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Changes to Towing Law

1/11/2016 12:00:00 AM

This post is not to be considered legal advice.

Its purpose is to help officers be informed of the legal requirements

and assist agencies with achieving compliance with the law.


FAQ for theNew Tow Rotation List Law

On January 1, 2016, P.A. 99-438 became effective. This new law establishes certain qualification requirements for towing companies used by police departments and agencies with jurisdiction over highways in the state. The law also requires a police department with jurisdiction over state highways to establish a tow rotation list.
The above link will allow you to view the new additions to these sections of the Illinois Vehicle Code as amended by changingSections 4-203, 6-118, 11-1431, 18a-300, and 18d-153 and byadding Section 4-203.5.
The below information was gleaned from the website Municipal Minute
The law has raised a couple of questions about what a local police department must do to comply with the new requirements. Below are a few FAQ's about the new law:
FAQ - New Tow Law
Does the new law require a police department to create a tow rotation list?
Yes, the law states as follows:
Each law enforcement agency whose duties include the patrol of highways in this State shall maintain a tow rotation list which shall be used by law enforcement officers authorizing the tow of a vehicle within the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency.
Does the new law specify a minimum number of tow companies that make up a tow rotation list?
No. In fact, the law specifically states that a law enforcement agency may choose to have only one towing service on its tow rotation list.
Who makes the determination as to which tow companies make up this list?
The police chief has the authority to make the final determination as to which qualified towing services will be included on the list.
If a towing company applies to be on the list, must the police chief add the company to the list?
The chief has the discretion to make the determination as to whether a tow company is qualified and should be added to the list.
How is the list supposed to work?
Towing services are to be contacted in the order listed on the tow rotation list, at which point the towing service is placed at the end of that tow rotation list.
What if the tow company is not available?
The next listed towing service on that tow rotation list should be contacted.
Are there any exceptions to following the tow list?
Yes, the agency can deviate from the tow rotation list order in cases of emergency or where the agency determines that a particular company is not equipped to handle a specific task.
Does this law apply to all police departments and law enforcement agencies?
No, the law exempts the City of Chicago. Also, if a police department has no highways (as defined in the statute) within its jurisdiction, the law does not apply.What if we already maintain a tow rotation list?The police chief should review the statutory qualifications to ensure that each of the tow companies on that list are "qualified." These include compliance with insurance, licensing, and various other requirements set out in the new law.

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