WSR 03-19-026



[ Filed September 8, 2003, 10:39 a.m. ]

Date of Adoption: September 3, 2003.

Purpose: To provide a process for tow trucks to make emergency moves of overweight/oversize vehicles after normal business hours.

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 46.44.015.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 03-15-041 on July 10, 2003.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

September 3, 2003

John F. Conrad

Assistant Secretary

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:

(1) ((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.

(3) ((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.]

Legislature Code Reviser 


Washington State Code Reviser's Office