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(a) General requisites.--A tow truck operator and, where applicable, the operator of a towing storage facility, shall:
(1) maintain a physical street address;
(2) properly register the tow truck with the Department of Transportation;
(3) display the name, address and telephone number of its tow truck business on the tow truck; and
(4) post the towing fees and the storage and related service fees and hours of operation at the towing storage facility.
(b) Time of notice.--At the scene of an accident, a tow truck operator shall provide the owner or operator of the vehicle if the owner or operator is at the scene with a notice containing the name, address and telephone number for a point of contact to be informed where the vehicle is to be stored.
(c) Accident.--A tow truck operator shall undertake towing at the scene of a motor vehicle accident only if summoned to the scene by the vehicle owner or vehicle operator, or law enforcement personnel or authorized municipal personnel, and is authorized to perform the towing as follows:
(1) The owner or operator of the vehicle being towed shall summon to the scene the tow truck operator of the owner's or operator's choice in consultation with law enforcement or authorized municipal personnel and designate the location where the vehicle is to be towed.
(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) shall not apply when the owner or operator is incapacitated, otherwise unable to summon a tow truck operator or defers to law enforcement or authorized municipal personnel.
(3) The authority provided to the owner or operator in paragraph (1) may be superseded by the law enforcement officer or authorized municipal personnel if the tow truck operator of choice cannot respond to the scene in a timely fashion and the vehicle is a hazard, impedes the flow of traffic or may not legally remain in its location in the opinion of law enforcement or authorized municipal personnel.
(d) Repair and storage.--As a condition of towing a vehicle at the scene of an accident and prior to the towing, a tow truck operator shall not:
(1) secure the signature of the vehicle owner or vehicle operator on a document that requires authorization to repair the vehicle; or
(2) secure the signature of the vehicle owner or vehicle operator to authorize storage of the vehicle for more than 24 hours.
(e) Release of towed vehicle.--Upon a request from the vehicle owner or a person authorized by the owner to regain possession, a tow truck operator or operator of a towing storage facility shall not refuse during the posted hours of operation to release a towed motor vehicle unless law enforcement has requested that the vehicle be held. Release shall be conditioned on the payment for towing, storage and related services. All charges shall be itemized and in writing. Payment may be made with cash, a credit card from a common issuer or a check from an insurance company or authorized tower or salvor acting on behalf of the insurance company.
(f) Access to vehicle.--A tow truck operator or towing storage facility shall provide hours of operation that reasonably allow access to a towed vehicle and shall grant reasonable access to the towed vehicle during its posted hours of operation for the purpose of inspection and retrieval by law enforcement officials or authorized municipal personnel, the vehicle owner or a person authorized by the owner under this act.
(g) Storage fee prohibited.--Unless law enforcement has requested that a vehicle be held, a tow truck operator or towing storage facility shall not charge a storage fee for any period during which it has refused reasonable access during posted normal business hours as required in subsection (e) or has refused to allow authorized inspection of the vehicle under inspection rights in 75 Pa.C.S. § 1799.4 (relating to examination of vehicle repairs) or section 11 of the act of December 29, 1972 (P.L. 1713, No. 367), 1 known as the Motor Vehicle Physical Damage Appraiser Act.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Pennsylvania Statutes Title 73 P.S. Trade and Commerce § 1971.3. Standards for tow truck operators and towing storage facilities - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/pa/title-73-ps-trade-and-commerce/pa-st-sect-73-1971-3.html
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