2016 Delaware Code
Title 21 - Motor Vehicles
CHAPTER 69. REMOVAL OF MOTOR VEHICLES FROM PUBLIC HIGHWAYS BY POLICE
§ 6901. Removal of motor vehicles from public highways by police; sale of vehicles; towers.

21 DE Code § 6901 (2016) What's This?

(a) Any police officer of this State, or a county or municipality therein, while in the performance of duty, may remove, store or cause to be removed or stored from any public highway, highway right-of-way, street or alley, at the owner's or operator's expense, any motor vehicle, trailer or part thereof which:

(1) Is unregistered or has an expired registration; or

(2) Is parked or left standing in such manner as to create a hazard by interfering with the normal movement of traffic:

a. By preventing the exit from or entrance to any public highway, private road or driveway;

b. By interfering with emergency firefighting equipment;

c. By being involved in a collision and rendered incapable of being moved under its own power, when the owner or operator has been arrested and detained; or

d. When the owner or operator is unable, unwilling or not available to do so immediately.

Anyone so removing any motor vehicle, trailer or part thereof shall have a possessory lien against said motor vehicle, trailer or part thereof for the costs of removing, towing, preserving and storing said motor vehicle, trailer or part thereof and shall have a right to sell said motor vehicle, trailer or part thereof after complying with the notice and sale provisions as outlined in Chapter 39 of Title 25, with the exception that the proceeds of the sale shall be applied first to the costs of the sale, then to the costs of removing, towing, preserving and storing and then to the payment of any liens to which said motor vehicle, trailer or part thereof may be subject in order of their priority, then to the State Treasurer who shall create a special fund thereof and who shall pay to the owner the moneys left if a claim is made within 1 year of the removal, or deposit the moneys in the General Fund if no claim is made within 1 year of the removal.

There shall be no liability incurred by any police officer of this State or a county or municipality therein, or agents directed by them, whether or not they are also police officers, while in the performance of duty, for damages incurred to immobilized motor vehicle or vehicles moved under this subsection, or to the vehicle's contents or surrounding area caused by the emergency measures employed by the officer or employee to move the vehicle or vehicles for the purpose of clearing the lane or lanes to remove any threat to public safety, unless the circumstances meet the conditions for liability established in § 4001(2) or (3) or § 4011(c) of Title 10.

(b) In effecting the removal and subsequent storage of such vehicles, any police officer of this State, or a county or municipality therein, may select and engage the services, vehicles, equipment or facilities of another person, hereinafter called the "tower", who shall be compensated at the expense of the owner or operator. Such selection shall be made pursuant to the regulations promulgated under subsection (c) of this section.

(c) The Department of Safety and Homeland Security shall promulgate regulations governing the selection of towers by State Police officers. Such regulations shall prescribe qualifications for eligibility of towers to be selected by police officers under this section, shall describe the method to be used by police officers in selecting from eligible towers, and may make such other provisions as the Department of Safety and Homeland Security deems fit; provided, however, that there shall be no prohibitions against the owner of a vehicle from choosing the tower of that person's choice if no emergency exists. All eligible towers shall file with the Superintendent of the Delaware State Police a schedule of towing charges of such towers and other incidental charges of such tower customarily incurred in connection with the towing and storage of vehicles under the section.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 6901; 55 Del. Laws, c. 340; 61 Del. Laws, c. 247, § 1; 61 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 3; 63 Del. Laws, c. 173, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 355, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 313, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, §§ 115, 138; 76 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 16.;

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