapter or any provision of the Code of the Town or be convicted of the violation of any traffic law, ordinance or regulation of the State of New York or any municipality of the State of New York or of any crime, or be guilty of making a false statement or misrepresentation in his application. A license hereunder shall not be suspended by the Chief of Police or his agent, except on a temporary basis as provided above, without a hearing having been held thereupon, which hearing shall be held not less than 30 days after written notice thereof to the licensee, either in person or by certified mail.
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Town Clerk in denying or suspending his license pursuant to § 170-18 or 170-20 of this chapter shall have the right to appeal to the Town Board. Such appeal shall be filed within 14 days after notice of the action complained of has been mailed to such person's business address, and the appeal shall include a written statement setting forth fully the grounds for the appeal. The Town Board shall set a time and place for a public hearing on such appeal, and notice of such hearing shall be mailed to such person at his business address as provided by him in his application or such other address as the applicant or the licensee shall provide to the Town Clerk by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, at least 20 days prior to the date set for the hearing. The decision and order of the Town Board on such appeal shall be final and conclusive.
Nothing provided herein shall be construed to prevent the Town from contracting with a particular tow service for services to be provided in lieu of relying on a rotating list as provided in § 170-17 of this chapter whenever the Town Board determines the best interest of the Town so requires.
A. 
Any person who violates 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 punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both.
[Amended 11-6-1995 by L.L. No. 7-1995]
(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 Town Board may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the Town 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.
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, corporate officers, principals or agents of applicants, but nothing herein 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 inspect each licensee's vehicles at least, but not limited to, twice each year and whenever deemed necessary for the public health, safety and welfare by the Police Department. Said inspections shall not be conclusive against the Town with respect to any claim of liability but shall be evidence merely that the licensee has had inspections made as required by this chapter.
[Amended 11-18-2002 by L.L. No. 7-2002]
D. 
The Police Department shall issue certificates of inspection for each towing vehicle it inspects that is equipped as provided by this chapter.
E. 
The Chief of Police is empowered to adopt departmental regulations to implement the enforcement of this chapter.