Each wrecker company who wishes to receive requests for services from law enforcement agencies for by the city or the Code Enforcement Officer, except calls that arise from the requests of owners of vehicles, must immediately conform to the following regulations and specifications. Failure to conform to these regulations and specifications will constitute grounds for the summary removal of a wrecker company from the list of approved wrecker companies maintained by city law enforcement agencies.
   (A)   Each company must provide 24-hour continuous service for the acceptance and release of vehicles, and for requests for service or the return of personal property.
   (B)   All towing services must have a telephone number in the name of the business published in the local directory or accessible through directory assistance.
      (1)   The phone must be answered 24 hours per day.
      (2)   If a pager system is used, calls must be returned to the calling party within three minutes.
   (C)   All wreckers must be in mechanically safe condition; must display a proper commercial motor vehicle license, as required by and in accordance with state laws; and must possess a license and decal issued by the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board. All wreckers shall have permanent lettering on both sides showing the name and telephone number of towing company.
      (1)   Lettering shall be no less than three inches in height and shall have a professional appearance.
      (2)   Magnetic signs are prohibited.
   (D)   No towing service owner or operator shall be placed on the city's wrecker service rotation list if he or she has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving theft, fraud or a dishonest false statement.
   (E)   Each company must have in continuous effect, liability insurance in sufficient amount to cover any claim against them resulting from property damage or personal injury occurring while rendering service at the request of city law enforcement agencies or the Code Enforcement Officer.
      (1)   A copy of the insurance coverage shall be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer upon application for the rotation list.
      (2)   Copies of any subsequent insurance renewals shall also be forwarded to the Code Enforcement Officer.
   (F)   All towing operators shall obey all Arkansas Statutes regulating traffic, unless otherwise directed by a police officer or law enforcement agency.
   (G)   Each towing and storage facility must maintain a lighted storage area, surrounded by fencing adequate to secure and prevent entry by unauthorized persons, and must hold itself responsible for any theft or vandalism to vehicles or other property in its care or control. The storage facility must be located within the city limits, unless a variance is granted by the Code Enforcement Officer.
   (H)   (1)   No towing company shall proceed to the scene of an accident investigated by city law enforcement agencies, unless requested to do so by city law enforcement agencies or the driver or registered owner of the disabled vehicle.
      (2)   In the event that a towing company, or any of its employees, are notified of an accident from a source other than a police agency, the towing company shall immediately notify the proper law enforcement authority.
   (I)   Upon request for service, each company must either immediately make available a suitable wrecker and operator, or else immediately inform the requesting party that no suitable wrecker is available, so that service may be obtained from another company, if necessary.
      (1)   A towing company may not summon the services of another company as a substitute.
      (2)   If a towing service operator arrives at the scene and determines that he or she cannot safely or effectively perform the required services, he or she shall notify the on-scene officer, and the next listed towing service will be contacted.
      (3)   Any towing service that follows this procedure will be placed back on the rotation list and will not charged with the call.
   (J)   Upon arrival at an accident scene, the towing service operator will stand by and will not proceed to work on or remove any vehicle until directed to do so by a city law enforcement agency or emergency personnel.
   (K)   Each towing vehicle will be properly equipped with the tools and accessories to insure the safe recovery and transportation of a towed vehicle, as well as the required removal of glass and other injurious substances from a wreck or damaged vehicle as required by A.C. § 27-51-1405(c).
   (L)   Service charges made by wrecker companies must be reasonable in view of the service performed, the time of day that service is performed, and the geographical location.
      (1)    Reasonableness will be determined by comparison of service charges of a particular company with those of other wrecker companies within the same general area that perform substantially the same service.
      (2)   A storage charge will not be added until after a vehicle has been held for 24 clock hours.
   (M)   If no approved provider with an impound lot located inside the city limits is available, law enforcement or the Code Enforcement Officer may utilize any provider on the Washington County Sheriff's Department's approved list.
(Ord. 2007-07-296, passed 7-10-07)