Towing Fees

Permits towing companies to charge $25 for road clean-up when
that service is part of an agreement with the counties.  Repeals
the drop-dead date of Act 138, Session Laws of Hawaii 1998, which
would have repealed the current maximum allowable towing company
fees and the credit card and ATM payment accommodation. (SD2)

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  Section 291C-165.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 2 amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:
 3      "(b)  The towing company shall determine the name of the
 4 lien holder and the registered owner of the vehicle from the
 5 department of transportation or the county department of finance.
 6 The lien holder and the registered owner shall be notified by the
 7 towing company in writing at the address on record with the
 8 department of transportation or with the county department of
 9 finance by registered or certified mail of the location of the
10 vehicle, together with a description of the vehicle, within a
11 reasonable period not to exceed twenty days following the tow.
12 The notice shall state:
13      (1)  The maximum towing charges and fees allowed by law;
14      (2)  The telephone number of the county finance department
15           that arranged for or authorized the tow; and
16      (3)  That if the vehicle is not recovered within thirty days
17           after the mailing of the notice, the vehicle shall be
18           deemed abandoned and will be sold or disposed of as
19           junk.

Page 2                                                     348
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 2

 1 When the vehicle is recovered after the tow by the registered
 2 owner or lien holder, the party recovering the vehicle shall pay
 3 the tow and storage charges which shall not exceed the charges as
 4 provided by section 290-11(b) or the rates agreed upon with the
 5 respective counties, whichever is lower, except that tow
 6 operators may charge additional reasonable amounts for
 7 [excavating] recovering vehicles from off-road locations[;] and
 8 up to $25 for road clean-up if, pursuant to an agreement with the
 9 respective counties, the towing company is required to clean and
10 clear the roadway and, in cases of spills or leaks, provide,
11 apply, and remove absorbent material; provided that if the notice
12 required by this section was not sent within twenty days after
13 the tow, neither the registered owner nor the lien holder shall
14 be required to pay the tow and storage charges.  No notice shall
15 be sent to a legal or registered owner or any person with any
16 unrecorded interest in the vehicle whose name or address cannot
17 be determined.  A person who has been charged in excess of the
18 charges permitted under this section may sue for damages
19 sustained, and, if the judgment is for the plaintiff, the court
20 shall award the plaintiff a sum not to exceed the amount of these
21 damages and reasonable attorney's fees together with the cost of
22 the suit."
23      SECTION 2.  Act 138, Session Laws of Hawaii 1998, is amended

Page 3                                                     348
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 2

 1 by amending section 3 to read as follows:
 2      "SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval[;
 3 provided that the amendment set forth in Section 1 shall take
 4 effect on September 1, 1998, and shall be repealed on July 1,
 5 2000]."
 6      SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 7 New statutory material is underscored.
 8      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.