Town of Newton, NJ
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Newton 6-8-1970 as Sec. 5-17 of the Revised General Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Vehicles and traffic — see Ch. 307.

§ 289-1 Purpose.

It is the intention of these specifications to describe the requirements for the towing of abandoned, disabled, illegally parked vehicles, stolen vehicles, vehicles involved in accidents within the Town of Newton, vehicles suspected of involvement in crimes located within the Town of Newton, and other vehicles identified by the Newton Police Department when requested by the Police Department of the Town of Newton, New Jersey.

§ 289-2 Information to be provided.

Towing companies shall agree to provide the Town of Newton Chief of Police or his designee with the following information prior to being considered for placement and inclusion on a rotation wrecker list:
A. 
Towing companies must provide the Town of Newton Police Department a detailed listing of the equipment to be utilized during the term of any agreement for towing/wrecker services to be executed between the Town of Newton and towing companies. The listing shall include the following information.
(1) 
Type of vehicle(s), storage location for vehicle(s), and whether vehicle(s) is owned or leased. All leased and rented equipment must be permanently located at the contractor's place of business or residence if in conformity with state law, federal law and local ordinances. Each piece of equipment must meet the minimum standards set forth herein. Equipment which does not meet these minimum standards shall not be used during the term of an agreement. The towing companies will be solely responsible for the safety, maintenance and operation of each piece of equipment utilized or required during the term of an agreement.
B. 
Classification of towing vehicles shall be made using the following definitions:
(1) 
Light duty.
(a) 
Commercially manufactured chassis, rated capacity of not less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
(b) 
Commercially manufactured lifting apparatus with a minimum capacity of four tons.
(c) 
Universal tow sling or wheel lift with System 7 safety chains.
(d) 
One snatch block, three-ton rating.
(e) 
Proper safety lights.
(f) 
Amber rotation emergency flashing light.
(g) 
Two floodlights to the rear of the vehicle.
(2) 
Heavy duty.
(a) 
Commercially manufactured chassis, rated capacity of not less than 28,000 pounds GVWR.
(b) 
Commercially manufactured lifting apparatus with a minimum capacity of 25 tons.
(c) 
Two snatch blocks, twelve-ton rating.
(d) 
Air brake hookup lines.
(e) 
Tow sling or tow bar or wheel lift with System 7 safety chains.
(f) 
Proper safety lights.
(g) 
Two floodlights to the rear of the vehicle.
(3) 
Car carrier/rollback — heavy duty.
(a) 
Commercially manufactured chassis, rated not less than 14,500 pounds GVWR.
(b) 
One hydraulically powered winch with a pulling capacity of not less than four tons.
(c) 
Fifty feet of three-eights-inch cable.
(d) 
One snatch block, four-ton capacity.
(e) 
Tie-down chains.
(f) 
Two safety chains to be utilized.
(g) 
Amber rotation emergency flashing light.
(4) 
Car carrier/rollback — light duty.
(a) 
Commercially manufactured chassis, rated not less than 10,000 pounds GVWR.
(b) 
One hydraulically powered winch with a pulling capacity of not less than four tons.
(c) 
Fifty feet of three-eighths-inch cable.
(d) 
One snatch block, four-ton capacity.
(e) 
Tie-down chains.
(f) 
Two safety chains to be utilized.
(g) 
Amber rotation emergency flashing light.
C. 
Towing companies shall carry on or within each vehicle four one-gallon containers of Speedi-Dri or an acceptable substitute for spreading on and around spilled antifreeze or other automobile fluids at the scene to safeguard against slippery road conditions for police and first aid vehicles, passing vehicles and similar vehicles. The Speedi-Dri or an acceptable substitute will later be dissipated in accordance with hazardous waste disposal regulations.
D. 
Towing companies shall be responsible for cleanup of all broken glass and debris at the scene of accidents or when called to a scene in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.8.
E. 
To be prepared to carry out the requirements of Subsection D of this section above, each and every towing company vehicle will carry a broom and shovel.
F. 
Towing companies must ensure that all of their authorized agents agree to follow the instructions and/or orders of the police officer from the Newton Police Department at towing scenes.

§ 289-3 Details of towing agreements.

A. 
No part of any towing agreement shall be assigned, leased, sublet, or otherwise disposed of by towing companies, except with the prior written approval of the Town of Newton Police Chief or his designee.
B. 
The towing companies shall agree to provide upon request current lease agreements for any storage lot/facility used, and towing companies agree to notify the Town of Newton Police Department in writing if any of the enclosed items are changed or altered. Failure to comply with this provision will result in the immediate cancellation of an agreement.
C. 
The Town of Newton Police Department will have the right to perform a background check of the towing companies' owner(s), employees, and/or officers, and the conviction of a high misdemeanor of any such principals will disqualify the towing company and its employees from eligibility for inclusion on a rotation wrecker list, unless waived by the Chief of Police.
D. 
The drivers' license numbers, names, dates of birth of all towing company drivers; the registration numbers of the towing companies' vehicles to be used, their descriptions and functioning mechanisms (i.e., rollback, heavy duty, light wrecker, etc.) and appropriate permits (i.e., special lights) shall be provided in accordance with Title 39, Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation, of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated.
E. 
Arrangements for the Chief of Police or his designee to be present when the towing companies' vehicles are weighed at a certified and licensed weigh station within the Town of Newton boundaries are required in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4 and 39:3-84.
F. 
Upon inspection, vehicles will have the name, address, and telephone number of the actual business displayed on such vehicles in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-46.
G. 
The towing companies must be within legal traveling and response time of 10 minutes upon being dispatched by the Newton Police Department. Exceptions for unusual traffic conditions will be recognized.
H. 
Towing companies shall have at least one year of experience in the towing of vehicles and must abide by all requirements hereof.
I. 
Towing companies must maintain a recordkeeping system as required by the Newton Police Department and the laws of the State of New Jersey. At a minimum, such recordkeeping system shall include the form designated as "RLC No. 1," which shall be completed to the best of the ability of each towing company without neglect.
J. 
Towing companies shall prepare an invoice for towing charges of each vehicle towed, consistent with the State of New Jersey fees where applicable.
K. 
Records of towing companies pertaining to towing vehicles shall be maintained for a period of four years.
L. 
All drivers for the towing companies shall be a minimum of 18 years of age or older.
M. 
Towing companies agree that the Town of Newton may make periodic drivers' license checks, registration checks, background checks, and insurance checks.
N. 
Towing companies covenant and agree to comply with all federal laws, state laws and local ordinances governing operation of vehicles, towing of vehicles, and storage areas.

§ 289-4 Rates for towing services.

A. 
The rates applicable to towing services performed under the guidelines of the State of New Jersey shall be posted in a conspicuous place, visible to the public, at the towing companies' facilities.
B. 
Complaints of any kind relative to service, overcharging, theft of parts, damage to towed or stored vehicles and the like shall be referred to the Chief of Police for investigation. Such complaints may be cause for imposition of penalties enumerated as follows:
(1) 
Written warning; and/or
(2) 
Suspension from five tow calls; and/or
(3) 
Suspension for three months; and/or
(4) 
Total suspension of the agreement without possible renewal; or
(5) 
Any of the above for noncompliance with the terms of the agreement.

§ 289-5 Fees due towing companies.

A. 
The Newton Police Department will not be responsible for any charges due or owing to towing companies, nor will it assist the towing companies in collecting any charges. Specifically, the Town will not be responsible to reimburse towing companies for towing services in connection with towing of vehicles which are abandoned or disabled, or from which towing companies are unable to obtain towing service fees from vehicle owners in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-56. However, the Town will make good faith efforts to auction abandoned vehicles and other vehicles for which towing companies have not received payment for services under any agreement consistent with appropriate state law. In the event that an auction occurs on such vehicles and money is received, the towing companies shall be paid their towing fee for such vehicles from the proceeds of the auction, provided that the amount received at auction is equal to or greater than the towing fees due. If that is not the case, towing companies shall receive the auction proceeds and the Town of Newton shall have no obligation to pay towing companies any difference due in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:10A-5.
B. 
In cases where the Newton Police Department mistakenly directed that a vehicle be towed or has acted on incorrect information furnished by other official sources, the towing companies may be reimbursed by the Town of Newton for minimum towing fees only, as stipulated by New Jersey statutes.

§ 289-6 Impound/storage areas.

A. 
The towing companies grant the Newton Police Department the right to inspect the proposed vehicle impound area at any time chosen by the Police Department without prior notice to or acceptance by the towing companies.
B. 
All towing companies are prohibited from piling stored vehicles or parking towed vehicles on public streets and sidewalks.
C. 
The Town of Newton reserves the right during an emergency to designate temporary areas owned or leased by the Town for storage of disabled vehicles in said area at the direction of the Chief of Police or his designee.

§ 289-7 Conduct of towing company agents.

In all dealings with the public in connection with an agreement, representatives of the towing companies are expected to act in a professional manner at all times and be courteous and respectful to members of the public. While members of the public, especially those whose vehicles may have been towed or impounded, may at times resort to strong language, threats or unbecoming behavior that may be directed to the representatives of the towing companies, such towing company representatives are expected to exercise restraint and shall not respond in kind, thereby causing an unfavorable reflection on their business. If such instances occur, the Newton Police Department should be contacted to keep the peace and provide advice on legal proceedings, if requested.

§ 289-8 Rights of vehicle owners.

The owner of any vehicle towed shall have the right to remove personal property belonging to him from the stored vehicle unless a "police hold" is marked on the towing form upon mutual agreement of the towing company and the owner of the vehicle.

§ 289-9 Responsibility for claims; Town held harmless.

A. 
Towing companies shall be responsible for any damage occasioned to utility poles, guide wires, telephone lines, etc. damaged in their recovery of vehicles.
B. 
Towing companies will indemnify and hold the Town of Newton harmless from any and all claims for personal injury or property damage against the Town of Newton arising out of the operation of any towing services or repair services performed under their respective agreements. Towing companies will further defend the Town of Newton at the expense of the towing companies in connection with any claim, demand, suit or action brought against the Town and arising out of the operation of any towing, garage or repair services under any agreement.
C. 
Towing companies further agree to indemnify and hold the Town of Newton harmless for any damages or losses sustained to any vehicle or its contents, if such vehicle is in the possession of a specific towing company, and said indemnification shall include but not be limited to the defense of all lawsuits relating to the towing of any vehicle by any party, the payment of any judgments relating thereto against the Town, and the cost of the suit, including investigation costs.

§ 289-10 Insurance requirements.

A. 
Insurance coverage shall indemnify the Town of Newton and the public against any loss due to injuries, accidents or damages of any character whatsoever where such damage is the result of an act of omission on the part of towing companies, their agents or employees, in or due to the execution of the work called for under the respective agreements between the Town of Newton and towing companies.
B. 
On all liability policies required of towing companies, the Town of Newton shall be named as an additional insured, and insurance certificates shall indicate such coverage.
C. 
All insurance required shall contain a clause indicating that the Newton Police Department at 39 Trinity Street, Newton, New Jersey shall be notified of any changes, cancellations, etc.
D. 
Towing companies are required to purchase and maintain comprehensive general liability insurance, comprehensive automobile liability insurance, and worker's compensation insurance with limits of not less than those set forth below. Failure to provide and continue in force such insurance as required below shall be deemed a material breach of agreement and shall result in immediate termination of any agreement for towing services.
(1) 
Comprehensive general liability insurance. The limits of liability shall be not less than $500,000 for combined single limits (bodily injury and property damage) per occurrence and aggregate, including premises, operations and products/completed operations.
(2) 
Automobile liability insurance. The limits of liability shall be not less than $500,000 for combined single limits (bodily injury and property damage) per occurrence. Note: Liability insurance policies shall be specifically endorsed to provide collision insurance for vehicles in tow.
(3) 
Worker's compensation insurance. Statutory coverage including liability coverage with a limit of at least $100,000. Excess umbrellas in the amount of $1,000,000 giving protection in excess of $500,000; general and automobile liability coverage.

§ 289-11 Violations and penalties.

[Added 2-13-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-2]
Violations of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty.

§ 289-12 Removal of vehicles constituting public safety risk.

[Added 9-23-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-24]
Vehicles deemed by the Newton Police Department to constitute a risk to public safety, which may include vehicles which are inoperable or not currently registered, shall be ordered towed by any sworn member of the Newton Police Department, after reasonable written notice is provided to the owner on record with the Department of Motor Vehicles, with reasonable costs to be paid by the vehicle's owner.