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H.B. 81 Enrolled

             1     

TOW TRUCK AMENDMENTS

             2     
2011 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Lee B. Perry

             5     
Senate Sponsor: Peter C. Knudson

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies provisions relating to tow truck carrier liabilities and responses to
             10      customer service calls.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    allows a tow truck carrier to cross certain road barriers under certain circumstances;
             14          .    provides a good faith exception for cargo damaged when responding to a service
             15      call; and
             16          .    provides that certain towing fees are a possessory lien on non-life essential items
             17      that are owned by the owner of the towed vehicle and securely stored by the tow
             18      truck operator.
             19      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      AMENDS:
             25          41-6a-401.9, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 115
             26          41-6a-712, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2005, Chapter 2
             27          41-6a-1401, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2005, Chapter 2
             28          72-9-603, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 167
             29     


             30      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             31          Section 1. Section 41-6a-401.9 is amended to read:
             32           41-6a-401.9. Authority to remove and dispose of vehicles and cargoes of vehicles
             33      involved in accidents.
             34          (1) As a result of a motor vehicle accident, a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction
             35      may, without the consent of the owner or carrier, remove a vehicle, cargo, or other personal
             36      property that:
             37          (a) has been damaged or spilled within the right-of-way or any portion of a roadway on
             38      the state highway system;
             39          (b) is blocking the roadway; or
             40          (c) is otherwise endangering public safety.
             41          (2) The Department of Transportation [or], a law enforcement agency, or an authorized
             42      tow truck motor carrier shall not be held responsible for any damages or claims that result from
             43      exercising any authority or the failure to exercise any authority granted under this section
             44      provided they are acting in good faith.
             45          Section 2. Section 41-6a-712 is amended to read:
             46           41-6a-712. Divided highway -- Use of right-hand side -- Crossing only where
             47      permitted.
             48          (1) A person operating a vehicle on a divided highway shall use the right-hand roadway
             49      unless directed or permitted to use another roadway by a traffic-control device or a peace
             50      officer.
             51          (2) A person operating a vehicle may not operate the vehicle over, across, or within any
             52      dividing space, median, or barrier of a divided highway, except [where] when:
             53          (a) authorized by a traffic-control device or a peace officer[.]; or
             54          (b) operating a tow truck in response to a customer service call and the tow truck motor
             55      carrier has already received authorization from the local law enforcement agency in the
             56      jurisdiction where the vehicle to be towed is located.
             57          Section 3. Section 41-6a-1401 is amended to read:


             58           41-6a-1401. Standing or parking vehicles -- Restrictions and exceptions.
             59          (1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with
             60      law, the directions of a peace officer, or a traffic-control device, a person may not:
             61          (a) stop, stand, or park a vehicle:
             62          (i) on the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street;
             63          (ii) on a sidewalk;
             64          (iii) within an intersection;
             65          (iv) on a crosswalk;
             66          (v) between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb
             67      immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless a different length is indicated by signs or
             68      markings;
             69          (vi) alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing,
             70      or parking would obstruct traffic;
             71          (vii) on any bridge or other elevated structure, on a highway, or within a highway
             72      tunnel;
             73          (viii) on any railroad tracks;
             74          (ix) on any controlled-access highway;
             75          (x) in the area between roadways of a divided highway, including crossovers; or
             76          (xi) any place where a traffic-control device prohibits stopping, standing, or parking;
             77      [or]
             78          (b) stand or park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except momentarily to pick up or
             79      discharge a passenger or passengers:
             80          (i) in front of a public or private driveway;
             81          (ii) within 15 feet of a fire hydrant;
             82          (iii) within 20 feet of a crosswalk;
             83          (iv) within 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign, or
             84      traffic-control signal located at the side of a roadway;
             85          (v) within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side of a street


             86      opposite the entrance to any fire station within 75 feet of the entrance when properly
             87      signposted; or
             88          (vi) at any place where a traffic-control device prohibits standing; or
             89          (c) park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except temporarily for the purpose of and
             90      while actually engaged in loading or unloading property or passengers:
             91          (i) within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing; or
             92          (ii) at any place where traffic-control devices prohibit parking.
             93          (2) A person may not move a vehicle that is not lawfully under the person's control into
             94      any prohibited area or into an unlawful distance from the curb.
             95          (3) This section does not apply to a tow truck motor carrier responding to a customer
             96      service call if the tow truck motor carrier has already received authorization from the local law
             97      enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the vehicle to be towed is located.
             98          Section 4. Section 72-9-603 is amended to read:
             99           72-9-603. Towing notice requirements -- Cost responsibilities -- Abandoned
             100      vehicle title restrictions -- Rules for maximum rates and certification.
             101          (1) Except for tow truck service that was ordered by a peace officer, or a person acting
             102      on behalf of a law enforcement agency, or a highway authority, as defined in Section 72-1-102 ,
             103      after performing a tow truck service that is being done without the vehicle, vessel, or outboard
             104      motor owner's knowledge, the tow truck operator or the tow truck motor carrier shall:
             105          (a) immediately upon arriving at the place of storage or impound of the vehicle, vessel,
             106      or outboard motor:
             107          (i) send a report of the removal to the Motor Vehicle Division that complies with the
             108      requirements of Subsection 41-6a-1406 (4)(b); and
             109          (ii) contact the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the area where the
             110      vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor was picked up and notify the agency of the:
             111          (A) location of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             112          (B) date, time, and location from which the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor was
             113      removed;


             114          (C) reasons for the removal of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             115          (D) person who requested the removal of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor; and
             116          (E) vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor's description, including its identification number
             117      and license number or other identification number issued by a state agency; and
             118          (b) within two business days of performing the tow truck service under Subsection
             119      (1)(a), send a certified letter to the last-known address of the registered owner and lien holder
             120      of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor obtained from the Motor Vehicle Division or if the
             121      person has actual knowledge of the owner's address to the current address, notifying the owner
             122      of the:
             123          (i) location of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             124          (ii) date, time, location from which the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor was
             125      removed;
             126          (iii) reasons for the removal of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             127          (iv) person who requested the removal of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             128          (v) a description, including its identification number and license number or other
             129      identification number issued by a state agency; and
             130          (vi) costs and procedures to retrieve the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor.
             131          (2) (a) Until the tow truck operator or tow truck motor carrier reports the removal as
             132      required under Subsection (1)(a), a tow truck operator, tow truck motor carrier, or impound
             133      yard may not:
             134          (i) collect any fee associated with the removal; or
             135          (ii) begin charging storage fees.
             136          (b) (i) Except as provided in Subsection (2)(c), a tow truck operator or tow truck motor
             137      carrier may not perform a tow truck service without the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor
             138      owner's or a lien holder's knowledge at either of the following locations without signage that
             139      meets the requirements of Subsection (2)(b)(ii):
             140          (A) a mobile home park as defined in Section 57-16-3 ; or
             141          (B) a multifamily dwelling of more than eight units.


             142          (ii) Signage under Subsection (2)(b)(i) shall display:
             143          (A) where parking is subject to towing; and
             144          (B) (I) the Internet website address that provides access to towing database information
             145      in accordance with Section 41-6a-1406 ; or
             146          (II) one of the following:
             147          (Aa) the name and phone number of the tow truck operator or tow truck motor carrier
             148      that performs a tow truck service for the locations listed under Subsection (2)(b)(i); or
             149          (Bb) the name of the mobile home park or multifamily dwelling and the phone number
             150      of the mobile home park or multifamily dwelling manager or management office that
             151      authorized the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor to be towed.
             152          (c) Signage is not required under Subsection (2)(b) for parking in a location:
             153          (i) that is prohibited by law;
             154          (ii) that is prohibited by a declaration of the conditions, covenants, and restrictions or
             155      by a contract; or
             156          (iii) if it is reasonably apparent that the location is not open to parking.
             157          (d) Nothing in Subsection (2)(b) restricts the ability of a mobile home park as defined
             158      in Section 57-16-3 or a multifamily dwelling from instituting and enforcing regulations on
             159      parking.
             160          (3) The owner of a vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor lawfully removed is only
             161      responsible for paying:
             162          (a) the tow truck service and storage fees set in accordance with Subsection (7); and
             163          (b) the administrative impound fee set in Section 41-6a-1406 , if applicable.
             164          (4) The fees under Subsection (3) are a possessory lien on the vehicle, non-life
             165      essential items that are owned by the owner of the vehicle and securely stored by the tow truck
             166      operator, vessel, or outboard motor until paid.
             167          (5) A person may not request a transfer of title to an abandoned vehicle until at least 30
             168      days after notice has been sent under Subsection (1)(b).
             169          (6) A tow truck motor carrier or impound yard shall clearly and conspicuously post and


             170      disclose all its current fees and rates for tow truck service and storage of a vehicle in
             171      accordance with rules established under Subsection (7).
             172          (7) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the
             173      Department of Transportation shall:
             174          (a) set maximum rates that:
             175          (i) tow truck motor carriers may charge for the tow truck service of a vehicle, vessel, or
             176      outboard motor that are transported in response to:
             177          (A) a peace officer dispatch call;
             178          (B) a motor vehicle division call; and
             179          (C) any other call where the owner of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor has not
             180      consented to the removal; and
             181          (ii) impound yards may charge for the storage of a vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor
             182      stored as a result of one of the conditions listed under Subsection (7)(a)(i);
             183          (b) establish authorized towing certification requirements, not in conflict with federal
             184      law, related to incident safety, clean-up, and hazardous material handling;
             185          (c) specify the form and content of the posting and disclosure of fees and rates charged
             186      by a tow truck motor carrier or impound yard; and
             187          (d) set a maximum rate for an administrative fee that a tow truck motor carrier may
             188      charge for reporting the removal as required under Subsection (1)(a)(i) and providing notice of
             189      the removal to the registered owner and lienholder of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor as
             190      required in Subsection (1)(b).


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