☰ Revisor of Missouri

Title XIX MOTOR VEHICLES, WATERCRAFT AND AVIATION

Chapter 304

Effective - 14 Oct 2016, see footnote bottom

  *304.153.  Tow companies or tow lists, utilization of by law enforcement and state transportation employees—definitions—requirements—unauthorized towing, penalty—inapplicability. — 1.  As used in this section, the following terms shall mean:

  (1)  "Law enforcement officer", any public servant, other than a patrol officer, who is defined as a law enforcement officer under section 556.061;

  (2)  "Motor club", an organization which motor vehicle drivers and owners may join that provide certain benefits relating to driving a motor vehicle;

  (3)  "Patrol officer", a Missouri state highway patrol officer;

  (4)  "Tow list", a list of approved towing companies compiled, maintained, and utilized by the Missouri state highway patrol or its designee;

  (5)  "Tow management company", any sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, fiduciary, association, or other business entity that manages towing logistics for government agencies or motor clubs;

  (6)  "Tow truck", a rollback or car carrier, wrecker, or tow truck as defined under section 301.010;

  (7)  "Towing", moving or removing, or the preparation therefor, of a vehicle by another vehicle for which a service charge is made, either directly or indirectly, including any dues or other charges of clubs or associations which provide towing services;

  (8)  "Towing company", any person, partnership, corporation, fiduciary, association, or other entity that operates a wrecker or towing service as defined under section 301.010.

  2.  In authorizing a towing company to perform services, any patrol officer or law enforcement officer within the officer's jurisdiction, or Missouri department of transportation employee, may utilize the services of a tow management company or tow list, provided:

  (1)  The Missouri state highway patrol is under no obligation to include or retain the services of any towing company in any contract or agreement with a tow management company or any tow list established pursuant to this section.  A towing company is subject to removal from a tow list at any time;

  (2)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law or any regulation established pursuant to this section, an owner or operator's request for a specific towing company shall be honored by the Missouri state highway patrol unless:

  (a)  The requested towing company cannot or does not respond in a reasonable time, as determined by a law enforcement officer; or

  (b)  The vehicle to be towed poses an immediate traffic hazard, as determined by a law enforcement officer.

  3.  A patrol officer shall not use a towing company located outside of Missouri under this section except under the following circumstances:

  (1)  A state or federal emergency has been declared; or

  (2)  The driver or owner of the vehicle, or a motor club of which the driver or owner is a member, requests a specific out-of-state towing company.

  4.  A towing company shall not tow a vehicle to a location outside of Missouri without the consent of the driver or owner of the motor vehicle, or without the consent of a motor club of which the driver or owner of the motor vehicle is a member.

  5.  Any towing company or tow truck arriving at the scene of an accident that has not been called by a patrol officer, a law enforcement officer, a Missouri department of transportation employee, the driver or owner of the motor vehicle or his or her authorized agent, including a motor club of which the driver or owner is a member, shall be prohibited from towing the vehicle from the scene of the accident, unless the towing company or tow truck operator is rendering emergency aid in the interest of public safety, or is operating during a declared state of emergency under section 44.100.

  6.  A tow truck operator that stops and tows a vehicle from the scene of an accident in violation of subsection 5 of this section shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor upon conviction or pleading guilty for the first violation, and such tow truck shall be subject to impounding.  The penalty for a second violation shall be a class A misdemeanor, and the penalty for any third or subsequent violation shall be a class D felony.  A violation of this section shall not preclude the tow truck operator from being charged with tampering under chapter 569.

  7.  The provisions of this section shall also apply to motor vehicles towed under section 304.155 or 304.157.

  8.  The provisions of this section shall not apply to counties of the third or fourth classification.

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(L. 2016 H.B. 1976)

*Effective 10-14-16, see § 21.250.  H.B. 1976 was vetoed July 1, 2016. The veto was overridden on September 14, 2016.


---- end of effective   14 Oct 2016 ----

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