language to be deleted (2) new language
Laws of Minnesota 1989 CHAPTER 256-H.F.No. 1697 An act relating to traffic regulations; prohibiting the towing of motor vehicles for traffic violations for a period of four hours except under certain circumstances; providing a mechanic's lien for those who tow a vehicle at the direction of a law enforcement officer; amending Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 514.18, by adding a subdivision; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 169. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. [169.041] [TOWING AUTHORIZED.] Subdivision 1. [TOWING AUTHORITY.] For purposes of this section, "towing authority" means any local authority authorized by section 169.04 to enforce the traffic laws, and also includes a private towing company authorized by a local authority to tow vehicles on behalf of that local authority. Subd. 2. [TOWING ORDER REQUIRED.] A towing authority may not tow a motor vehicle from public property unless a peace officer or parking enforcement officer has prepared, in addition to the parking citation, a written towing report describing the motor vehicle and the reasons for towing. The report must be signed by the officer and the tow driver. Subd. 3. [FOUR-HOUR WAITING PERIOD.] In enforcing state and local parking and traffic laws, a towing authority may not tow, or allow or require the towing of, a motor vehicle from public property for a parking or traffic violation until four hours after issuance of the traffic ticket or citation, except as provided in this section. Subd. 4. [TOWING ALLOWED.] A towing authority may tow a motor vehicle without regard to the four-hour waiting period if: (1) the vehicle is parked in violation of snow emergency regulations; (2) the vehicle is parked in a rush-hour restricted parking area; (3) the vehicle is blocking a driveway, alley, or fire hydrant; (4) the vehicle is parked in a bus lane where parking is prohibited; (5) the vehicle is parked within 30 feet of a stop sign and visually blocking the stop sign; (6) the vehicle is parked in a handicap transfer zone or handicapped parking space without a handicapped parking certificate or handicapped license plates; (7) the vehicle is parked in an area that has been posted for temporary restricted parking at least 24 hours in advance; (8) the vehicle is parked within the right-of-way of a controlled access highway or within the traveled portion of a public street when travel is allowed there; (9) the vehicle is unlawfully parked in a zone that is restricted by posted signs to use by fire, police, public safety, or emergency vehicles; (10) the vehicle is unlawfully parked on property at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport owned by the metropolitan airports commission; (11) a law enforcement official has probable cause to believe that the vehicle is stolen, or that the vehicle constitutes or contains evidence of a crime and impoundment is reasonably necessary to obtain or preserve the evidence; (12) the driver, operator, or person in physical control of the vehicle is taken into custody and the vehicle is impounded for safekeeping; or (13) a law enforcement official has probable cause to believe that the owner, operator, or person in physical control of the vehicle has failed to respond to five or more citations for parking or traffic offenses. Subd. 5. [TOWING PROHIBITED.] Unless the vehicle is described in subdivision 4, a towing authority may not tow a motor vehicle because: (1) the vehicle has expired registration tabs that have been expired for less than 90 days; (2) the vehicle is at a parking meter on which the time has expired and the vehicle has fewer than five unpaid parking tickets. Subd. 6. [PRIVATE PROPERTY.] This section does not restrict the authority of the owner of private property to authorize the towing at any time of a motor vehicle unlawfully parked on the private property. Subd. 7. [DAMAGES.] The owner or driver of a motor vehicle towed in violation of this section is entitled to recover from the towing authority the greater of $100 or two times the actual damages sustained as a result of the violation. Damages recoverable under this subdivision include but are not limited to costs of recovering the vehicle, including time spent and transportation costs. Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 514.18, is amended by adding a subdivision to read: Subd. 1a. [TOWED MOTOR VEHICLES.] A person who tows and stores a motor vehicle at the request of a law enforcement officer shall have a lien on the motor vehicle for the value of the storage and towing and the right to retain possession of the motor vehicle until the lien is lawfully discharged. This section does not apply to tows authorized in section 1, subdivision 4, clause (1). Sec. 3. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] Sections 1 and 2 are effective the day following final enactment. Presented to the governor May 23, 1989 Signed by the governor May 25, 1989, 6:32 p.m.