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Legislation #: 120271 Introduction Date: 3/15/2012
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: none
Sponsor: COUNCILMEMBER SHARP AND COUNCILMEMBER CIRCO
Title: Amending Chapter 76, Code of Ordinances, by repealing Article III, Tow Vehicles, and enacting in lieu thereof a new article of like number and subject matter which mandates tow operators who tow vehicles for Kansas City to receive a registration number, operators to obtain a certificate and allows for an outside vendor to oversee the dispatch of City tows.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
3/15/2012 Filed by the Clerk's office
3/15/2012 Referred to Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
3/22/2012 Hold On Agenda (3/29/2012)
3/29/2012 Hold to End of Docket
3/29/2012 Advance and Do Pass as a Committee Substitute, Debate
3/29/2012 Passed as Substituted

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COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR ORDINANCE NO. 120271

 

Amending Chapter 76, Code of Ordinances, by repealing Article III, Tow Vehicles, and enacting in lieu thereof a new article of like number and subject matter which mandates tow operators who tow vehicles for Kansas City to receive a registration number, operators to obtain a certificate and allows for an outside vendor to oversee the dispatch of City tows.

 

WHEREAS, the Council has determined that it is in the public interest, safety and welfare of the City to amend Chapter 76 to regulate the City’s tows; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Council believes that the proposed safety related ordinance would promote the public safety of both visitors and residents of the City by contributing to a decrease in the potential for confrontation and violence between vehicle owners and the persons who tow their vehicles and a decrease in bodily criminal actions of tow truck operators and drivers; and

 

WHEREAS, the current system of tow truck dispatching for police and city tows in the City is not as effective and efficient as it could be; and

 

WHEREAS, the wreck chasing problem continues in the City creating safety concerns; and

 

WHEREAS, there are currently no accountability measures in place that effectively deal with tow vehicle operator’s that wreck chase in the City; and

 

WHEREAS, this is a recodification of Section 76-287, Prohibit Acts; NOW, THEREFORE,

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

 

Section 1. That Chapter 76, Code of Ordinances of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, is hereby amended by repealing Article III, Tow Vehicles, and enacting in lieu thereof a new article of like number and subject matter to read as follows:

 

ARTICLE III. - TOW VEHICLES

 

DIVISION 1. - GENERALLY

DIVISION 2. –REGISTRATION NUMBER REQUIRED

DIVISION 3. - OPERATORS' AND EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS AND QUALIFICATIONS

DIVISION 4. – SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION OF REGISTRATION NUMBERS AND CERTIFICATES

DIVISION 5. - NONCONSENT TOW AND BOOTING

 


DIVISION 1. - GENERALLY

 

Sec. 76-281. - Definitions.

Sec. 76-282. - Emergent tow.

Sec. 76-283. - Exceptions to article.

Sec. 76-284. - Penalty for violation of article.

Sec. 76-285. - Vehicle labeling.

Sec. 76-286. – Reserved.

Sec. 76-287. - Prohibited acts.

Sec. 76-288. - Site cleanup.

Sec. 76-289. - Price schedule and authorization for tow.

Sec. 76-290. - Statement required.

Sec. 76-291. – Insurance required for City tow.

Sec. 76-292. – Miscellaneous.

Sec. 76-293. - Exemptions.

Sec. 76-294. – Informal dispositions of contested cases.

Sec. 76-295. – Authority to prescribe additional rules and regulations.

Secs. 76-296—76-310. - Reserved.

 

Sec. 76-281. Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

 

Boot means any wheel immobilization device that is attached to a vehicle that prevents the vehicle from being driven

 

City means the city of Kansas City, Missouri.

 

City tow means all tows ordered through the City dispatch system by the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, City or any other regulatory agency.

 

Cruising means operating a tow vehicle on a public highway at a slow rate of speed or in any other fashion for the purpose of soliciting business along said highway.

 

Director means the director of neighborhood and community services or the director’s designee.

 

Department means the neighborhood and community service department.

 

Emergent tow means a law enforcement directed movement of any vehicle by a tow vehicle in order to regulate, facilitate and provide for the proper and orderly flow of traffic upon the streets, alleys, road, highways and thoroughfares within the City of Kansas City, Missouri when there is an emergency situation as defined in section 76-282.

 

Highway means any highway, road, street or alley open to the use of the public for the purpose of vehicular traffic.

 

Registration number means a permanent number assigned by the director to a specific tow vehicle.

 

Operator’s certificate or operator’s certificate holder means evidence of authorization to operate tow vehicles in the services authorized under this article.

 

Operating, operation of or to operate a tow vehicle means all acts and functions incident to the movement of a tow vehicle from place to place; as well as all acts involved in the undertaking of a tow, whether for hire or for personal or business use by the owner or individuals under the control of the owner of the tow vehicle; and the conducting of a business engaged in the operation of a tow vehicle.

 

Owner means any person who holds legal title to a vehicle or one who has the legal right to the control and possession thereof.

 

Person means any individual, assumed name entity, partnership, joint venture, association, corporation or other legal entity.

 

Motor vehicle or vehicle means:

 

(1) any motor vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of no more than ten persons, including the operator, and having a registered gross weight of 7,500 pounds or less; and

 

(2) any motor vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of property, such as pick-up trucks and panel trucks, and having a registered gross weight of 7,500 pounds or less.

 

Registration holder or registrant number means the owner of a tow vehicle registered under this chapter.

 

Retrieval fee means the compensation payable for the retrieval of a towed motor vehicle, during the periods of time prescribed in section 76-422, from a facility owned, operated, leased or used by a tow vehicle service, whether that facility is located within or beyond the city.

 

Storage fee means the compensation payable for the storage of a towed motor vehicle that has been stored at or in a facility owned, operated, leased or used by a tow vehicle service, whether that facility is located within or beyond the city.

 

Tow, tows, or towing means the act of removing, by tow vehicle, a motor vehicle from public or privately-owned property. The mere preparation of a motor vehicle for removal by a tow vehicle or the attachment of a motor vehicle to a tow vehicle, or both, does not, for purposes of this chapter, constitute a "tow" or "towing."

 

Towing fee means the compensation payable for the towing of a motor vehicle.

 

Tow service business means any person, firm, association, corporation, partnership or organization engaged in the operation of one or more tow vehicles for a fee or as part or as part of an auto salvage, auto repair or junk business.

 

Tow vehicle means any motor vehicle which is designed or equipped to or which does in fact provide any towing service, including but not limited to towing, pushing or car starting, for which a fee is charged or as part of an auto salvage, auto repair or junk business; except that vehicle transports or multicar hauling vehicles shall not be construed to mean tow vehicles for the purpose of this article; provided, however, rollback tow vehicles capable of towing two vehicles are not excluded from the definition of tow vehicles.

 

Tow vehicle operator or operator means any individual who, as an employee of or otherwise for a tow service business, tows motor vehicles.

 

Vehicle immobilization means the impounding, incapacitating or immobilizing of any vehicle, whether motorized or not, without the permission of the owner or agent of the owner of the vehicle by the use of any device, wheel clamp, object barrel, boot, mechanism or method, either attached to the vehicle or not, by the owner or agent of the property upon which the vehicle is parked, that does not allow the owner of the vehicle or authorized agent to freely move the vehicle from the place where it is immobilized.

 

Vehicle immobilization service means any person, firm, association, corporation, partnership or organization engaged in the operation of vehicle immobilization for a fee.

 

Sec. 76-282. Emergent Tow.

 

To promote public safety, the following acts and circumstances shall be deemed an emergency situation which shall require the immediate removal of a vehicle from the streets, alleys, roads, highways and thoroughfares within the city limits:

 

(1)               When a vehicle is parked, stopped or standing in violation of any regulation or ordinance of the city government and is obstructing the orderly flow of traffic;

 

(2)               When a vehicle is parked, stopped or standing so as to obstruct the orderly flow of traffic;

 

(3)               When a vehicle is disabled by an accident and constitutes an obstruction of traffic, and its immediate removal or storage for safekeeping is necessary in the interest of public safety and protection of the property.

 

(4)               When the owner or operator in control of the vehicle fails to call within 10 minutes of being requested by law enforcement to make arrangements to have the vehicle removed or refuses to make arrangements to remove the vehicle or failure of the tow vehicle requested by the owner or operator in control of the vehicle to respond to the scene within 30 minutes.

 

(5)               Consentual tows, where the owner or operator in control is able to consent, may be towed to a location of the owner or operator’s choosing.

 

Sec. 76-283. Exceptions to article.

 

The provisions and prohibitions of this article shall not apply to any person who necessarily must act immediately to prevent death or bodily injury or extract a person from automobile wreckage.

 

Sec. 76-284. Penalty for violation of article.

 

Any person who is found to have violated any provisions of this article, or who neglects or fails to comply with such provisions, shall be guilty of an ordinance violation, and upon conviction shall be fined not less than $250.00 and not more than $500.00, or punished by imprisonment of not more than 180 days, or punished by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

Sec. 76-285. Vehicle labeling.

 

The name and business telephone number of the tow service business shall be legibly printed in letters not less than 1½ inches high on each side of all tow vehicles.

 

Sec. 76-286. Reserved.

Sec. 76-287. Prohibited acts.

 

It shall be unlawful for the owner or operator of a tow vehicle to:

 

(1) Move a motor vehicle involved in an accident or collision being investigated by the police unless such vehicle has been released by an authorized member of the police department.

 

(2) Stop at or proceed to the scene of an accident unless called to the scene, requested to stop, or flagged down by the owner or operator of a vehicle involved in an accident or requested to perform the service by a law enforcement officer or regulatory agency pursuant to that agency's procedures.

 

(3) Move any vehicle from a highway, street or public property without the express authorization of the owner or operator of the vehicle or a law enforcement officer or public agency pursuant to that agency's procedures.

 

(4) Tow any vehicle from a highway, street or public property to a location not authorized by the owner of the towed vehicle or member of the police department or other public agency.

 


Sec. 76-288. Site cleanup.

 

Tow vehicle operators shall pick up and properly dispose of all vehicle parts, glass, and other debris deposited on the roadway or right of way as a result of an accident or vehicle break down, but only after receiving authorization to by a police officer at the scene.

 

Sec. 76-289. Price schedule and authorization for tow.

 

(a) The owners of all tow vehicles operating in the city shall prepare and file in triplicate with the director a schedule of prices to be charged for the towing and storage of vehicles. Such schedule may be based on time, mileage, weight, or a combination of both. In addition the schedule must include the minimum charge for any undertaking involving towing and storage. One copy of said schedule shall be retained by the director, one copy shall be returned to the tow truck owner and one (1) copy shall be forwarded to the police department.

 

(b) It shall be unlawful to charge a sum in excess of that authorized by the schedule filed with the director.

 

(c) Prior to the undertaking of any tow, the tow vehicle operator shall present the schedule of prices to the customer for his examination.

 

(d) The price schedule for a city tow will be determined by the director. Nothing in this article shall prevent the director from authorizing a contractor to oversee city tows of vehicles within the city.

 

Sec. 76-290. Statement required.

 

(a) Prior to the undertaking of a tow, the tow vehicle operator shall obtain the name and the business or home telephone number of the person authorizing the tow. Such tow vehicle operator shall supply this information, upon request, to any law enforcement officer or representative of the department.

 

(b) All persons operating a tow vehicle shall keep in their possession a pad of printed statements containing his name and the address of his place of business, and after towing a vehicle shall prepare one of said printed statements in duplicate and furnish the original to the owner of the vehicle or to his authorized representative. The statement shall contain the following information:

 

(1) The full name and address of the tow vehicle operator and driver number if applicable;

 

(2) The state license plate number and unit number of the tow vehicle;

 

(3) The state license number and the state vehicle identification number of the vehicle towed;

 

(4) The total amount charged for towing, including the number of miles towed and the storage rate per day or price thereof; and

 

(5) Any other information required by the director.

 

(c) A duplicate of each statement shall be retained by the tow vehicle operator for a period of three (3) years and shall be exhibited by him upon demand by the director or his authorized representative.

 

Sec. 76-291. Insurance required for city tow.

 

No registration number to operate a tow vehicle for a city tow shall be issued until the applicant shall first obtain a policy of insurance from a company authorized to do business in the State of Missouri, or a bond of indemnity, acceptable to the director, with limits for bodily injury liability of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for each person, one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for each accident and property damage liability of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for each accident, garage keepers legal liability insurance with limits of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00), on-hook liability policy of one million dollars five hundred thousand ($1,500,000.00), and workers’ compensation insurance as required by state law.

 

Sec. 76-292. Miscellaneous.

 

(a)    The Tow Service Business, at all times, is responsible for the conduct of their business and the acts and conduct of their employees and subcontractors which is in violation of the provisions of this chapter or the regulations of the director.

 

(b)   The Tow Service Business, at all times, is responsible for all tow vehicles and the tow vehicles are maintained in a clean and serviceable condition and in adequate repair.

 

(c)    No operator of a tow vehicle shall engage in cruising.

 

(d)   No operator of a tow vehicle shall invite or permit loitering within or near their tow vehicle.

 

(e)    No operator of a tow vehicle shall seek employment by repeatedly driving their vehicle to and from in a short space on any highway or otherwise interfering with the proper and orderly progress of traffic along a pubic highway.

 

(f)    No operator of a tow vehicle shall report for another operator’s tow.

 

(g)   No operator of a tow vehicle shall solicit or attempt to divert prospective patrons of an emergent tow.

 

(h)   No operator of a tow vehicle shall solicit or divert prospective patrons at a given garage in the city to any other garage.

 

(i)     No operator of a tow vehicle shall solicit, demand or receive from any person, any pay, or commission or emolument whatsoever except the proper fare for transporting the city or emergent tow in accordance with the schedule of charges as determined by the director.

 

(j)     All registration numbers shall promptly report all changes of address to the director.

 

(k)   An operator of a tow vehicle shall not remove a vehicle involved in an accident in which a person has been killed or seriously injured unless such vehicle has been released by a law enforcement officer.

 

Sec. 76-293. Exemptions.

 

The provision of section 76-290(b) of this chapter shall not be applicable to any person operating a tow vehicle under the terms of a written contract for a specific period of time with any person, firm or corporation to tow, transport, convey or move vehicles owned, controlled or in the custody of such person, firm or corporation to a specific location so designated, for consideration set forth in such contract; provided that the said person has in his possession at all times while towing, transporting, conveying or moving any such vehicle, such contract or an affidavit which shall recite the existence of the said contract, the name, address and phone number of the contracting parties, the term of the contract and the scope of services to be performed. Any person seeking exemption under this provision shall display such contract or affidavit when required to do so by any law enforcement officer.

 

Sec. 76-294. Informal disposition of contested cases.

 

Nothing contained in this chapter shall preclude the informal disposition of contested cases by stipulation, consent order or default, or by agreed settlement.

 

Sec. 76-295. Authority to prescribe additional rules and regulations.

 

The director is authorized to make and promulgate reasonable and necessary safety rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this article. A copy of all such rules and regulations shall be on file with the director.

 

Secs. 76-296-76-301. Reserved.

 

DIVISION 2. –REGISTRATION NUMBER REQUIRED

 

Sec. 76-311. - Registration number required for city tow.

Sec. 76-312. – Application for registration number.

Sec. 76-313. – Duration; renewal of permit.

Sec. 76-314. – Transfer of registration number.

Sec. 76-3165 – Hearing on application.

Sec. 76-316 – Judicial review of grant or denial of application.

Secs. 76-317—76-340. - Reserved.

 

Sec. 76-311. Registration number required for city tow.

 

It shall be unlawful for any person to report for or make a city tow or emergent tow unless the Tow Service Business that owns the tow vehicle shall first have obtained a registration number for each tow vehicle from the director. Application for a registration number shall be made by the Tow Service Business on a form furnished by the director, and any number issued shall be affixed to the vehicle as mandated by the director.

 

Sec. 76-312. Application for registration number.

 

Any Tow Service Business desiring to operate a tow vehicle for the purpose of performing a city tow or emergent tow within the city shall make written application for a registration number or the renewal thereof to the director, which application shall set forth the following:

 

(1)               A full identification of the applicant and all persons interested in the registration number, if granted, including the residence, business and email address of the applicant, and of all members of any firm, association or partnership, and of all principal shareholders, officers, directors and managers of any corporation applying;

 

(2)               Whether or not the applicant has been convicted of violating any provision of this code or has ever had a certificate or registration number issued under this article revoked or suspended;

 

(3)               Whether or not the applicant has unpaid claims or unsatisfied judgments against him or it for damages resulting from the negligent operation of a vehicle;

 

(4)               The past experience, if any, that the applicant has had in rendering such tow service in the city and the period of time that the applicant has rendered such service;

 

(5)               Such further information as the director may reasonably require.

 

Sec. 76-313. Duration; renewal of registration.

 

Registration numbers for the operation of tow vehicles shall be an annual registration which expires on March 31 of each year. Registration numbers in good standing on the date of their expiration shall be eligible for renewal. All vehicles for which new or renewed registration number are sought must be in compliance with the requirements of this code before the issuance or renewal of such registration number

 

Sec. 76-314. Transfer of registration number.

 

No registration number shall be transferred from one owner to another, but an owner may transfer the number of one tow vehicle to another tow vehicle. Such transfer shall only be made on approval of the director after written request by the registrant has been made.

 

Sec. 76-315. Hearing on application.

 

(a)    The application for new registration number or renewal of registration number under this article shall be approved or disapproved within 45 days from the date of the director's determination that the application is complete, unless the applicant agrees in writing to an extension of that time period. If a registration number application or renewal is disapproved, the director shall notify the applicant in person, or by registered or certified mail to the applicant's last known address.

 

(b)   If within ten days after the director mails notice to the applicant that the application has been disapproved, the applicant files with the director a written request for a hearing before the director, then the director shall within ten days of receipt of a timely request, mail a notice of a hearing to the applicant, which shall include the date, time and place for the hearing before the director. The date for the hearing shall not be less than 20 days nor more than 40 days following the filing of the request for a hearing under this section, unless the aggrieved party requesting the hearing agrees to extend the time for the hearing.

 

(c)    The applicant shall have full right to be represented by counsel, to produce witnesses, and to cross examine all witnesses who may appear against him. A record shall be made of the proceedings at such hearing, which shall be transcribed at the expense of the party requesting the transcription. In the grant or denial of an application, the director is authorized to determine whether the applicant will conduct the business in accordance with the provisions of this code. This determination shall be based on information provided by the applicant; sworn testimony of witnesses, and official records of any municipal, state or federal government or court. Such determination can result in the denial of the registration number or renewal. If a registration number application is disapproved, the director shall notify the applicant in person, or by registered or certified mail to the applicant's last known address, and shall state the basis for the disapproval.

 

Sec. 76-316. Judicial review of grant or denial of application.

 

An applicant affected by the action of the director in granting or denying an application for a registration number under this article may seek judicial review in the manner provided by law.

 

Secs. 76-317-76-340. Reserved.

 

DIVISION 3. - OPERATORS' AND EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS AND QUALIFICATIONS

 

Sec. 76-341. - Vehicles generally.

Sec. 76-342. – Operator’s certificate required.

Sec. 76-343. – Requirements for tow vehicle operator.

Sec. 76-344. – Qualifications of tow vehicle operator.

Sec. 76-345. – Application for operator’s certificate.

Sec. 76-346. – Investigation.

Sec. 76-347. – Fee.

Sec. 76-348. – Granting or denial; appeals.

Sec. 76-349. – Expiration.

Sec. 76-350. – Renewal.

Sec. 76-351. – Certificate.

Sec. 76-352. – Submitting false information.

Sec. 76-353. – Compliance with applicable laws.

Secs. 76-354—76-401. - Reserved.

 

Sec. 76-341. Vehicles generally.

 

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or allow or cause to be operated any tow vehicle, either for a fee or as part of any auto salvage, auto repair or junk business within the city, unless said vehicle has a current, approved department of transportation (DOT) inspection certificate.

 

Sec. 76-342. Operator’s certificate required.

 

It shall be unlawful for any person, other than Tow Business owner, to report for and make a city tow or emergent tow unless the operator of the vehicle shall have in their possession an operator’s certificate issued under the provisions of this code.

 

Sec. 76-343. Requirements for tow vehicle operators.

 

(a)    Any person who is to report for and make a city tow or emergent tow within the city shall:

 

(1)               Be eighteen (18) years of age or older; and

 

(2)               Be a person of good moral character; and

 

(3)               Have a current commercial driver’s license issued by the State of Missouri pursuant to the licensing requirements of Chapter 302 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri or have a comparable commercial driver's license that is current and has been issued by another state.

 

(b)   The tow vehicle owner shall provide proof to the director that the persons who will be operating the tow vehicle(s) possess a current commercial driver’s license as required under this Section.

 

Sec. 76-344. Qualifications of tow vehicle operator.

 

(a)    Each applicant for an operator’s certificate shall undergo an investigation to determine if a certificate will be issued. An operators certificate shall not be issued to any person who:

 

(1)               Made intentional misstatements or misleading statements of fact in the application;

 

(2)               Within five years of the date of application has been found guilty of, pleaded guilty to, pleaded nolle contendere to or been convicted of a felony (federal or any state) or has been released from confinement for a felony conviction, whichever is latest, involving theft, possession of stolen property, interstate transportation of stolen vehicles;

 

(3)               Within five years of the date of application had an operator’s certificate revoked.

 

(4)               Within two years of the date of application had an operator’s certificate suspended.

 

Sec. 76-345. Application for operator’s certificate.

 

(a)    Filing. Every person desiring to report for and make a city or emergent tow within the city shall file with the director a written application for an operator’s certificate.

 

(b)   Application form. The application for an operator’s certificate shall be made upon a printed form to be provided by the director and shall request not less than the information specified in section 76-343 and section 76-344 and such other information as may be deemed proper by the director.

 

Sec. 76-346. Investigation.

 

After a complete and fully executed application for an operator’s certificate has been filed with the director, the director shall cause the application to be investigated.

 

Sec. 76-347. Fee.

 

The operator's certificate shall not be issued or renewed until the fee for such certificate shall have been paid. A non-refundable fee will be assessed to the applicant to defray the cost of investigation and the application process.

 

Sec. 76-348. Granting or denial; appeals.

 

(a)    After completing the investigation, the director shall determine whether an operator's certificate shall be granted to the applicant. Such certificate shall bear the genuine signature of the applicant.

 

(b)   The director's grant or denial of an application for an operator’s certificate or the renewal thereof shall be based on information provided in the application as well as any report submitted by an investigator, the police department or from the results of the background investigation. In addition to the qualifications set forth in section 76-343 and section 76-344 the director shall consider any cause that may exist for suspension or revocation under section 76-402 in the determination of the renewal of an operator’s certificate. Within ten days after issuance of notice by the director to deny such application, the applicant may submit a written request for a hearing, which shall be held in accordance with section 76-403. Appeal of the director's decision following a hearing shall be affected pursuant to section 76-316.

 

Sec. 76-349. Expiration.

 

All operators’ certificates shall be valid for three years from the date of issuance.

 

Sec. 76-350. Renewal.

 

An operator’s certificate may be renewed by the director upon a written application on a form provided by the director.

 

Sec. 76-351. Certificate.

 

An appropriate certificate shall be furnished to each operator by the director, showing their certificate number and the year for which the certificate is issued. Every tow vehicle operator, while on duty as such, shall have the certificate in their possession at all times.

 

Sec. 76-352. Submitting false information.

 

Any false statement or misrepresentation of a material fact, made by an applicant for the purpose of securing an operator’s certificate, or any renewal thereof, shall be deemed good and sufficient cause for refusal to grant, or, if granted, for revocation of a certificate.

 

Sec. 76-353. Compliance with applicable laws.

 

Every holder of an operator’s certificate issued under this code shall comply with all city, state and federal laws. Failure to do so will justify suspension or revocation of the certificate by the director.

 

Sec. 76-354-76-401. Reserved.

 

DIVISION 4. – SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION OF REGISTRATION NUMBER AND OPERATOR CERTIFICATE

 

Sec. 76.402. – Generally.

Sec. 76-403. – Hearing.

Secs. 76-404—76-420. - Reserved.

 

Sec. 76-402. Generally.

(a)    Suspension. If the director holds a hearing in accordance with section 76-403 and finds that:

 

(1)               A holder of a registration number or an operator’s certificate issued under this article has violated any provision of this code or any regulation properly issued by the director of this code;

 

(2)               A registrant under this article has employed or permitted an agent or employee to hire or employ or contract with, as a tow vehicle operator, any person not holding a valid operators’ certificate issued under the provisions of this code, and has permitted such person to report for or make a city tow within the city;

 

(3)               Someone other than the holder has made use of a registration number or certificate that has been granted pursuant to the provisions of this code;

 

(4)               The holder of a registration number or an operator’s certificate issued under this article has knowingly charged, for services provided in accordance with this tow vehicles code, a fare or charge in excess of that authorized; then the director may suspend the certificate or registration number issued under this article for a period not to exceed 90 days.

 

(5)               Revocation.

 

a.                   The director may revoke any registration number or certificate if, following a hearing held in accordance with section 76-403, he finds that:

 

                                                                    i.                        A registrant or the holder of an operator’s certificate issued under this article has committed three or more acts constituting grounds for suspension in accordance with subsections (a)(1) through (4) of this section within a 12-month period or has operated or allowed another to operate under his or her suspended registration number or certificate;

 

                                                                  ii.                        An operator’s certificate or one or more registration numbers issued there under were obtained by misrepresentation or fraud, including knowingly providing false information concerning matters covered in section 76-312 on the application therefor; or

 

                                                                iii.                        The holder of an operator’s certificate issued under this article has been convicted of committing a felony or any crime against a citizen involving a vehicle operated pursuant to this code or any crime involving moral turpitude.

 

b.                  Following a hearing held in accordance with section 76-403, the director may revoke any registration number under which a number holder has discontinued his operations unless such registrant has surrendered the registration number within ten days after such discontinuance.

 

(6)               Issuance of new registration number after suspension or revocation. No new registration number will be issued to a registrant while any of their registration numbers are under suspension. No new registration number may be issued to a registrant for a 12-month period following revocation of one or more of their registration numbers.

 

Sec. 76-403. Hearing.

 

(a) Whenever the director has knowledge of any action or condition which would constitute grounds for the suspension or revocation of any registration number or certificate issued under this article, or any other reasonable cause to believe such grounds exist, he shall hold a hearing to ascertain all facts in the matter and determine whether or not the subject registration number or certificate should be suspended or revoked. Not less than ten days' prior written notice shall be served on the person holding such registration number or certificate by personal service or mailed by certified or registered mail to him at his last known business or residence address, setting out the reason for the hearing and the conditions under which the hearing will be held. The registration number or certificate holder shall have full right to be represented by counsel, to produce witnesses, and to cross examine all witnesses who may appear against him. All procedures in such hearings shall be recorded stenographically, mechanically or electronically or by a combination thereof and shall be transcribed at the expense of the party requesting the transcription. Subpoenas shall be issued by the director for any witness whose presence is desired at any hearing or proceeding before the director to suspend or revoke a registration number or certificate and such subpoena may be served by any person designated by the director, or by any member of the city police department. The subpoena shall be served and the return shall be made in the same manner as is provided by law in civil suits in the circuit court of this state.

 

(b)   Witnesses may also appear voluntarily at such hearings and testify. Before any witness shall testify in any such hearing, he shall be sworn by the director to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. The director's decision and order shall be in writing and shall include, if so requested, findings of fact and conclusions of law. No suspension or revocation ordered by the director following a hearing in accordance with this section shall become effective until ten days after the order has been issued. Appeal of the director's decision can be pursued in accordance with the provisions of section 76-316.

 

Secs. 76-404-76-420. Reserved.

 

DIVISION 5. - NONCONSENT TOW AND BOOTING

 

Sec. 76-421. - Applicability.

Sec. 76-422. - Towing and storage fees and regulations.

Sec. 76-423. - Notice of tow.

Sec. 76-424. - Hours of operation of storage facilities.

Sec. 76-425. - Methods of payment.

Sec. 76-426. - Receipt.

Sec. 76-427. - Tow service business requirements.

Sec. 76-428. - Towing log or similar record.

Sec. 76-429. - Warning signs.

Sec. 76-430. - Immobilizing vehicles on a private lot.

Sec. 76-431. - Immobilizing vehicles on private parking lots; signs required.

Sec. 76-432. - Notice of vehicle immobilization device; conditions.

Sec. 76-433. - Fee charged for removing vehicle immobilization device.

Sec. 76-434. - Emergency vehicles.

Sec. 76-435. - Penalties.

 

Sec. 76-421. Applicability.

 

This division applies:

 

(1) To the towing, by a tow service business, of motor vehicles from privately-owned property within the city without the consent of the vehicle owner or driver or a law enforcement officer being present;

 

(2) To the fees that are charged for such towing of vehicles; and

 

(3) To the fees that are charged for the storage and retrieval of such towed vehicles.

 

The division does not apply to the towing of motor vehicles from public streets and other locations within the city that is performed pursuant to an ordinance or contract with the city, or to the storage of such vehicles.

 

Sec. 76-422. Towing and storage fees and regulations.

 

(a) The maximum fees that may be charged for the towing of motor vehicles and for the storage and, when specifically authorized by this section, the retrieval of such towed vehicle is as follows:

 

(1) For the towing of a motor vehicle, the maximum fee shall be $150.00;

 

(2) For the storage of a towed motor vehicle, the maximum fee for each 24-hour period of storage, or portion thereof, shall be $30.00; and

 

(3) For the retrieval of a towed motor vehicle during hours other than 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, the maximum fee shall be $25.00.

 

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to charge a towing fee, storage fee or retrieval fee that exceeds the fees established by subsection (a).

 

(c) If the owner of a motor vehicle is present and capable of removing the vehicle before it is removed by a tow vehicle operator, the vehicle shall not be towed; provided, that in such an event, the owner of the vehicle shall be liable for a reasonable fee, not to exceed one half of the regular towing fee, in lieu of towing, payable to the tow vehicle operator. This fee shall only apply if the tow vehicle is attached to the offending vehicle and the offending vehicle has been lifted so at least two of the tires are off the ground and still on the lot.

 

(d) Except for the removal of motor vehicles authorized by a law enforcement agency, a towing company shall not remove or commence the removal of motor vehicles from private property without first obtaining written authorization from the property owner or lessee, or an employee or agent thereof, who must be present at the time of removal or commencement of the removal. All written authorizations shall be maintained for at least three years by the towing company. General authorization to remove or commence removal of motor vehicles at the towing company's discretion shall not be delegated to a towing company or its affiliates except in the case of motor vehicles unlawfully parked within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane designated by a fire department or the state fire marshal.

 

(e) The director may review fees established through this ordinance bi-annually, from the date of adoption of this division, and may adjust the fees based upon the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumer (CPI-U).

 

Sec. 76-423. Notice of tow.

 

Prior to towing any motor vehicle, the tow service business or operator shall contact the city's police department and provide the following information:

 

(1) The name of the tow service business and operator;

 

(2) A description of the vehicle to be towed, including its year, make, model, vehicle identification number and license plate number;

 

(3) The date and time of the tow;

 

(4) The address of the location from which the vehicle is being towed; and

 

(5) The name and address of the facility to which the vehicle is to be delivered and stored, and from which the vehicle may be retrieved.

 

(6) If the vehicle to be towed is reported as stolen the tow company shall not remove the vehicle, and provide the location and vehicle description to Police.

 

Sec. 76-424. Hours of operation of storage facilities.

 

Any tow service business that tows a motor vehicle from a location within the city shall take the vehicle to a storage facility from which towed vehicles may be retrieved 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It shall be unlawful to charge any additional fees, other than the fees allowed pursuant to section 76-422(a), to reclaim a vehicle.

 

Sec. 76-425. Methods of payment.

 

A tow business service, tow vehicle operator and storage facility operator shall accept payment for any towing fee, storage fee, retrieval fee and the "in lieu of towing" fee as set out in section 76-422(a) in each of the following ways:

 

(1) Cash in United States currency;

 

(2) Travelers' checks or money orders payable in United States currency; and

 

(3) Visa, MasterCard or Discovery credit card. There shall be no additional charge for the use of a credit card.

 

Sec. 76-426. Receipt.

 

Upon payment of all towing, storage and, if applicable, retrieval fees, the tow service business or storage facility operator, as the case may be, shall immediately give the vehicle owner or custodian a written receipt that contains the following information:

 

(1) The name and address of the tow service business;

 

(2) The address from which the vehicle was towed;

 

(3) The date and time that the vehicle was towed;

 

(4) The date and time that the vehicle entered the facility at which it was placed for storage;

 

(5) An itemized list of all the fees that are being charged; and

 

(6) A signature of an authorized representative or property owner who requested the tow.

 

Sec. 76-427. Tow service business requirements.

 

A tow service business operating a tow vehicle pursuant to the authority granted in this chapter shall:

 

(1) Have and occupy a verifiable business address; and

 

(2) Have a fenced, secure, and lighted storage lot or an enclosed, secure building for the storage of motor vehicles; and

 

(3) Be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Availability shall mean that an employee of the towing company or an answering service answered by a person is able to respond to a tow request; and

 

(4) Maintain a valid insurance policy issued by an insurer authorized to do business in this state, or a bond or other acceptable surety providing coverage for the death of, or injury to, persons and damage to property for each accident or occurrence in the amount of at least $750,000.00 per incident; and

 

(5) Provide workers' compensation insurance for all employees of the towing company if required by RSMo ch. 287; and

 

(6) Maintain current motor vehicle registrations on all tow vehicles currently operated within the tow service business fleet.

 

(7) Maintain the business name, address and phone number on all tow vehicles operated within the tow service business fleet.

 

Sec. 76-428. Towing log or similar record.

 

Every tow service business shall maintain a separate log or other document which shall show, for each motor vehicle that it has towed from a location within the city, the following information:

 

(1) The date and time that the vehicle was towed;

 

(2) The date and time that the vehicle entered the facility at which it was placed for storage;

 

(3) The make, model, year, vehicle identification number, and license plate number of the vehicle;

 

(4) The address of the property from which the vehicle was removed;

 

(5) The total mileage of the tow; and

 

(6) The towing, retrieval and storage fees actually charged.

 

Such log or record shall be maintained for a period of at least three (3) years from the date of each tow, and shall be made available, during normal business hours, for inspection by the city. In addition, the portion of such log or record pertaining to a particular motor vehicle shall be made available, during normal business hours, for inspection by the owner of the vehicle.

 


Sec. 76-429. Warning signs.

 

It shall be unlawful for any tow service business or operator to tow a motor vehicle unless the area in which the vehicle is parked has been posted by a sign, in plain view, at each entrance and exit that has been permanently installed for a minimum of 24 hours prior to any vehicle being removed. The legible sign shall be a minimum of 17 inches by 22 inches in size with lettering not less than one inch in height and posted so that the bottom of the sign is at least 36 inches, but no more than 72 inches off the ground and shall include:

 

(1) A pictorial symbol of a tow vehicle;

 

(2) A statement to the effect that any trespassing motor vehicle within the area is subject to towing and storage at the expense of the vehicle owner;

 

(3) If applicable, the hours and days of the week when trespassing vehicles are subject to towing; and

 

(4) A telephone number, other than that of the city police department, that may be called and answered 24 hours a day for information regarding the retrieval of a towed vehicle;

 

(5) The maximum fee that will be charged for a towing fee, storage fee, retrieval fee and in lieu of towing fee.

 

Provided, that the requirements of this section shall not apply to areas providing parking for single-family, two-family and townhouse dwellings, as such dwellings are defined in the city zoning ordinance.

 

Sec. 76-430. Immobilizing vehicles on a private lot.

 

No one shall engage in vehicle immobilization within the city limits without complying with the provisions of this division. However, this division does not apply to any company that is acting on behalf of a governmental agency.

 

Sec. 76-431. Immobilizing vehicles on private parking lots; signs required.

 

(a) No one shall immobilize a vehicle, of any size or weight, parked in a private parking lot unless there is a sign conspicuously posted and clearly visible at each vehicle entrance and exit to the property that has been permanently installed for a minimum of 24 hours prior to any vehicle being immobilized. The legible sign shall be a minimum of 17 inches by 22 inches in size with lettering not less than one inch in height and posted so that the bottom of the sign is at least 36 inches, but no more than 72 inches off the ground.

 

(b) Each sign must provide, at minimum, the following information:

 

(1) In one-inch lettering:

 

a. Property is a private lot;

 

b. Vehicles not authorized to park will be immobilized at owner's expense.

 

(2) In one-inch lettering:

 

a.                   (Name and telephone number of person or company authorized to remove vehicle immobilization device) Vehicle immobilization device may be removed at any time, day or night, upon payment not to exceed $75.00.

 

Sec. 76-432. Notice of vehicle immobilization device; conditions.

 

(a) Notice. Immediately upon attaching a vehicle immobilization to the vehicle, the vehicle immobilization service shall affix a written notice to the driver's side window containing the following:

 

(1) A warning that any attempt to move the vehicle may result in damage to the vehicle;

 

(2) The name and telephone number of the licensee responsible for removing the device;

 

(3) The maximum fee, as established by ordinance, required to remove the vehicle immobilization device;

 

(4) The time and reason the vehicle was immobilized;

 

(5) Any complaints regarding excessive charges should be reported to the city police department.

 

(b) Other conditions. Each vehicle immobilization service or employee or agent of the vehicle immobilization service shall observe the following:

 

(1) All vehicle immobilization devices used within the city shall be in safe and proper working condition.

 

(2) Signs identifying the name and phone number shall be affixed to both sides of any vehicle used by a vehicle immobilization service or its agent to perform vehicle immobilization services.

 

(3) All vehicle immobilization services shall have 24 hour service and access. All vehicle immobilization services shall respond to all calls for release of a vehicle within one hour of a request for response.

 

(4) Charges for damages to vehicle immobilization equipment shall not be governed by this division and shall not prevent the vehicle's release if the removal fee is paid, which is specified in section 76-433.

 

Sec. 76-433. Fee charged for removing vehicle immobilization device.

 

(a) The fee for any and all charges to remove a vehicle immobilization device shall not exceed $75.00. The vehicle immobilization service shall accept Visa, Discover, or Master Card in addition to cash. There shall be no additional fee charged for the use of credit cards. The licensee shall provide a receipt upon request of the individual making payment for the removal of the immobilization device, once payment is made.

 

(b) It is unlawful for any person or entity, unless it is acting on behalf of a governmental agency, to place an immobilization device on a motor vehicle parked on the public right-of-way.

 

Sec. 76-434. Emergency vehicles.

 

Emergency vehicles used in police, fire or medical emergencies shall not be immobilized for any reason. Upon proof that an unmarked vehicle is used for the same purpose, the vehicle immobilization device shall be removed immediately at no charge.

 

Sec. 76-435. Penalties.

 

(a) Any person violating a provision of this division shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed $250.00 for each violation; provided, that if, in any 12-month period, a person is convicted of having violated one or more provisions of this chapter in conjunction with the towing or vehicle immobilization of more than one motor vehicle, the punishment for each violation in conjunction with the second and any subsequent tow or booting violations in the 12-month period shall be a fine not to exceed $500.00 or by imprisonment of not more than 180 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

(b) The owner of a motor vehicle removed from private property may recover for any damage to the motor vehicle resulting from any act of any person causing the removal of, or removing, the motor vehicle.

 

(c) Any owner of any private property causing the removal of motor vehicles parked on that property is liable to the owner of the motor vehicles for double the storage or towing charges whenever there has been a failure to comply with the requirements of this section.

 

(d) Any towing company, or any affiliate of a towing company, which removes, or commences removal of, motor vehicles from private property without first obtaining written authorization from the property owner or lessee, or an employee or agent thereof, who must be present at the time of removal or commencement of the removal is liable to
the owner of the motor vehicle for four times the amount of the towing and storage charges, in addition to any applicable criminal penalty, for a violation of this section.

 

_____________________________________________

 

Approved as to form and legality:

 

 

___________________________________

Kathy Adams

Assistant City Attorney