The Arkansas Towing & Recovery Board (ATRB) can serve as a valuable resource for law enforcement agencies implement a non-consent rotation policy. Our staff has a proven track record, working with a number of cities and counties aiding in the development of non-consent rotation policy based on the area its physical characteristics, population and specific needs of the motoring public and law enforcement resources.
Our seasoned staff and investigative team has a law enforcement and/or city government background helping us to better understand the circumstances and challenges you face,
A law enforcement agency may file a complaint with the tow board, staff will work closely with the officer filing the complaint through to an agreeable resolution. Once an investigator has determined that a violation of the rule or statute has occurred they have a number of tools at their disposal including voluntary restitution, a consent agreement or a formal disciplinary hearing. Tow owners found guilty of violating any statute or rule can be fined up to $5,000.00 per occurrence or have their business license suspended or revoked.
The statute allows law enforcement to charge a tow operator with a misdemeanor for improper towing issuing a citation for up to $500.00.
ACA §27-50-1101 – Non-consensual towing of a vehicle, implement or piece of machinery
Authorizes cites / counties to regulate private or public property towing for a vehicle, implement or piece of machinery. Regulations may include travel distances for impounded vehicles, fees and amounts charged for services, notification requirements, posted signage for abandonment and time frames. §27-50-1101 (a)(1)(A)-(2)(B)
Log (record keeping) requirements for a police department or sheriff’s office. §27-50-1101(a)(2)(C)
Owner/lien holder information provided to tow company with in twenty-four (24) hours. §27-50-1101(a)(2)(D)(i)
ACA §27-50-11O3 – Wheel clamps
Permits cities by ordinance to regulate the use of wheel clamps.
ACA §27-50-1201 – Applicability
Defines which tow vehicles must be licensed and permitted through the Arkansas Towing & Recovery Board and identifies exemptions.
ACA §27-50-1202 – Definitions
Owner preference defined. Also see §27-50-1207(a)(1) through (C)(ii) Owner preference to be included in any removal policy and applicable penalties. §27-50-1202(B)(6)
ACA §27-50-1203 – Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board-Creation
Equipment and safety standards for tow vehicles and minimum standards for a place of business and storage facilities. [See ATRB Rules for specific requirements]
ACA §27-50-1204 – Penalties
Law enforcement agencies failure to provide information to tow companies within twenty-four (24) hours subject to accrued storage fees. §27-50-1204(b)
ACA §27-50-1205 – Tagging
Outlines procedures for ‘tagging’ a vehicle abandoned on or near a public way.
ACA §27-50-1206 – Notice to storage firm
Requires a law enforcement agency to issue a written order (tow ticket) for non-consent services and to provide certain information. §27-50-1206(a)(1)
Written notification for placing a vehicle on hold and its release requirements §27-50-1206 (3)(A) and (B)
Twenty-four (24) hour notification to tow company. §27-50-1206(c)(1)
ACA §27-50-1207 – Removal of Vehicle.
Law enforcement must have a written policy for non-consent towing prior to implementation and the policy must recognize owner request. §27-50-1207(a)(1)-(C)(ii)
Law enforcement prohibited from engaging in certain activities relating to the towing of a vehicle. 27-50-1207(C)
ACA §27-50-1212 . Criminal penalties
Authority to issue citations for violations outlined in §27-50-1101 et. seq and §27-50-1201 et. seq.
ACA §27-50-1215 . Summons, citations and subpoena
Provides for the issuance of summons, citations and subpoena by the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board.
ACA §27-50-1217 . Reporting of tow rates
Annual requirements for tow companies to file a list of current tow and storage fees to any government entity that maintains and employees a non-consent rotation list.
ACA §27-50-1219 . Suspension law enforcement non-consent rotation list
14.1A. A complaint request from law enforcement to remove or suspend a tow company from the non-consent rotation list shall include the following:
(1) Copy of rotation policy,
(2) Copy of complaint,
(3) Copy of supporting documentation of allegations, and
(4) Signature of the Department Head.
B. Upon receipt of a complaint request from law enforcement to remove or suspend a tow company from the non-consent rotation list, the Director will assign complaint to an investigator to complete following:
( 1) Timeline of investigation to conform with Rule 5 .1.
(2) Determine whether the law enforcement agency’s non-consent rotation policy is reasonable; and
(3) The severity of the violation.
C. The Board may issue fines in addition to removal or suspension of a tow company from the non-consent rotation list.
(1) A tow company may be suspended from the non-consent rotation list for a first-time violation of the law enforcement agency’s policy for up to fifteen (15) days.
(2) A second offense may result in a suspension of up to thirty (30) days by the law enforcement agency. (3) A third offense may result in a suspension of a tow company from the non-consent rotation list for up to one ( 1) year and a fine.
D. The law enforcement agency may request a hearing before the Board for additional sanctions which may include a longer period of suspension from the non-consent rotation list and a fine.
14.2 As provided pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. §27-50-1219(b)(3) and this rule, law enforcement shall establish a non-consent rotation policy.
A. An adopted non-consent rotation policy shall be reasonable and reflect the day to-day operations of a tow company in the immediate area.
B. A law enforcement agency is not required to establish a non-consent rotation policy pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. §27-50-1219 (b)(l) or this rule if:
(I) The law enforcement agency has an existing non-consent rotation policy or non-consent towing service contract in place; and
(2) The provisions of this section would have a negative impact on the law enforcement agency or non-consent towing service contract.
14.3 A law enforcement agency shall provide each tow company that participates in the non-consent rotation with a copy of the policy and each tow company operator shall acknowledge in writing that he or she has received a copy of the policy.
A. A tow company participating in a non-consent rotation policy administered by law enforcement shall be licensed and permitted by the Board.
B. Failure to properly license or renew with the Board shall result in an immediate suspension until all permits are obtained.
C. In addition to any law enforcement non-consent rotation policy a tow operator shall comply with all of the statutes and rules administered by the Board.
14.4 Nothing in this act or rule adopted by the Board shall be construed to prohibit a law enforcement agency, city, or county from:
A. Enforcing any local non-consent towing policies, rules, ordinances, or contracts;
B. Removing a tow company from the local towing rotation list; or
C. Assessing a fine, penalty, or other remedy available by law or under its contracts or policies.
Authority and procedures for temporary or permanent removal of a tow company from the non-consent rotation list by law enforcement.
What You Can Do to Help
Serving on a non-consent tow rotation program is a privilege not a right. Tow companies represent the officer, the police department and the city or county when they are on-scene. We know there is an expectation from law enforcement that a tow company will act in a professional manner at all times, that they will work quickly and safely offering the vehicle owner a fair price extending them every courtesy throughout the tow and recovery process.
When impounding a vehicle there is however a few simple things you can do to ensure the process works as it is intended and all of the provisions and conditions of the rules and laws are met.
Always create a ‘tow ticket’ making certain the section identifying vehicle owner(s) and/or lien holder(s) are filled out completely. Not only will this speed up the notification process it will insure accuracy of the information.
If you place a HOLD on a vehicle make sure it is in writing, it will cut down on confusion and any misunderstanding with the vehicle owner. By statute the release of a vehicle must be in writing as well.
Make sure the tow companies participating in your non-consent rotation program know what the rules are. Make certain you have a written policy in place, that it is updated periodically including any pricing features and that each company has a copy in their possession. Need help writing a policy? Contact the Arkansas Towing & recovery Board.
Make an effort to stay at the scene until all first responders including the tow operator have completed their task and are ready to leave the scene. Remember a tow operator is four times more likely to be killed on the side of the road as any other first responder. The tow industry loses a tow operator every week in this country. Your flashing blue lights will make a difference especially in high traffic areas.
Train with other first responders. If your department is not engaged in the Traffic Incident Management (TIM) program take a look. There is a link on this website that will provide you with additional information about this highly successful and safety first program.
Use properly licensed permitted tow businesses only on your non-consent rotation list. Any tow company that is operating in the State of Arkansas engaged in non-consent towing must be licensed and permitted through the Arkansas Towing & Recovery Board. Look for current decals in the lower right hand corner of the windshield on any Arkansas based tow vehicle.