No person owning, driving or operating a wrecker service in the city shall solicit business for his wrecker at the scene of any wreck.
The operator of any wrecker that appears on the scene of a wreck without being called by the owner of the wrecked or disabled vehicle or by the police department, and who attempts to solicit business or refuses to leave the scene of a wreck upon request of a police officer, shall be guilty of violating this section.
(Ord. O-10-93 § 4 (part), 1993; prior code § 8-5-1)
The police department of the city shall maintain a list of competent and qualified wrecker services to remove disabled motor vehicles which create a traffic hazard or otherwise threaten public safety on public or private property.
The owner or operator of any wrecker service desiring to be maintained on such list must apply in writing to the city administrator or chief of police and must show that his service meets the requirements set forth in Section 8.20.030.
At no time shall the number of qualified wrecker services maintained on the list exceed four. In the event the number of wrecker services qualifying for the list exceeds four, the city administrator or chief of police shall randomly assign to all such applicants, whether presently on the list or not, a number and shall drop one applicant from the list and add another applicant once every three months, based on the sequence of the numbers thus randomly assigned.
No listed wrecker service, when contacted pursuant to the terms of this section, shall be allowed to subcontract its towing service responsibilities to any wrecker service not appearing on the city's wrecker service rotation list. A listed wrecker service may nevertheless subcontract out its storage responsibilities to another wrecker service not listed on the city's wrecker service rotation list, provided the entity with whom the subcontract agreement is made complies in all material respects to the requirements set forth in this code for the storage of vehicles.
The police department of the city shall maintain a second and distinct wrecker service rotation list of wrecker services which are competent and qualified to remove vehicles with a gross weight in excess of twelve thousand pounds. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, wrecker services under this subsection may maintain a business office and storage facility outside the corporate limits, provided the office and storage facility is maintained within a seven-mile radius of the center point of the city, as such center point may reasonably be established from time to time by the city administrator in view of changes in corporate boundaries. Each wrecker service on the rotation list shall carry no less than five hundred thousand dollars liability insurance; one hundred thousand dollars on hook insurance coverage; one hundred thousand dollars for death or bodily injury to one person and three hundred thousand dollars for death or bodily injury to two or more persons for any one occurrence. Any wrecker service on the rotation list shall carry garage keeper's liability insurance covering customer's vehicles in an amount no less than one hundred thousand dollars. Each policy shall contain an endorsement providing thirty days advance notice by the insurer to the city of Travelers Rest of any change or cancellation. In addition, a certificate of insurance must be furnished to the city on an annual basis.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, no wrecker service shall be included on the rotational list maintained by the city of Travelers Rest if any owner, director, manager, or any other officer has an ownership interest or serves as a director, manager or like officer for any other business enterprise by whatever named designated, which is already established on the rotational list.
Whenever the city discovers that two such affiliated businesses are on the existing list, the city administrator shall remove all but the earliest made listing, after providing ten days' written notice to the adversely affected business operations. Such notice shall provide the reason for the removal and provide an opportunity to be heard on the matter.
(Ord. O-10-93 § 4 (part), 1993; Ord. 04-92, 1992; Ord. 06-89 §§ 1, 2, 1989; prior code § 8-5-2)
No wrecker service may be maintained on the rotation list unless it shall comply with all of the following minimum qualifications:
The wrecker service shall maintain a safe storage area for all vehicles towed. Such area shall be a locked building or a secured fenced-in area where the stored vehicles and other property shall not be accessible to the public. When the wrecker service uses a fenced-in area, rather than a locked building, then the fence shall be no less than eight feet in total height, provided that up to two feet of the top most portion of such measurement may consist of strands of barbed wire. Further, the fenced-in area shall also have screening consisting of either manufactured material or vegetation, which also shall be at least eight feet high at the time of installation and shall be aesthetically maintained at a minimum height of at least eight feet at all times thereafter.
All wrecker vehicles shall be equipped with legally authorized lighting and other safety equipment to protect the motoring public. Such equipment shall be maintained in good working order.
Adequate equipment such as brooms, shovels, etc., must be carried on all wreckers in order to remove glass and other debris from the street, highway, or other site of vehicle disability. The site shall be cleaned by the wrecker service prior to leaving the scene of any accident.
Each wrecker service shall be deemed responsible for securing personal property in a vehicle at an accident scene as best it can and the wrecker service shall be responsible for reasonably attempting to preserve personal property in a vehicle which is about to be towed from an accident scene. In no event, however, shall a wrecker service be responsible for personal items which do not come into the possession of the wrecker service.
The wrecker service shall be available on a twenty-four hour basis.
Each wrecker service shall carry garage keeper's and liability insurance on its wreckers and its premises in such amounts as may be required by council. Each policy shall contain an endorsement providing thirty days' advance notice by the insurer to the city of any change or cancellation.
Each wrecker service must have its storage facility located in the city or within a one mile radius of the city limits. No wrecker service shall be permitted to be listed as a qualified wrecker service on the city's rotation unless the storage facility complies with this requirement.
Any wrecker service must have a consistent response time of thirty minutes or less from the time of receiving a call until arrival at the scene of the accident. Delays caused by unforeseeable circumstances shall not be charged against any wrecker service. Any wrecker service which knows it may not be able to meet the response time requirement at the time it receives a call shall notify the caller so that the caller may decide whether to cancel or affirm.
The wrecker service's name, city or town of domicile, and telephone number shall be painted or otherwise permanently affixed to both sides of the vehicle in letters or numerals at least three inches high and one-half inch wide and shall be plainly readable at a distance of fifty feet.
The city administrator shall make a systematic inquiry not less than once a year to determine the range in the Travelers Rest area of charges made by competent providers of wrecker services. Upon studying the result, he shall set in writing a maximum amount, or cap, to be charged by wrecker services summoned to a location in the city of Travelers Rest pursuant to the city's rotational list. Such maximum charge shall give due regard to the average, median, highest, and lowest price in his survey as well as the dollar value in the difference between cash.
The city administrator shall thereupon notify each wrecker service on the list of the maximum charge. Such notice shall be in writing and send by United States Mail, postage pre-paid, not less than ten days before the effective date, which shall be identified in the notice.
Beginning on the effective date, no wrecker service listed on the city's rotational list shall be allowed to charge more than the maximum charge or cap for services rendered to a customer in response to a call placed by the city on behalf of the customer.
Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as preventing any listed wrecker service from charging an amount less than the maximum. Nor shall anything in this section be interpreted to prohibit a city employee from responding to questions from drivers and owners of vehicles regarding the availability of wrecker services or the diversity of charges made by them.
City council reserves for itself the authority to review the maximum charge as set by the city administrator and to make reasonable adjustments thereto, subject to the same notice requirements specified herein.
Failure of a wrecker service to comply with the qualifications set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall result in the service being removed from the rotation list following five days' notice by the city.
(Ord. 03-92, 1992; Ord. 6-89 § 3, 1989; prior code § 8-5-3)
(Ord. No. O-12-14, 9-18-2014)
Nothing contained in this chapter shall prohibit the owner of any wrecked or disabled vehicle from selecting a wrecker service of his own choice.
(Prior code § 8-5-4)
No wrecker service shall be listed on the wrecker service rotation list unless the owner or operator first obtains a business license from the city.
(Prior code § 8-5-5)
* For provisions regarding business license, see Section 7.04.010 et seq. of this code.