Date of Adoption: June 17, 2003.
Purpose: To amend rules to provide after-hour approval for tow truck operations involved in the emergency clearance of disabled vehicles on state highways, including ramps and shoulders.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 468-38-265 Emergency operation of tow trucks.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.44.090.
Other Authority: RCW 46.44.170.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: Effective July 1, 2003, the state patrol will stop issuing emergency permits. To accommodate the change legislation was introduced into the 2003 session to provide relief to the tow truck industry. The proposed legislation did not make it through the process in the allotted time. To effect an interim solution the WAC rule has been amended to use the Washington State Department Transportation (WSDOT) Transportation Management Centers to review requests for emergent moves and provide approval when deemed safe. The rule change was worked with the state patrol, the Tow Truck Association and the WSDOT.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making:
Pilot Rule Making:
or Other Alternative Rule Making:
Effective Date of Rule: July 1, 2003.
June 17, 2003
John F. Conrad
Engineering and Regional Operations
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 95-24-074, filed 12/4/95, effective 1/4/96)
WAC 468-38-265 Emergency operation of tow trucks. The permitting of overweight tow trucks that respond to emergencies shall be governed by the following procedures:
Emergency situations are limited to those instances
in which a vehicle is disabled on the public streets or
highways)) An emergent tow is defined as the movement of a
disabled vehicle(s) from any public roadway, including ramps
and shoulder, and due to the necessity for an immediate
response (referred to as the "initial tow truck service" in
RCW 46.44.015), the appropriate overweight permit cannot be
determined until the operator arrives at the disabled vehicle.
(2) When a tow truck operator/dispatcher has been called
to respond to an emergent situation, the operator/dispatcher
will telephone the ((
Ridgefield Port of Entry)) nearest
traffic management center (TMC) and (( request a permit)) be
logged in to clear the obstacle. The (( commercial vehicle
enforcement officer)) TMC employee on duty shall consult the
map "Washington State Highways Tow Truck Restrictions: For
Emergency Use Only (as last revised)." Bridges that may be
crossed by tandem axle loadings estimated by the tow truck
operator may be approved for the emergency move.
In requesting the permit)) To log in with the TMC,
the tow truck operator/dispatcher shall (( state)) provide the
following: Name of company, name of individual making
request, telephone number, tow vehicle license, excess weight
needed, (( list)) the origin and destination, the state route
numbers (( required)) to be used during the tow and (( an
estimate of miles to be traveled. The operator will advise
the officer of his credit card number to which the permit fee
can be charged and be issued)) description of vehicle being
towed. The TMC employee on duty, after verifying the
requested route with the map, will issue an identification or
clearance number for the (( trip being permitted)) tow. This
approval is for state routes only and gives no authorization
for movement on county roads or city streets.
(4) If the map showing tow truck restrictions does not indicate that the routes can safely tolerate the weight being requested, the tow truck operator is limited to moving the vehicle off the road to the nearest place of safety. When the weight is too heavy to be moved on some bridges or highways, a request during regular working hours for a permit and a bridge analysis will be required before the load may be transported.
(5) The tow truck operator/dispatcher shall apply for and acquire the appropriate permit on the next business day from the department's motor carrier services office.
(6) Permits for routine movements other than emergency tow truck moves shall be requested through available DOT permits offices, agents or facsimile services.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090. 95-24-074, § 468-38-265, filed 12/4/95, effective 1/4/96.]