Chapter 10.32


10.32.010    Definitions.

10.32.020    Authority to impound vehicles.

10.32.030    Written form of authorization for impound.

10.32.040    Release of impounded vehicle.

10.32.050    Requirements for tow truck operators.

10.32.060    Staffing and response time.

10.32.070    Selection of tow truck operators.

10.32.080    Fees – Police impound, storage and after-hours release.

10.32.090    Private requests for towing services.

10.32.010 Definitions.

A. “Abandoned vehicle” means a vehicle that a registered tow truck operator has impounded and held in the operator’s possession for 120 consecutive hours.

B. “Impound” means to take and hold a vehicle in legal custody.

C. “Junk vehicle” means a vehicle certified under RCW 46.55.230 and defined by BLMC 8.12.020 as meeting at least three of the following requirements:

1. Is three years old or older;

2. Is extensively damaged, such damage including but not limited to any of the following: a broken window or windshield, or missing wheels, tires, motor, or transmission;

3. Is apparently inoperable;

4. Has an approximate fair market value equal only to the approximate value of the scrap in it.

D. “Registered tow truck operator” or “operator” means any person who engages in the impounding, transporting, or storage of unauthorized vehicles or the disposal of abandoned vehicles.

E. “Residential property” means property that has no more than four living units located on it.

F. “Tow truck” means a motor vehicle that is equipped for and used in the business of towing vehicles with equipment as approved by the state patrol.

G. “Tow truck service” means the transporting upon the public streets and highways of this state of vehicles, together with personal effects and cargo, by a tow truck of a registered operator.

H. “Unauthorized vehicle” means a vehicle that is subject to impoundment after being left unattended in one of the following public or private locations for the indicated period of time:

1. Immediately if the vehicle constitutes an accident or traffic hazard in a public location, is parked in violation of postings at a publicly owned or controlled parking facility, is parked on residential property without the property owner’s consent, or is parked on private nonresidential property in violation of postings without the property owner’s consent;

2. After 24 hours if the vehicle is on a public highway and tagged by a law enforcement officer, as per RCW 46.55.085, or is parked on private nonresidential property with no postings without the property owner’s consent;

3. After 24 hours, if the vehicle is obstructing a water meter in violation of BLMC 13.04.120 and the vehicle has been tagged by the city public works director or designee. (Ord. 1346 § 2, 2010; Ord. 1202 § 1, 2006).

10.32.020 Authority to impound vehicles.

The city of Bonney Lake may utilize tow truck services to tow and impound abandoned, junk, unauthorized, or inoperable vehicles. As authority for and procedure governing impounds, the following statutes are adopted by reference as set forth in full herein: RCW 46.55.020, 46.55.035, 46.55.070 through 46.55.113, and 46.55.120 through 46.55.130. This chapter is intended to work in conjunction with BLMC 8.12.010 through 8.12.070. (Ord. 1202 § 1, 2006; Ord. 785 § 1, 1998).

10.32.030 Written form of authorization for impound.

Any impound authorization issued by any agent of the city shall be upon a written form which sets out the authority for such impound. (Ord. 1202 § 1, 2006; Ord. 785 § 2, 1998).

10.32.040 Release of impounded vehicle.

Notwithstanding the requirements of RCW 46.55.120(1)(a) relating to impoundment of vehicles following an arrest for violation of RCW 46.20.342, a vehicle so impounded may be ordered released by the agency authorizing the impoundment upon a showing of economic or personal hardship to the spouse of the operator of the vehicle, taking into consideration public safety factors, including the operator’s criminal history and driving record. Vehicles upon which police holds have been placed may be released to the registered owner only after the tow truck operator has received written authorization from the Bonney Lake police department. (Ord. 1202 § 1, 2006; Ord. 785 § 3, 1998).

10.32.050 Requirements for tow truck operators.

All tow truck operators serving the city of Bonney Lake must meet all requirements set forth in Chapter 46.55 RCW and Chapter 308-61 WAC, as well as the following requirements:

A. Use equipment that complies with WAC 204-91A-170 and Chapter 46.37 RCW;

B. Be able to tow semi-trucks;

C. Maintain their storage facilities and impound lots in compliance with WAC 308-61-026 and Bonney Lake building and zoning codes;

D. Provide adequate shelter for motorcycles, open convertibles, and other vehicles that could be damaged by inclement weather;

E. Provide sufficient floor space for inside storage of all vehicles the city of Bonney Lake has ordered to be held for investigative, evidentiary, or other purposes;

F. Maintain impound lots in a condition that is graded, drained, lighted, and free of obstacles, so that persons redeeming vehicles have safe and convenient access to their vehicles;

G. Maintain adequate security at impound lots to prevent loss or damage to impounded vehicles;

H. Keep impound lots screened and fenced at all times, in accordance with Bonney Lake zoning codes, and keep the gate securely locked when an attendant is not on duty;

I. Impound all vehicles towed from the city of Bonney Lake in impound lots within the corporate city limits of Bonney Lake. In the event an impound lot within the corporate city limits of Bonney Lake cannot be found that meets requirements set forth in this chapter, vehicles may be towed to the impound lot nearest to the corporate city limits that complies with this chapter as well as Chapter 46.55 RCW and Chapter 308-61 WAC. (Ord. 1426 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1202 § 1, 2006).

10.32.060 Staffing and response time.

Tow truck operators serving the city of Bonney Lake must have on staff at least four operators, with at least two on call at any time, as well as a dispatcher who is capable of receiving requests for service and dispatching tow trucks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, an impound lot attendant must be on duty, or readily available for duty, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tow truck operators must respond to requests for service from the city of Bonney Lake as soon as safely possible, preferably within 15 minutes of the request. Repeated failure to respond promptly to requests for service may constitute grounds to remove the tow truck operator from the rotation described in BLMC 10.32.070. If a tow truck operator fails to respond promptly to any given request for service, the city official making the request may terminate the request for service and contact another operator. In such event, the tow truck operator shall not be reimbursed for its late response. (Ord. 1202 § 1, 2006).

10.32.070 Selection of tow truck operators.

The city shall have one open period for tow truck rotation application each year from November 1st through November 30th. All tow truck operators who are interested in serving the city of Bonney Lake should contact the Bonney Lake police department and submit the license numbers of all licensed drivers in their employment. In determining which tow truck operator to contact with requests for service, the city official making the request will rotate through the license numbers that have been submitted. Specific operators may be requested to service out of rotation if they possess skills or equipment that are necessary to accomplish a certain job. The city may remove an operator from the rotation list after three demonstrations that the operator lacks the necessary skills, equipment, or personnel to perform the requested tasks. (Ord. 1202 § 1, 2006).

10.32.080 Fees – Police impound, storage and after-hours release.

All tow truck operators serving the city of Bonney Lake shall abide by the Washington State Patrol fee schedule for the Pierce County area with regard to the accident/incident hourly rate, storage per day fee, and after-hours release fee. (Ord. 1202 § 1, 2006).

10.32.090 Private requests for towing services.

This section is not intended to abridge the ability of private parties to request towing services as needed. Bonney Lake police officers may request that private parties call for towing services when a vehicle is disabled on a right-of-way, but in the judgment of the officer at the scene, the circumstances do not warrant immediate removal of the vehicle. (Ord. 1202 § 1, 2006).