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ATTENTION ALL PENNSYLVANIA TOWERS!!!!!   
This is the latest on the Pennsylvania State Police:

When:                  December 18, 2014 at 9:30am
Where:                 PSP Headquarters, Harrisburg
Attendees:        
Lieutenant Robert Krol, Jr            - PSP Legislative Liaison
Lieutenant Jeffrey Hopkins         - Bureau of Patrol
Major Edward Hoke                        - Director, Bureau of Patrol
Shane Staley                                      - Pennsylvania Towing Association
Subject of Discussion:
                                PSP targeted enforcement relating to use of RT motor vehicle business tags
 
The State Police reached out to the Pennsylvania Towing Association to explain the RT tag policy and the upcoming enforcement regarding their use.  They presented PA Statute 1337 regarding Use of “Miscellaneous Motor Vehicle Business” registration plates, citing that if Pennsylvania towers wish to use RT Tags they must have the vehicles properly titled in the Business (or owner/family member) name AND have paid PA Sales Tax on the vehicle.  Towers utilizing RT Tags and claiming PUC exemption from PA Sales Tax are in direct violation of the law.  RT Tags users that have leased vehicles showing only the leasing company on the title are in direct violation of the law.
 
I pointed out that it seems PSP is waging war on the Towing Community. First the Auto Return debacle.  Then the redefined Salvor procedure. And now targeting towers use of motor vehicle business tags.  They insisted this was not the case.  The RT tag issue actually arose from a tower in the West that Auto Return recruited (previously not a PSP approved Tow Company).  Since the dismantling of  the pilot program this tower wanted to continue towing for PSP.  After filling out an application, PSP found PA Sales Tax was not paid on their trucks and they were using RT Tags.  The tower was claiming PUC exemption from Sales Tax.  Out of this circumstance, Bureau of Patrol decided they needed to enforce the proper use of RT Tags and payment of Sales Tax for all Tow Vendors utilized by PSP.  This filtered down to a Station level and began to cause confusion among the Towing Community because some stations were sending out new applications, some sent out letters from station commanders and some letters went out from the Vehicle Fraud Inspectors.  This apparent confusion led to my meeting with PSP and their new effort to provide a unified approach across the state. 
 
Going forward in 2015, PSP plans to inspect every Tow facility on their vendor list annually.  Applications/Equipment Lists/Fee schedules will be required to be updated annually.  PSP will verify that vehicles are titled properly AND sales tax is paid.  When titling/sales tax issues are discovered, I’m told there will be a grace period to become compliant.  Major Hoke was developing a letter that will be sent out to Towers that are identified as not being sales tax compliant.  Only towers not in compliance will receive the letter.  I was told the Pennsylvania Towing Association would receive a copy of the letter before it is sent out to any Towers.  I have not received the letter to date.
 
Shane Staley
Pennsylvania Towing Association






   

We have an update for you on Auto Return!!! We have just received this official update from PSP concerning the Auto Return Pilot Program in the western part of the state, and we wanted to pass this on in order that all towers have the correct and official answers to questions about it. To everyone who got involved and helped with this, thank you, I would like to thank all the Board members of the association for the hours spent on this issue, and a BIG thank you to Ron Bressler and Shane Staley for attending the meetings with the State Police regularly, as well as the wonderful job they did at the public hearing in Harrisburg As well as all the towers from the west end of the state that kept on this. Thank You All Pa Towers for your support and efforts.
  
November 10, 2014
 
 
Mr. Ronald M. Bressler, President
Pennsylvania Towing Association
2563 Valley View Road
Morgantown, Pennsylvania  19543
 
Dear Mr. Bressler:
 
This letter is to inform you that the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Third-Party Administrator (TPA) Towing Pilot Program being administered in partnership with AutoReturn, in Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, and Mercer Counties, will be discontinued effective 2359 hours on November 12, 2014.
 
Although the PSP TPA Towing Pilot Program is being discontinued, the PSP is extending an invitation to all towing service providers who participated in the pilot program to be added to the tow lists and call rotations at the Troops and Stations they provided towing services for during the pilot program.  Towing service providers who did not participate in the TPA Towing Pilot Program, but provided towing services for the PSP prior to the commencement of the pilot program, will be invited to rejoin PSP’s network of towing service providers at the discretion of the PSP.  Towing service providers accepting this invitation will immediately be added to the tow list(s) at the appropriate PSP Station(s).  By accepting this invitation, towing service providers who participated in the TPA Towing Pilot Program but did not tow for the PSP prior to the commencement of the program will be required to pass an inspection of their equipment and facilities by PSP personnel within 180 days of the discontinuation of the pilot program.  Towing service providers who did not participate in the pilot program, but opt to rejoin PSP’s towing network, will be required to pass a re-inspection of their equipment and facilities by PSP personnel within 180 days of rejoining.  Towing service providers who do not pass the required inspection/re-inspection will be promptly removed from the PSP tow list(s) at the affected       PSP Station(s).
 
It is the policy of the PSP to provide the necessary assistance to motorists in need in a timely, efficient, and safe manner, and to quickly restore the free and safe movement of traffic, while ensuring the safety of the motoring public, emergency services personnel, and towing service providers.  The PSP is dedicated to exploring ways to improve the management and administration of towing services and dispatch, while addressing the concerns of all affected stakeholders.  The PSP believes the continued examination of potential improvements to these processes will be extremely beneficial to the towing industry, the motoring public, and our emergency service partners.    
 
I would like to thank the Pennsylvania Towing Association for its valued insight and feedback during the TPA Towing Pilot Program.  The PSP is looking forward to working with your organization in the future as we continue to explore ways to improve emergency towing services for those who live, visit, and work in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
 
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact, Lieutenant Gerhard W. Wendt, Director, Logistics and Support Services Division, Bureau of Research and Development, at 717-772-4887, or via email at gwendt@pa.gov.
 
 
Sincerely,

 
 
Lieutenant Colonel George L. Bivens
Deputy Commissioner of Operations
Pennsylvania State Police
 
 
CB/PDB
 
cc:    Deputy Commissioner of Staff
         Chief Counsel
         Director, Legislative Affairs Office
         Director, Bureau of Patrol
         Director, Bureau of Criminal Investigation
         Director, Bureau of Information Technology
         Director, Bureau of Staff Services
         Bureau of Research and Development – Logistics and Support Services Division
         Project 2012-0182 (Final Correspondence, Final Drafts)

 

 
 
November 10, 2014
 
 
Mr. Ronald M. Bressler, President
Pennsylvania Towing Association
2563 Valley View Road
Morgantown, Pennsylvania  19543
 
Dear Mr. Bressler:
 
This letter is to inform you that the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Third-Party Administrator (TPA) Towing Pilot Program being administered in partnership with AutoReturn, in Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, and Mercer Counties, will be discontinued effective 2359 hours on November 12, 2014.
 
Although the PSP TPA Towing Pilot Program is being discontinued, the PSP is extending an invitation to all towing service providers who participated in the pilot program to be added to the tow lists and call rotations at the Troops and Stations they provided towing services for during the pilot program.  Towing service providers who did not participate in the TPA Towing Pilot Program, but provided towing services for the PSP prior to the commencement of the pilot program, will be invited to rejoin PSP’s network of towing service providers at the discretion of the PSP.  Towing service providers accepting this invitation will immediately be added to the tow list(s) at the appropriate PSP Station(s).  By accepting this invitation, towing service providers who participated in the TPA Towing Pilot Program but did not tow for the PSP prior to the commencement of the program will be required to pass an inspection of their equipment and facilities by PSP personnel within 180 days of the discontinuation of the pilot program.  Towing service providers who did not participate in the pilot program, but opt to rejoin PSP’s towing network, will be required to pass a re-inspection of their equipment and facilities by PSP personnel within 180 days of rejoining.  Towing service providers who do not pass the required inspection/re-inspection will be promptly removed from the PSP tow list(s) at the affected       PSP Station(s).
 
It is the policy of the PSP to provide the necessary assistance to motorists in need in a timely, efficient, and safe manner, and to quickly restore the free and safe movement of traffic, while ensuring the safety of the motoring public, emergency services personnel, and towing service providers.  The PSP is dedicated to exploring ways to improve the management and administration of towing services and dispatch, while addressing the concerns of all affected stakeholders.  The PSP believes the continued examination of potential improvements to these processes will be extremely beneficial to the towing industry, the motoring public, and our emergency service partners.    
 
I would like to thank the Pennsylvania Towing Association for its valued insight and feedback during the TPA Towing Pilot Program.  The PSP is looking forward to working with your organization in the future as we continue to explore ways to improve emergency towing services for those who live, visit, and work in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
 
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact, Lieutenant Gerhard W. Wendt, Director, Logistics and Support Services Division, Bureau of Research and Development, at 717-772-4887, or via email at gwendt@pa.gov.
 
 
Sincerely,

 
 
Lieutenant Colonel George L. Bivens
Deputy Commissioner of Operations
Pennsylvania State Police
 
 
CB/PDB
 
cc:    Deputy Commissioner of Staff
         Chief Counsel
         Director, Legislative Affairs Office
         Director, Bureau of Patrol
         Director, Bureau of Criminal Investigation
         Director, Bureau of Information Technology
         Director, Bureau of Staff Services
         Bureau of Research and Development – Logistics and Support Services Division
         Project 2012-0182 (Final Correspondence, Final Drafts)

Please visit our Legislative page for new information about the PSP 3rd Party Dispatching Program !!

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News Feed.

Here is an update on the 3rd party dispatch program that we have for you. The following are notes from the meeting that the Towing Association had with PSP and Auto Return:

On December 19th the Pennsylvania Towing Association(PTA) met with the Pennsylvania State Police(PSP) and Auto Return(AR).  Ron Bressler and Shane Staley represented the PTA.  Lt.Wendt, Lt. Krol, and Trooper Matiskella represented PSP.  Ray Krouse represented AR.  The meeting was held to brief the PTA on the Third Party Towing Pilot Program. 
 
Lt Wendt reiterated that this Pilot program started because PSP wants out of towing.  Lt. Krol told us that he reached out to 24 State Representatives, 9 State Senators and the Committee Chairperson for Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness, briefing them on what PSP was doing with the Towing Pilot Program prior to implementation.
 
The program has begun in PSP Troop E.  Troop E is comprised of 6 stations: Erie, Corry, Meadville, Franklin, Warren, and Girard.  Erie and Girard stations began the pilot towing program on December 3rd.  As of the 19th, PSP and AR were preparing to bring the Corry and Meadville stations into the Pilot. No information was given on rollout dates for the other 2 Troop E stations.  Ray Krouse confirmed the towers involved with the Pilot were responding on scene within an average of 26 minutes.  Mr. Krouse also told us the AR dispatch system has been running smoothly with no downtime, except for brief system maintenance.
 
We were told that Troop D will begin the pilot towards the end of January.  PSP will be hosting meetings with all towers on January 3 at the Butler County Community College, 107 College Dr, Butler, PA 16002.  PSP will be hosting two morning sessions with light and medium duty tow companies and an afternoon session with heavy duty towing companies.
 
PTA raised concerns from several of our members that PSP is “ lowering the bar” for tower qualifications.  We brought to their attention reports of towers that previously would not have met PSP qualifications, now towing for AR.  We expressed concern for safety of the public when untrained towing operators are utilized.  Lt. Wendt indicated that qualification requirements of towers would remain the same as is currently in place with the exception of the requirement that a tower have a roll back and a wrecker.  PSP did not feel the wrecker requirement was necessary.
 
Shane Staley

Pennsylvania Towers, just to make you aware, the towing association is aware of the 3rd party dispatch program that they are talking about and are working on finding more out about it. More details when available. Please feel free to share with us what you hear by email. Thank You
 

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