PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 2824

PRINTER'S NO.  3127

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

HOUSE BILL

 

No.

2041

Session of

2009

  

  

INTRODUCED BY DeLUCA, MICOZZIE, BELFANTI, COHEN, D. COSTA, DEASY, GILLESPIE, JOSEPHS, MURT, SABATINA, SIPTROTH, THOMAS, WATERS, HARKINS AND KORTZ, OCTOBER 16, 2009

  

  

AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON INSURANCE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, JANUARY 25, 2010  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

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Providing for standards for towing and for violations.

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The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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hereby enacts as follows:

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Section 1.  Short title.

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This act shall be known and may be cited as the Towing

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Standards Act.

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Section 2.  Definitions.

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The following words and phrases when used in this act shall

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have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

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context clearly indicates otherwise:

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"Tow truck operator."  A person or entity performing towing

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in this Commonwealth.

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"Towing."  The moving or removing of a motor vehicle upon the

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direction of a police officer or of a damaged or disabled motor

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vehicle from public or private property, including a storage

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facility, regardless of whether the owner or vehicle operator

 


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consents and for which a fee, not including dues to a club or

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association which provides such services, is charged.

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Section 3.  Towing standards.

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(a)  Fees.--A tow truck operator shall clearly and

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conspicuously disclose its fees for towing, storage and other

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related services and its hours of operation on preprinted

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contracts or written schedules and shall post its fees and hours

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of operation at its storage facility.

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(b)  Time of notice.--A tow truck operator shall provide the

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information required under subsection (a) to a vehicle owner

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prior to towing. If the vehicle owner is not present or is

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incapacitated not able to operate a vehicle when the vehicle is

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towed, a tow truck operator shall provide such information upon

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being contacted by the owner or at the time the owner or his

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representative is presented with a bill for towing.

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(c)  Accident or disabled motor vehicle.--A tow truck

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operator shall render towing at the scene of a motor vehicle

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accident or a disabled motor vehicle only if summoned to the

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scene by the owner or operator of the motor vehicle or a police

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officer.

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(d)  Repair and storage.--A As a condition of towing a

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damaged or disabled vehicle, a tow truck operator shall not

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secure the signature of the owner or operator of the motor

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vehicle on a document that includes authorization to repair the

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vehicle or to authorize storage of the vehicle for more than 24

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hours.

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(e)  Release of towed vehicle.--A tow truck operator shall

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not refuse during its posted hours of operation to release a

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towed motor vehicle upon request from the owner of the vehicle, 

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a person authorized by the owner to regain possession, the

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insurer of the vehicle or a tower or salvor acting on behalf of

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such an insurer accompanied by tender of cash, credit card from

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a common issuer or a check from an insurance company or

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authorized tower or salvor acting on behalf of the motor vehicle

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owner or insurance company check for towing and storage charges.

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(f)  Notice of vehicle location.--A tow truck operator within

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24 hours of completing a tow shall notify the owner of the

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vehicle and, if known to the tow truck operator, the insurer of

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the vehicle of the address and telephone number of the location

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to which the vehicle was taken.

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(g)  Access to vehicle.--A tow truck operator shall provide

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hours of operation that reasonably allow access to a towed

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vehicle and shall grant reasonable access to the towed vehicle

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during its posted hours of operation for the purpose of

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inspection and retrieval.

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(h)  Storage fee prohibited.--A tow truck operator shall not

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charge a storage fee for any period during which it has refused

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to allow authorized inspection of the vehicle under inspection

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rights in 75 Pa.C.S. § 1799.4 (relating to examination of

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vehicle repairs) or section 11 of the act of December 29, 1972

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(P.L.1713, No.367), known as the Motor Vehicle Physical Damage

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Appraiser Act.

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Section 4.  Violations.

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A violation of this act is also a violation of the act of

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December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387), known as the Unfair Trade

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Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

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Section 5.  Coordination of laws.

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(a)  Local and municipal ordinances.--This act supersedes

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local or municipal ordinances only to the extent that those

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ordinances permit towing and storage activities or charges that

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are in conflict with this act.

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(b)  Federal law.--If any portion of this act is preempted or

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superseded by Federal law or is declared invalid by any court of

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competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this act shall remain

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in effect.

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Section 6.  Effective date.

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This act shall take effect in 60 days.

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