Chapter 7.68


7.68.010    Declaration of policy.

7.68.020    Definitions.

7.68.030    Application for towing service.

7.68.040    Standard regulations for towing operators.

7.68.050    Tow trucks to be called by the police.

7.68.060    Authority to make regulations.

7.68.010 Declaration of policy.

In order to protect persons who operate motor vehicles within the city, it is desirable and necessary to adopt standard regulations to assure proper licensing, storage, availability and other controls over persons and firms licensed to provide motor vehicle towing and storage service, in addition to those regulations imposed by state law. The provisions of this chapter shall apply only to those motor vehicle towing and motor vehicle storage operators, who perform such activities at the request of the city, including the police department. (Ord. 2668 § 1, 1982)

7.68.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, have the following meanings:

(1)    “City” means the city of Kirkland.

(2)    “Towing operator” means a person engaged in the business of or offering the services of a vehicle, wrecker or towing service, whereby motor vehicles are or may be towed or otherwise removed from one place to another by the use of a motor vehicle adapted to and designed for that purpose.

(3)    “Chief of police” means the executive head of the police department for the city or anyone designated by him.

(4)    “Towing list” means a list maintained by the police department, containing the names of those towing operators who have qualified for and agreed to respond to requests made by the police department for the towing of vehicles.

(5)    “Storage yard” means that specific place where a towing operator holds, stores or retains, any towed motor vehicle until such time as the motor vehicle is released to its owner. (Ord. 2668 § 2, 1982)

7.68.030 Application for towing service.

Any person desiring to perform towing work at the request of the police department, shall submit an application for towing service to the chief of police. Application forms shall be obtained from the office of chief of police. These forms shall include the name of the owner, home and business address, home phone and name under which the person does or will trade, the location, size and security features of the storage yard on which towed vehicles will be stored, the location to which the public must come to claim stored vehicles, a statement of willingness to provide towing service on a continuous twenty-four-a-day basis each day of the year, a list of the towing equipment, its size and capacity, a complete listing of the insurance policies maintained by the applicant, a statement that the owner will accept responsibility for any and all personal property and for theft in towed and stored vehicles, along with a description of the place he would use to adequately protect the property left in towed or stored vehicles. (Ord. 2668 § 3, 1982)

7.68.040 Standard regulations for towing operators.

(a)    The owner shall hold current and valid permits from the state of Washington as may be required for the operation both of the towing business and the automobile storage yard.

(b)    The owner shall assure that every truck operator be properly licensed as a motor vehicle operator for the particular type of motor vehicle equipment, that is, tow truck, including any specialized licensing provisions such as commercial truck driver’s license.

(c)    The owner shall satisfy the city that their employees are skilled and competent to operate their equipment and maintain their storage yard, and that the motor vehicle and towing equipment is at all times in safe and proper working condition. The owner shall provide a tow vehicle of sufficient size and weight to remove and tow disabled or impounded vehicles. All tow trucks shall be equipped with warning lights required under state law and have working two-way communications radio equipment on the same frequency as a base station located at the point where calls are received.

(d)    The owner shall provide continuous twenty-four-hour-per-day prompt service each day of the year and there shall be an attendant on duty at all times for the purpose of receiving calls and receiving and releasing stored vehicles.

(e)    The owner shall provide a limited coverage secure storage area, storage yard security (fence), and property protection.

(f)    The owner shall maintain general public liability insurance with limits of not less than three hundred thousand dollars and shall at all times, keep on file with the city a certificate of insurance showing that such insurance is in force.

(g)    The owner shall not release any vehicle directly impounded by the city without authorization by the police department.

(h)    The owner’s storage yard shall be located within the city or the city planning area. If located within the planning area, the storage yard shall be not more than one mile from the city limits.

(i)    The owner shall execute an agreement to defend and save harmless the city, its officers and employees from any and all claims (real or imaginary) which may be filed by any person against the city for personal injury or property damage or loss growing out of the impound, towing and/or storage activities of the owner, its officers, agents or employees, except as to any act or omission of a city officer or employee. (Ord. 2668 § 4, 1982)

7.68.050 Tow trucks to be called by the police.

The chief of police shall assure that tow trucks are called to the scene of an accident or to impound vehicles on a rotation basis, distributing the calls on an equitable basis from the towing list. The chief of police shall not call or cause to be called any towing operator not having filed an application with the city unless all such towing operators are unavailable. In those instances where the chief of police is satisfied that an emergency exists, it is specifically permitted for the chief of police to call a towing operator out of sequence, where the proximity of the accident or other emergency condition and the estimated response time make it more practical to do so. (Ord. 2668 § 5, 1982)

7.68.060 Authority to make regulations.

The chief of police is authorized to establish in writing and cause the enforcement of additional reasonable rules and regulations consistent with this chapter for towing operators as from time-to-time he deems appropriate for the safety, well-being and protection of citizens within the jurisdiction of the city and such citizens’ property. (Ord. 2668 § 6, 1982)