Town of Johnston, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Johnston 6-8-1992 by Ord. No. 865 (Sec. 16A-4.47 of the 1979 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Motor Vehicle Code — See Ch. 217.
Motor vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 220.
Parking — See Ch. 236.
Parking lots — See Ch. 239.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 325.
A. 
The following chapter is promulgated for towing service companies registered as approved by the Mayor of the Town of Johnston or his designee to perform tow services for the Town of Johnston and the Johnston Police Department.
B. 
No person or company (whether providing tow services or otherwise) shall be considered for or placed on the Town's list of tow companies approved by the Mayor of the Town of Johnston or his designee, nor shall a tow company currently on the list be allowed to remain thereon, unless each said person or tow company holds and maintains in good standing a "certificate of public convenience and necessity" as issued by the Rhode Island Department of Public Utilities.
C. 
All appointments to the Town of Johnston Police Department's Approved Towing Company List, for the purpose of this chapter, shall be treated as an appointment under Sec. 4-6(1) of the Johnston Town Charter.
D. 
In addition, in order to be considered for approval an applying tow company or person shall comply with the terms, conditions and provisions as set forth in the appropriate sections of the Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Code, which are part of this chapter; and which shall also apply to and be binding upon companies and/or persons already on the said approved tow list, unless specifically exempted as to any particular provision or section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Companies and/or persons wishing to be placed on the Town's approved tow list shall make formal application to the Mayor of the Town of Johnston, or his designee, for consideration on the approved list.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Companies and/or persons wishing to be placed on the Town's approved tow list shall guarantee to provide twenty-four-hour service, seven days a week, throughout the year and to accept and promptly respond within a twenty-minute time period or lose that turn on the tow list that rotation. Three misses in a thirty-day period will require automatic review of tow company's application to Chief of Police.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Companies and/or persons wishing to be placed on the Town's approved tow list shall guarantee to provide an approved secure storage facility with the following requirements:
A. 
For an applying or "new" company the outside secure storage area must be a minimum of 15,000 square feet at the same location. For an existing company of the said list, § 316-12 herein shall apply. All storage areas must be approved by the Mayor of the Town of Johnston or his designee in writing.
B. 
The towing company will maintain an inside secure storage facility to secure a minimum of three passenger vehicles.
C. 
This area must be zoned in accordance with all Town and state ordinances and laws.
D. 
The area must be owned or be under a multiple-year lease.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Every tow company must have at least two tow trucks and one carrier with the following:
A. 
Every vehicle used for the purpose of towing disabled vehicles shall display the name, address and telephone number of the registered owner on both sides of the tow vehicle. The words shall be in sharp color contrast to the background and be of such size, shape and color as to be readily legible during daylight hours, from a distance of 50 feet while the vehicle is in motion.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Flashing amber lights on all tow trucks and car carriers will be visible not less than 500 feet. (This subsection is also a requirement under the Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Laws, § 31-24-31.)
C. 
Two-way communications, "radio system" excluding C.B. equipment general.
D. 
Said towing companies shall maintain a large broom on all tow trucks to be used for Town-ordered tows and be required to remove all reasonable debris caused by incident.
E. 
Said towing companies shall maintain and keep in effect beepers for the purpose of communications between the Police Department and said towing company personnel.
F. 
If a tow company or his agent refuses or fails to comply with the foregoing Subsection D, the police shall have the option to call the next tow company on the rotating list to complete that particular tow. Also, for repeat failure, breaches or violations, the tow company will be subject to sanctions and penalties imposed by the Mayor of the Town of Johnston or his designee.
Each tow company agrees to perform no repair work (nor refer repair work to others) without the written consent of the vehicle owner or his authorized agent.
A. 
Each tow company agrees to surrender and release the towed vehicle to the owner or his duly authorized agent immediately upon demand. Collection of towing charges and storage fees rests solely with the towing service and the vehicle's owner or its agent of the vehicle.
B. 
Neither the Town of Johnston or its agents are liable for any towing fees and storage fees incurred as result of any vehicle, parts or objects being towed.
C. 
Upon a vehicle being released by the Police Department, the said towing companies agree to charge only the towing and storage fees specified by the Department of Public Utilities. Collection of towing charges and storage fees rests solely with the towing service and the vehicle's owner or its agent. Neither the Town of Johnston nor its agents are liable for any towing fees and storage fees incurred as a result of any vehicle, parts or objects being towed.
D. 
Each said tow company agrees to display the current Department of Public Works ordinance that specifies the towing and storage charges of a towed vehicle. This ordinance will be displayed conspicuously to the view of the owner of the towed vehicle and in the immediate area where the normal business is conducted by said towing company on releasing towed vehicles.
Each tow company agrees to make no unsolicited response to the scene of an accident or abandonment. Only the owner, his agent or the police shall be the source of such request for towing.
A. 
Each tow company on the said approved list agrees to notify the Chief of Police or his authorized officer of any vehicle, parts or objects which it has towed and remain in storage and unclaimed for seven days.
(1) 
This notice and all pertinent information for each said tow must be listed and supplied in writing and in duplication on the current form used by the respective tow company which will be mailed or delivered weekly by the tow company to the Police Department, unless an authorized police officer picks up the same.
(2) 
Collection of towing charges and storage fees rests solely with the towing service and the vehicle's owner or its agent. Neither the Town of Johnston nor its agents are liable for any towing fees and storage fees incurred as a result of any vehicle, parts or objects being towed.
B. 
With respect to abandoned vehicles towed, the said tow companies will comply with Chapter 42 of Title 31 of R.I.G.L. as amended (entitled "Abandoned Motor Vehicles"), and will also comply with any other pertinent or applicable state or federal statutes.
C. 
It is to be noted that there will be times when tow companies will be required to tow vehicles or parts or other objects which are considered to be evidence of a crime. This evidence will be placed in a secure storage area by the towing company pending disposition at no expense to the Town of Johnston. (Refer to § 316-4.)
D. 
Any violation of this section will be subject to the penalties referred to in § 316-14 herein.
A. 
Each tow company agrees to keep a separate record book for vehicles towed as a result of a police call for tow service for impoundment. The record book shall show the following:
(1) 
Year, make, VIN number, and registration number when available.
(2) 
Date, time, location, and Police CR number.
(3) 
Disposition and date of such disposition.
B. 
Each tow company agrees to provide upon demand the tow book and all written contents to the Mayor or to the Chief of Police or any police officer or officer-in-charge that the Chief may authorize.
[Amended 6-14-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-9]
A. 
Each tow company agrees to hold a Rhode Island Department of Public Utilities certificate with an area of coverage, including Johnston as an area, as a minimum coverage.
B. 
No said tow company or person on the Town's approved tow list shall effectuate the transfer of the said company's public utilities' certificate to a prospective purchaser nor shall any transfer of ownership in whole or part entitle the purchaser to remain on the said Town's tow list, unless and until the prospective purchaser is approved by the Mayor of the Town of Johnston after the prospective purchaser shall have applied to the Chief of Police to remain on the said tow list in accordance with these regulations and the appropriate Town ordinances.
[Amended 6-14-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-9]
A. 
The requirement (set forth in § 316-4A) that a "new" or applying company must provide an approved secure storage facility with an outside secure storage area containing a minimum of 15,000 square feet at the same location shall not apply retroactively to an "existing company" on the Town's said approved list.
B. 
All deviations have to be approved by the Chief of Police. If the deviations are not acceptable, then the towing service will be given adequate time to comply. A maximum of one year will be allowed for the grandfathered towing service to comply with all deviations of § 316-4A not acceptable by the Mayor of the Town of Johnston or his designee.
Based upon the information received by the Johnston Police Department as to the type of vehicle involved, the determination of the authorized tow company assigned equipment needed to tow that particular vehicle, shall be complied with by the Police Department to the extent possible. "Car-carrier towing" will only be used or called for where reasonably requested or required because of the special kind of vehicle involved or because of other exceptional problems or circumstances.
[Amended 6-14-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-9; 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-23]
Any tow company on the said Town's authorized tow list which fails to adhere to or comply with these rules and regulations or with the pertinent ordinances, or which shall violate or breach the same, shall be subject to removal or suspension from the Town's authorized tow list by the Mayor of the Town of Johnston or his designee, with cause.
In the event of the disposal of a vehicle, by owner to the owner of tow company, said tow company shall notify the Johnston Police Department towing company liaison officer immediately and follow up with documentary confirmation within seven days.
Anyone convicted of a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, of this Code.