§ 8-101. Definitions  


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  • For the purposes of this article:

    Accident means a situation where one or more motor vehicles have collided with any other motor vehicle or object.

    Authorization holder means a person who is operating a private storage lot under an authorization issued under division 3 of this article, rather than under a Vehicle Storage Facility Act license.

    Auto wrecker means any vehicle used for the purpose of towing, carrying, pushing or otherwise transporting any motor vehicle.

    Consent tow means the tow of a motor vehicle conducted with the prior authorization of the vehicle owner.

    Custodial arrest means a situation in which a law enforcement officer takes the vehicle owner into custody.

    Freeway means the entire public right-of-way of a divided, controlled-access highway located within the city, including its roadway lanes, ramps, shoulders, and unimproved areas, but excluding frontage or service roads.

    Heavy-duty wrecker means an auto wrecker having chassis rated at five tons or greater by the vehicle manufacturer and a winch capable of lifting a minimum of 30,000 pounds as rated by the winch manufacturer. Except where a distinction is made, the term "auto wrecker" includes a "heavy-duty wrecker."

    Nearest place of safety means, during the period each day from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., the nearest licensed storage facility that is lighted, manned on a 24-hour basis, and provides the vehicle owner with access to a telephone and other facilities or other safe place, and at all other times, the nearest licensed storage facility or other safe place.

    Nonconsent tow means the tow of a motor vehicle in every instance in which the vehicle owner is unwilling or unable to designate a tow operator to remove the vehicle, including instances in which the vehicle is: (i) abandoned or stolen, or (ii) being operated by a person who is the subject of a custodial arrest or who is physically or mentally unable or unwilling to request a tow operator or destination, when a law enforcement officer determines that no other authorized person is present and able to remove the vehicle.

    Parking enforcement officer has the meaning ascribed in section 26-2 of this Code.

    Police-authorized tow service agreement or PATSA means an agreement made pursuant to the provisions of section 8-126 of this Code.

    Police private storage lot means a private storage lot for which the operator has a current and valid agreement with the city pursuant to section 8-143 of this Code.

    Police scene means a place at which (i) an accident has taken place that is subject to a field investigation conducted by a law enforcement officer, (ii) a law enforcement officer has recovered a stolen vehicle, (iii) a vehicle has been abandoned in a roadway, (iv) a custodial arrest by a law enforcement officer has taken place, or (v) a vehicle is otherwise subject to removal or impoundment pursuant to law by a law enforcement officer, parking enforcement officer or personnel designated by the police chief.

    Private storage lot means an automobile storage facility situated within the city that is either:

    (1) Operating under a current and valid license granted pursuant to the Vehicle Storage Facility Act (Chapter 2303 of the Texas Occupations Code); or

    (2) Operating under a current and valid authorization issued under division 3 of this article.

    Recovery services means any and all actions relating to uprighting or otherwise moving a vehicle into a position from which it can be towed, securing a shifted or lost load of cargo, and cleaning up of debris from the scene. This definition also applies to scenes to which a heavy-duty wrecker is called.

    Safe place means a location chosen with regard to the following criteria: the age, physical or other condition of the vehicle owner, including whether the vehicle owner is accompanied by one or more minor children, the remoteness of the location, the proximity of authorities or persons who could render aid or assistance, the time of day, the climatic conditions, the character of the location or surrounding neighborhood and the vehicle owner's knowledge or familiarity with the location or surrounding neighborhood.

    Stalled vehicle means a vehicle that has a flat tire or other mechanical problem, is out of gas or, due to other factors other than physical damage from a collision, may not be operated in a normal manner.

    Tow means the removal from public or private property of a vehicle, including a trailer towed by the vehicle, by means of an auto wrecker only.

    Tow operator means the owner of an auto wrecker authorized to perform tows under applicable state law and this chapter.

    Vehicle owner means the actual owner of the vehicle towed or transported or any driver of the vehicle who reasonably appears to have authority to operate the vehicle.

    Wrecked vehicle means a vehicle that, due to a collision, is incapable of being driven or moved.

    Wrecker driver means any individual who drives an auto wrecker.

    Wrecker driver trainee means an individual who, to obtain on-the-job training and experience in connection with PATSA tow operations before applying for a wrecker driver license, holds a wrecker driver trainee license from the city.

(Ord. No. 01-1079, § 5, 12-5-01; Ord. No. 05-1271, § 2, 9-22-05; Ord. No. 09-1135, §§ 2, 3, 11-18-09; Ord. No. 2014-482, § 3, 5-28-2014)