Article - Public Safety
(a) (1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Approved rates” means the maximum rates approved by the Department that apply to police–initiated towing and recovery services.
(3) “Authorized tow company” means a company providing towing and recovery services at the request of the Department and designated on the tow list.
(4) “Heavy–duty towing” means towing and recovery of a vehicle including trailers and semitrailers with a gross vehicle weight rating over 26,000 pounds.
(5) “Medium–duty towing” means towing and recovery of a vehicle including trailers or semitrailers with a gross vehicle weight rating from over 10,000 pounds to 26,000 pounds.
(6) “Per pound billing” means a method of calculating a fee for towing and recovery services using a formula that considers the weight of the vehicle, equipment, or cargo that is the subject of the towing and recovery and multiplies the weight of the vehicle, equipment, or cargo by a monetary amount.
(7) “Police–initiated towing” means the towing or recovery of a commercial motor vehicle which was authorized, requested, or dispatched by the Department.
(8) “Recovery” means winching, hoisting, up–righting, removing, or otherwise relocating a vehicle when the vehicle is found in a location, state, or position in which it cannot be removed from the location, state, or position using only the vehicle’s own power, even if it were in complete operating condition.
(9) “Tow list” means the list of towing businesses authorized by the Department to perform police–initiated towing services of disabled or abandoned commercial vehicles within the Department’s jurisdiction.
(10) “Towing” means using another vehicle to move or remove a vehicle.
(b) The Department shall:
(1) establish and maintain a tow list, by county, of qualifying tow companies for use by the Department in carrying out the duties of this subtitle; and
(2) make the tow list available to the public on request.
(c) The Department may adopt regulations to establish standards for tow companies, including application procedures and minimum qualification requirements, and must include on the list all qualifying tow companies.
(d) The Department shall:
(1) require a tow company that is on the tow list to ban the use of per pound billing by October 1, 2023;
(2) establish the approved rates for medium– and heavy–duty towing and recovery that may be charged by a tow company on the tow list by January 1, 2024; and
(3) develop a process to receive, investigate, and adjudicate complaints from a vehicle owner or operator or the owner’s designee against an authorized tow company regarding the police–initiated towing of a commercial motor vehicle, including a process to suspend or remove an authorized tow company from the tow list.
(e) An authorized tow company may charge less than but may not charge more than the approved rates authorized by the Department for a police–initiated towing and recovery.
(f) If a vehicle owner or the owner’s designee requests the use of a specific towing company, the Department shall honor that request and allow the vehicle owner to engage the services of the requested towing company except when:
(1) the requested towing company cannot arrive at the location of the vehicle within a reasonable time period;
(2) a traffic safety problem exists and the requested towing company cannot arrive at the location within 30 minutes of a police employee’s arrival at the location of the vehicle; or
(3) the vehicle is disabled in the roadway as a result of a collision or vehicle fire and the requested towing company cannot arrive within 30 minutes of a police employee’s arrival at the location of the vehicle.