Township of Little Falls, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Little Falls as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. I.
Traffic — See Ch. 7.
Fees — See Ch. 71.
Article I Light Towing

§ 249-1 Jurisdiction.

§ 249-2 Selection of towing services.

§ 249-3 Selection process for Township tow provider's license.

§ 249-4 Application requirements.

§ 249-5 Application fee; licensing fee.

§ 249-6 Licensing; review by Chief of Police.

§ 249-7 Rotation schedule.

§ 249-8 Suspension and removal from licensee rotational list; appeal.

§ 249-9 Towing rates.

§ 249-10 Storage; fees; reflective vests; cruising at scenes.

§ 249-11 Winching.

§ 249-12 Payment for towing.

§ 249-13 Inquiries from motorists.

§ 249-14 Enforcement.

§ 249-15 Copies of fees and regulations made available to public; additional fees.

§ 249-16 Violations and penalties.

Article II Heavy Towing

§ 249-17 Recitals.

§ 249-18 General provisions.

§ 249-19 Selection of heavy towing services.

§ 249-20 Selection process for Township heavy tow provider's license.

§ 249-21 Application requirements.

§ 249-22 Application fee; licensing fee.

§ 249-23 Licensing; review by Chief of Police.

§ 249-24 Rotation schedule.

§ 249-25 Suspension and removal from licensee rotational list; appeal.

§ 249-26 Heavy towing rates.

§ 249-27 Storage; fees; reflective vests; cruising at scenes.

§ 249-28 Winching.

§ 249-29 Payment for towing.

§ 249-30 Inquiries from motorists.

§ 249-31 Enforcement.

§ 249-32 Copies of fees and regulations made available to public; additional fees.

§ 249-33 Certified scales required.

§ 249-34 Heavy vehicle recovery of 12,000 pounds or more.

§ 249-35 Violations and penalties.

[Adopted 10-28-2013 by Ord. No. 1181[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 249, Towing, adopted 5-10-2010 by Ord. No. 1091.

§ 249-1 Jurisdiction.

This article shall regulate towing and storage services originating in the Township of Little Falls (the "Township" or "Little Falls") with respect to motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of less than 12,000 pounds.

§ 249-2 Selection of towing services.

A. 
Any owner of a vehicle requiring towing services originating in the Township shall have the right to select a tower of his own choice and at his own expense unless:
(1) 
The condition or location of the vehicle, in the opinion of the Little Falls Police Department, creates a hazard or an impediment to the flow of traffic;
(2) 
The owner or operator of the vehicle is unable to or unwilling to select a tower of his own choosing, including, without limitation, circumstances under which the owner or operator of the vehicle has been placed under arrest or is otherwise incapacitated or impaired;
(3) 
In the opinion of the Little Falls Police Department, the vehicle is an abandoned or a recovered stolen vehicle, a trespass has occurred, or where a tow is necessary to secure and preserve evidence.
B. 
In such cases, the Little Falls Police Department may summon an emergency tow provider to remove the vehicle, at the expense of the owner or driver, and store it at its storage facility. In any instance, however, in which the tow provider is summoned by the Little Falls Police Department, it shall be done pursuant to the provisions of this article, under the authority provided by N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.49 et seq.

§ 249-3 Selection process for Township tow provider's license.

A. 
On November 1 (or first following weekday if November 1 falls on a weekend) of every even year beginning in 2014, the Township Clerk shall accept applications from towing companies seeking to be licensed as an official towing company for the Township ("licensee"). License application forms shall be made available by October 1 for pickup at the Township Municipal Building. Submitted applications shall contain the information as set forth and required herein and by § 249-4 of this article. Applicants submitting incomplete applications shall not be considered for selection. Applications may be submitted during normal business hours (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) to the Township Clerk at the Township Municipal Building. Applications must be received by close of business day on November 30 (or first following weekday if November 30 falls on a weekend).
[Amended 10-20-2014 by Ord. No. 1202]
B. 
Applications shall be reviewed for completeness by the Police Chief (for purposes of this article, all references to the Police Chief shall mean the Police Chief or his or her designee) and/or Township Clerk by December 10 of each applicable licensee selection year. Application fees must accompany submitted applications to be deemed complete. See § 249-5. The Township and its employees, officials and agents, in connection with the review, processing and approval of any application for licensure under this article shall have the discretion to waive any immaterial defect with respect to any such application, in a manner on par with and consistent with applicable statutory and common procurement law governing a contracting unit's discretion to waive immaterial defects in connection with the public bidding and procurement process.
[Amended 10-20-2014 by Ord. No. 1202]
C. 
The Police Chief shall review all applications that have been timely submitted. Only applicants who have submitted compete applications (with the requisite application fee) and who meet all of the eligibility criteria set forth in Subsection E below shall be considered for licensure. No more than four towing companies shall be licensed by the Township. The Police Chief shall conduct his review and shall recommend either approval or denial of the application(s) within 14 days of the application close date. Approved applicants shall be deemed the Township's licensees by the Township Council for the following two years beginning January 1 and shall be duly licensed, provided that the designees have met and continue to meet all the requirements of this article and for licensure.
D. 
In the event that the number of applicants exceeds the four available openings, a selection lottery shall be held by the Township Clerk. Only applicants who have submitted complete applications (with the requisite application fee) and who meet all of the eligibility criteria set forth in Subsection E below shall be eligible for participation in the selection lottery. The selection lottery shall occur on December 10 (or the first following weekday if December 10 falls on a weekend). Under the lottery, each applicant shall be randomly assigned a number consistent with the number of applicants. The four lowest numbers randomly selected shall be deemed the winning designees. Replacement designees will be selected as needed based on the numbers drawn in the lottery in the event a winning designee is disqualified for any reason following the lottery. The winning designees under the lottery shall be deemed the Township's Licensees by the Township Council for the following two years beginning January 1 and shall be duly licensed, provided that the designees have met and continue to meet all the requirements of this article and for licensure.
E. 
In order to be considered for selection as a licensee, towing companies must meet the following eligibility criteria (in addition to other requirements as set forth herein):
(1) 
Guarantee a maximum 20 minutes' response time.
(2) 
Be available on a seven-day-per-week, three-hundred-sixty-five-day-per-year basis.
(3) 
Provide, at the towing company's own expense, cellular telephone communication with the Little Falls Police Department.
(4) 
Have adequate storage space either in the Township or within a four-mile radius of 225 Main Street, Little Falls, New Jersey, that shall:
(a) 
Be fully enclosed with a fence (minimally capable of holding six vehicles or 1,080 square feet) and secured from pilferage or damage;
(b) 
Permit the inside storage of at least two vehicles at any given time;
(c) 
Be adequately illuminated during hours of darkness; and
(d) 
Be completely free of garbage, debris, automotive parts, or other tripping hazards.
(5) 
Provide for the reasonable cleanup of an accident scene, which shall include sweeping glass from the roadway and the removal of other accident-related debris as described in N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.8. The cleanup fee as set forth in § 249-9 shall be divided equally among the towed vehicles involved in the collision. The debris shall not be placed into the towed vehicle.
(6) 
Have at its immediate disposal a minimum of three towing trucks within a four-mile radius of 225 Main Street, Little Falls, New Jersey, with sufficient personnel to be able to comply with the twenty-minute maximum response time required by this article.
(7) 
Own or have immediate access to a flatbed tow truck with sufficient personnel to be able to comply with the twenty-minute maximum response time required by this article.
(8) 
Provide a certificate of insurance from a financially stable insurance carrier possessing an A.M. Best Company rating of not less than "A." Said certificate of insurance must further evidence that the following insurance coverage is valid and in effect for the specified contract period:
(a) 
Commercial automobile liability insurance with $1,000,000 comprehensive single limit of liability.
(b) 
Garage keeper's liability with limits of $150,000 per storage location.
(c) 
Workers' compensation insurance with the mandatory limits of coverage required by New Jersey statute.
(d) 
Endorsements naming the Township of Little Falls as an additional insured and further indicating that the insurance coverage shall not be canceled without a minimum of 15 days' prior notice to the Township.
(9) 
Comply with the criminal history check and certified driver history record abstract requirements of this article.

§ 249-4 Application requirements.

A. 
Every applicant for a license under this article shall complete, sign and verify a written application, in duplicate, on forms furnished by the Township Clerk.
B. 
The application shall state:
(1) 
Name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
Residence address and full local address, if any, of the applicant.
(3) 
Serial number and registration for each vehicle to be operated by the applicant.
(4) 
Location of storage area for wreckers and cars and the amount of available space for storage of towed cars.
(5) 
Policies or certificates of insurance coverage as herein provided.
(6) 
Consent to appointment of the Township Clerk as the applicant's true and lawful attorney for the purpose of acknowledging service out of any court of competent jurisdiction to be served against the applicant.
(7) 
Agreement to be available for service on business premises a minimum of 12 hours a day and to abide by the fees provided for by this article.
(8) 
Names and addresses of two business references.
(9) 
Sketch plan showing the location of the storage area, the number of cars that can be stored, and the total square footage area of the outside secured storage area.
(10) 
Proof of ownership or lease of the outside secured storage area.
(11) 
Proof of ownership, lease or other written agreement demonstrating availability of the vehicles which will be utilized to provide services pursuant to this article.
(12) 
Agreement to indemnify and hold the Township, its officers, agents, and employees harmless from any and all liabilities, claims, costs, penalties, fines, and attorney's fees rising out of the towing, wrecking, storage and/or emergency services provided by the tow vendor at the request of the Township pursuant to this article.
(13) 
Full list of the names of all employees working at the towage facility, including all drivers of towing vehicles.
(14) 
Responses to any other reasonable inquiries required by the Police Chief with regard to fitness as a licensee.

§ 249-5 Application fee; licensing fee.

A. 
The Township shall require an application fee of $500 payable to the Township for processing of the license application. The application fee is nonrefundable.
B. 
The Township shall require a license fee of $250 payable to the Township for licensure. The license fee shall be due upon notice from the Police Chief following the submission of satisfactory criminal history checks and driving abstracts.

§ 249-6 Licensing; review by Chief of Police.

A. 
The Township shall issue licenses to its licensees. Licenses shall be valid for two years.
B. 
Licenses are the property of the Township and may not under any circumstances be assigned, leased, shared, transferred or sold to another person, corporation or proprietorship.
C. 
All prospective licensees and every towing company employee involved in the towing or storage of towed vehicles, or who will have access to towed vehicles, shall arrange for a fingerprint criminal history check to be conducted by MorphoTrak (which is a private company under contract with the New Jersey State Police) or such successor entity which is designated by the New Jersey State Police, with the results to be provided directly by MorphoTrak to the Township of Little Falls, 225 Main Street, Little Falls, NJ 07424 by completing MorphoTrak Form D, which can be obtained from the New Jersey State Police or online at http://www.nj.gov/njsp/info/pdf/092509_universformd.pdf.
D. 
All prospective licensees and every towing company employee involved in the towing of vehicles shall provide a certified driver history record abstract from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to the Little Falls Police Department.
E. 
The Police Chief shall recommend the issuance of a license when he finds that:
(1) 
The public convenience and necessity require the proposed wrecker service for which the application has been submitted.
(2) 
The applicant and all its employees are fit and proper persons to conduct or work in the proposed business.
(3) 
The applicant's towing facility, proposed storage area, vehicles and equipment area meet the Township's requirements.
(4) 
The application submitted by the applicant complies with the requirements of this article and all other applicable ordinances of the Township.
F. 
No license shall issue to prospective licensees prior to the payment of the licensing fee of $250.
G. 
The Township shall issue license stickers to licensees to be applied to all of its towing vehicles.

§ 249-7 Rotation schedule.

A. 
The rotation of licensees shall be as follows, subject to modification by the Police Chief or his designee:
(1) 
Licensees shall be placed on a rotation list in alphabetical order by business name. A licensee shall remain at the top of the list for a period of two weeks, at the end of which the next alphabetically listed licensee shall serve. The two-week rotation schedule shall be implemented throughout the two-year license period. The rotating schedule of licensees shall be posted at police headquarters. A licensee that wishes to change its assigned rotation due to vacation or conflict may do so with the consent of the Chief of Police or his designee.
(2) 
In the event that a licensee refuses a call for service or is unable to perform a call for service within the allotted twenty-minute ordinance requirement, that towing company shall move to the bottom of the list and the next licensee on the rotation list shall be called. A one-time refusal or inability to service a call shall not affect the two-week rotation schedule.
(3) 
A licensee that fails to respond to a call for service in the manner prescribed under this article may be suspended from the rotation in accordance with § 249-8 herein.
B. 
The selection process described herein shall be operative where the tow provider is summoned by the Little Falls Police Department.

§ 249-8 Suspension and removal from licensee rotational list; appeal.

A. 
The Police Chief shall have the authority to suspend a licensee from the tow providers' rotational list for a period of up to 30 calendar days for failure to comply with any of the requirements of this article. For a subsequent failure to comply with any of the requirements of this article, the Police Chief may remove the licensee from the rotational list for a twelve-month period.
B. 
A licensee may appeal the suspension or removal from the tow providers' rotational list by filing a notice of appeal with the Township Clerk within 10 business days of the Police Chief's decision.
C. 
A hearing shall be held by the Mayor and Township Council within 30 days of filing the appeal.
D. 
The Mayor and Township Council shall render its determination within 20 days following the conclusion of the hearing. The Mayor and Township Council's determination shall be final and conclusive.

§ 249-9 Towing rates.

Towing rates are as set forth in Chapter 71, Fees. Towing rates are subject to modification by way of resolution of the Township Council and shall be on record with the Clerk of the Township.

§ 249-10 Storage; fees; reflective vests; cruising at scenes.

A. 
Each licensee shall be available to the public for the release of stored vehicles at a minimum:
(1) 
Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
(2) 
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
B. 
Storage fees shall not be charged on a Sunday and a holiday where the licensee is unavailable to release the towed vehicle.
C. 
The storage rate shall be as set forth in Chapter 71, Fees: $40 per day in twenty-four-hour increments, starting at the time the vehicle is towed, or $1 per hour part thereof.
D. 
All employees of licensees must wear reflective safety vests when out of the tow truck as specified by current standards/statutes.
E. 
Licensees are prohibited from cruising or showing up at scenes without being called by the Police Department.

§ 249-11 Winching.

A. 
Each licensee shall have the ability to provide recovery and winching services. Recovery services are those services that require the recovery of an automobile from a position beyond the right-of-way or berm or from being impaled upon any other object within the right-of-way or berm by several actions that include, but are not limited to, winching and rigging.
B. 
Under no circumstances shall a winching or recovery fee be charged because a vehicle was dragged onto a flatbed tow vehicle.

§ 249-12 Payment for towing.

A. 
The owner and/or driver of the vehicle that has been towed shall be responsible for the payment of all towing and storage fees.
B. 
Licensees shall have the ability to accept cash or credit cards and shall furnish receipts upon request, including transactions on scene.

§ 249-13 Inquiries from motorists.

A. 
In any instance in which a motorist makes an inquiry of the Little Falls Police Department concerning towing services, the Little Falls Police Department shall advise the motorist of the name and address of the scheduled licensee currently in rotation, and except as provided in § 249-2 where the police shall have the right to summon a tow service, the police officer shall advise the motorist that he may select any tower of his own choice and at his own expense.
B. 
If requested to remove a vehicle out of the lane of travel so that a motorist could utilize his/her own towing service, the maximum allowable charge shall be as set forth in Chapter 71, Fees, and the licensee shall tow the vehicle to a safe location as determined by the on-scene police officer.
C. 
In the event a tow is requested by a motorist through the Little Falls Police Department to a location outside of the Township from the scene subject to the availability of the on-rotation licensee, the maximum rate that can be charged is $3 per mile, in addition to the tow charge.

§ 249-14 Enforcement.

The Police Chief or his designee is hereby authorized to enforce all provisions of this article in accordance with due process of law.

§ 249-15 Copies of fees and regulations made available to public; additional fees.

A. 
A copy of this article and current fee schedule shall be available to the public at the office of the Township Clerk during normal business hours.
B. 
No other fees or charges that are not specifically listed under § 249-9 shall be charged.

§ 249-16 Violations and penalties.

Any person violating the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction, be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I.
[Adopted 10-28-2013 by Ord. No. 1182[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was adopted as Ch. 250 but was redesignated as Ch. 249, Art. II, to keep towing provisions together in one chapter.

§ 249-17 Recitals.

The recitals hereto are hereby incorporated herein as if set forth at length.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: A copy of the entire ordinance is on file in the Township offices.

§ 249-18 General provisions.

A. 
Scope. This article shall regulate towing and storage services originating in the Township for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of or in excess of 12,000 pounds ("heavy vehicles").
B. 
Definitions. The following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them below, as follows:
ABSORBENT
A granulated or powdered substance used to soak up fluids used in the operation of motor vehicles. A bag or container of absorbent will be defined as weighing 50 pounds.
ADMINISTRATIVE CHARGES
Charges for postaccident services, including but not limited to services such as physical inspection, telephone and/or fax calls, removal of personal items, additional paperwork and more than three trips to the motor vehicle in storage.
BASIC ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP
The cleanup and removal of small quantities of fluids used in the operation of a motor vehicle which leak onto the ground.
BASIC TOW
Arriving at the site from which a motor vehicle will be towed, hooking a motor vehicle to or unloading a motor vehicle onto a tow truck, transporting a motor vehicle to a storage facility, unhooking or unloading a motor vehicle from a tow truck and situating the motor vehicle in the space in which it will be stored.
BASIC TOWING SERVICE
The towing of a vehicle or the removal and transportation of a vehicle from a highway, street or other public or private property.
CHIEF OF POLICE or POLICE CHIEF
The highest ranking sworn officer within the Little Falls Police Department, or his or her designee.
CRUISING
The operation of a tow truck within the Township of Little Falls to solicit vehicle towing, emergency road service and/or other related towing services unless in response to a police request.
DISABLED VEHICLE
A motor vehicle which has been abandoned or rendered inoperable by mechanical failure or accident. Any motor vehicle, operable or inoperable, which constitutes a hazard to the motoring public by its location shall be deemed disabled for the purposes of this article.
EMERGENCY ROAD REPAIR SERVICE
Repairs which may be performed at the location of a disabled vehicle, including, but not limited to, flat tire changing, jump-starting, gasoline deliveries, etc.
HEAVY-DUTY WRECKER
A tow truck with dual rear wheels and air brakes capable of towing and wheel-lifting large vehicles damage-free and which meets the following minimum requirements:
(1) 
Gross vehicle weight (GVW): 30,000 pounds.
(2) 
Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR): 80,000 pounds.
(3) 
Boom and winch rating: 40,000 pounds.
(4) 
Cable size: 5/8 inch.
(5) 
Cable length: 200 feet.
(6) 
Wheel lift retracted rating: 25,000 pounds.
(7) 
Wheel lift extended rating: 12,000 pounds.
HEAVY TOWING SERVICES
Shall be as defined in § 249-19 hereof.
HEAVY TOW PROVIDER
Shall be as defined in § 249-20A hereof.
HEAVY VEHICLES
Shall be as defined in § 249-18A hereof.
LICENSED WRECKER/TOW TRUCK
Any wrecker/tow vehicle licensed pursuant to the provisions of this article.
LICENSEE
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind that has been issued a license by the Township, pursuant to this article, to provide heavy towing services to the Township.
MOTOR VEHICLE
All vehicles propelled other than by muscular power, excepting such vehicles as run only upon rails and tracks and motorized bicycles, motorized scooters, motorized wheelchairs, and motorized skateboards.
OUTSIDE SECURED STORAGE FACILITY
Any motor vehicle storage facility that is not located within an enclosed structure and that conforms to the following minimum standards:
(1) 
The entire land area shall be enclosed by a fence of sturdy construction, a wall or other man-made barrier that is at least seven feet in height, with a minimum of one lockable gate for ingress and egress, in accordance with local zoning regulations.
(2) 
All entry points shall have a locking device.
(3) 
The area shall have adequate lighting to protect stored vehicles from vandalism.
(4) 
The towing operator shall submit proof that he owns or leases an area for storage minimally capable of holding six heavy vehicles or 3,000 square feet, within a twenty-minute response time to any call for towing or service within the Township of Little Falls. Said proof shall include the deed or deeds to the property or the leases to the same. The towing operator shall submit proof of local zoning compliance for use of the storage facility.
OWNER
A person, firm, corporation or partnership who owns and/or operates a motor vehicle on the roads and highways within the Township of Little Falls.
PERSON
Any natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
POLICE
The Township of Little Falls Police Department.
PRINCIPAL LOCATION
The licensed place of business of the towing operator. The towing operator shall maintain a place of business where trucks, in response to police requests, are normally kept. The impound area shall be located adjacent to, or be part of, the principal location and shall comply with the local zoning ordinances. The principal location must be open to the public, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, and the principal location shall contain a clean, comfortable waiting area with toilet facilities.
RECOVERY
The procedure in which the tow operator applies his knowledge in a skillful manner to preserve the condition of the motor vehicle while moving the vehicle to a towable position; can be achieved by several actions that may include but are not limited to winching and rigging.
ROADWAY CLEANUP
The sweeping and removal of all debris left on the roadway as a result of an accident or incident.
ROTATING LIST
The list of towers prepared by the Chief of Police from which, each week, the on-duty tower for the week is designated.
SITE CLEANUP
The use of absorbents to soak up any liquids from a motor vehicle at the site from which the motor vehicle will be towed and sweeping and removal of all debris left on the roadway as a result of an accident or incident.
STORAGE DAY
Any twenty-four-hour day or any portion thereof, with a new day beginning at 12:00 midnight.
STORAGE SERVICES
The storage and/or holding of vehicles indoors or outdoors by a licensee under the authority of this article.
TARPING
Covering a motor vehicle to prevent weather damage.
TOWING OPERATOR
A person, firm, corporation or partnership engaged in the business of providing towing, road service and storage services for motor vehicles.
VEHICLE
Every device in or upon or by which a person or property is or may be transported upon a highway, except devices moved by human power.
WAITING TIME
Additional time that a tow operator spends at the scene, other than the time required for the actual tow and/or recovery. Examples of waiting time may include but are not limited to emergency medical services (EMS) which must be performed and/or police investigations.
WINCHING
The process of moving a motor vehicle, by the use of chains, nylon slings or additional links of winch cable, from a position that is not accessible for direct hookup for towing a motor vehicle. Winching also includes recovering a motor vehicle that is not on the road and righting a motor vehicle that is on its side or upside down but does not include pulling a vehicle onto a flatbed tow truck.
WINDOW WRAP
Any material used to cover motor vehicle windows that have been damaged.
WRECKER/TOW TRUCK
A vehicle driven by mechanical power and employed for the purpose of towing, transporting, conveying, recovering or removing any and all kinds of motor vehicles which are unable to be and actually are not operated under their own power from the place where they are disabled to some other place or any vehicle(s) which the Police Department has ordered to be impounded. A tow vehicle must be manufactured by a tow truck manufacturer that is nationally recognized by the towing industry.
YARD CHARGE
A charge for a motor vehicle, towed into the storage facility of the licensed tower, that is inoperable and must be towed from the licensed tower's storage facility to a public street for towing by a secondary tower.

§ 249-19 Selection of heavy towing services.

A. 
Any owner of a heavy vehicle requiring towing services originating in the Township ("heavy towing services") shall have the right to select a heavy tow provider of his own choice and at his own expense unless:
(1) 
The condition or location of the heavy vehicle, in the opinion of the Little Falls Police Department, creates a hazard or an impediment to the flow of traffic;
(2) 
The owner or operator of the heavy vehicle is unable to or unwilling to select a heavy tow provider of his own choosing, including, without limitation, circumstances under which the owner or operator of the heavy vehicle has been placed under arrest or is otherwise incapacitated or impaired;
(3) 
In the opinion of the Little Falls Police Department, the heavy vehicle is an abandoned or a recovered stolen vehicle, a trespass has occurred, or a tow is necessary to secure and preserve evidence.
B. 
In such cases, the Little Falls Police Department may summon an emergency heavy tow provider to remove the heavy vehicle, at the expense of the owner or driver, and store it at its storage facility. In any instance, however, in which the heavy tow provider is summoned by the Little Falls Police Department, it shall be done pursuant to the provisions of this article, under the authority provided by N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.49 et seq.

§ 249-20 Selection process for Township heavy tow provider's license.

A. 
On November 1 (or first following weekday if November 1 falls on a weekend) of every even year beginning in 2014, the Township Clerk shall accept applications from towing companies seeking to be licensed as an official heavy tow provider for the Township ("heavy tow provider" or "licensee"). License application forms shall be made available by October 1 for pickup at the Township Municipal Building. Submitted applications shall contain the information as set forth and required herein and by § 249-21 of this article. Applicants submitting incomplete applications shall not be considered for selection. Applications may be submitted during normal business hours (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) to the Township Clerk at the Township Municipal Building. Applications must be received by close of business day on November 30 (or first following weekday if November 30 falls on a weekend).
[Amended 10-20-2014 by Ord. No. 1202]
B. 
Applications shall be reviewed for completeness by the Police Chief and/or Township Clerk by December 10 of each applicable licensee selection year. Application fees must accompany submitted applications to be deemed complete. See § 249-22. The Township and its employees, officials and agents, in connection with the review, processing and approval of any application for licensure under this article, shall have the discretion to waive any immaterial defect with respect to any such application, in a manner on par with and consistent with applicable statutory and common procurement law governing a contracting unit's discretion to waive immaterial defects in connection with the public bidding and procurement process.
[Amended 10-20-2014 by Ord. No. 1202]
C. 
The Police Chief shall review all applications that have been timely submitted. Only applicants who have submitted compete applications (with the requisite application fee) and who meet all of the eligibility criteria set forth in Subsection E below shall be considered for licensure. No more than four heavy tow providers shall be licensed by the Township. The Police Chief shall conduct his review and shall recommend either approval or denial of the application(s) within 14 days of the application close date. Approved applicants shall be deemed the Township's Licensees by the Township Council for the following two years beginning January 1 and shall be duly licensed, provided that the designees have met and continue to meet all the requirements of this article for licensure.
D. 
In the event that the number of applicants exceeds the four available openings, a selection lottery shall be held by the Township Clerk. Only applicants who have submitted complete applications (with the requisite application fee) and who meet all of the eligibility criteria set forth in Subsection E below shall be eligible for participation in the selection lottery. The selection lottery shall occur on December 10 (or the first following weekday if December 10 falls on a weekend). Under the lottery, each applicant shall be randomly assigned a number consistent with the number of applicants. The four lowest numbers randomly selected shall be deemed the winning designees. Replacement designees will be selected as needed based on the numbers drawn in the lottery in the event a winning designee is disqualified for any reason following the lottery. The winning designees under the lottery shall be deemed the Township's licensees by the Township Council for the following two years beginning January 1 and shall be duly licensed, provided that the designees have met continue to meet all the requirements of this article and for licensure.
E. 
In order to be considered for selection as a licensee, heavy tow providers must meet the following eligibility criteria (in addition to other requirements as set forth herein):
(1) 
Guarantee a maximum 20 minutes' response time.
(2) 
Be available on a seven-day-per-week, three-hundred-sixty-five-day-per-year basis.
(3) 
Provide, at the towing company's own expense, cellular telephone communication with the Little Falls Police Department.
(4) 
Have adequate storage space either in the Township or within a four-mile radius of 225 Main Street, Little Falls, New Jersey, that shall:
(a) 
Be fully enclosed with a fence (minimally capable of holding six vehicles or 3,000 square feet) and secured from pilferage or damage with surveillance cameras;
(b) 
Permit the inside storage of at least two vehicles at any given time;
(c) 
Be adequately illuminated during hours of darkness; and
(d) 
Be completely free of garbage, debris, automotive parts, or other tripping hazards.
(5) 
Provide for the reasonable cleanup of an accident scene which shall include sweeping glass from the roadway and the removal of other accident-related debris as described in N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.8. The cleanup fee as set forth in § 249-26 shall be divided equally among the towed vehicles involved in the collision. The debris shall not be placed into the towed vehicle.
(6) 
Shall own a heavy-duty wrecker located within a four-mile radius of 225 Main Street, Little Falls, New Jersey, with sufficient personnel to be able to comply with the twenty-minute maximum response time required by this article.
(7) 
Provide a certificate of insurance from a financially stable insurance carrier possessing an A.M. Best Company rating of not less than "A." Said certificate of insurance must further evidence that the following insurance coverage is valid and in effect for the specified contract period:
(a) 
Commercial automobile liability insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000 for bodily injury per person, $3,000,000 for bodily injury per accident and $500,000 for property damage per accident.
(b) 
Garage keeper's liability in an amount not less than $500,000 per claimant and $1,000,000 for more than one claimant.
(c) 
Garage liability in an amount not less than $2,000,000 combined single limit.
(d) 
Comprehensive general liability insurance in an amount not less than $2,000,000.
(e) 
Excess or umbrella liability insurance in an amount not less than $2,000,000.
(f) 
Policies shall be endorsed to provide collision coverage for vehicles in tow.
(g) 
Workers' compensation insurance with the mandatory limits of coverage required by New Jersey statute.
(h) 
On all policies except workers' compensation, endorsements naming the Township of Little Falls as an additional insured, and further indicating that the insurance coverage shall not be canceled or revised without a minimum of 30 days' prior written notice to the Township.
(8) 
Comply with the criminal history check and certified driver history record abstract requirements of § 249-23 hereof.
(9) 
Comply with the certified scale requirements of § 249-33 hereof.

§ 249-21 Application requirements.

A. 
Every applicant for a license under this article shall complete, sign and verify a written application, in duplicate, on forms furnished by the Township Clerk.
B. 
The application shall state:
(1) 
Name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
Residence address and full local address, if any, of the applicant.
(3) 
Serial number and registration for each vehicle to be operated by the applicant.
(4) 
Location of storage area for wreckers and cars and the amount of available space for storage of towed cars.
(5) 
Policies or certificates of insurance coverage as herein provided.
(6) 
Consent to appointment of the Township Clerk as the applicant's true and lawful attorney for the purpose of acknowledging service out of any court of competent jurisdiction to be served against the applicant.
(7) 
Agreement to be available for service on business premises a minimum of 12 hours a day and to abide by the fees provided for by this article.
(8) 
Names and addresses of two business references.
(9) 
Sketch plan showing the location of the storage area, the number of heavy vehicles that can be stored, and the total square footage area of the outside secured storage area.
(10) 
Proof of ownership or lease of the outside secured storage area.
(11) 
Proof of ownership, lease or other written agreement demonstrating availability of the vehicles which will be utilized to provides services pursuant to this article.
(12) 
Agreement to indemnify and hold the Township, its officers, agents, and employees harmless from any and all liabilities, claims, costs, penalties, fines, and attorney's fees rising out of the towing, wrecking, storage and/or emergency services provided by the tow vendor at the request of the Township pursuant to this article.
(13) 
Full list of the names of all employees working at the towage facility, including all drivers of towing vehicles.
(14) 
Responses to any other reasonable inquiries required by the Police Chief with regard to fitness as a licensee.

§ 249-22 Application fee; licensing fee.

A. 
The Township shall require an application fee of $500 payable to the Township for processing of the license application. The application fee is nonrefundable. This application fee is in addition to any other fees required by this article.
B. 
The Township shall require a license fee of $250 payable to the Township for licensure. The license fee shall be due upon notice from the Police Chief following the submission of satisfactory criminal history checks and driving abstracts.

§ 249-23 Licensing; review by Chief of Police.

A. 
The Township shall issue licenses to its licensees. Licenses shall be valid for two years.
B. 
Licenses are the property of the Township and may not under any circumstances be assigned, leased, shared, transferred or sold to another person, corporation or proprietorship.
C. 
All prospective licensees and every towing company employee involved in the towing or storage of towed vehicles, or who will have access to towed vehicles, shall arrange for a fingerprint criminal history check to be conducted by MorphoTrak (which is a private company under contract with the New Jersey State Police) or such successor entity which is designated by the New Jersey State Police, with the results to be provided directly by MorphoTrak to the Township of Little Falls, 225 Main Street, Little Falls, NJ 07424, by completing MorphoTrak Form D, which can be obtained from the New Jersey State Police or online at http://www.nj.gov/njsp/info/pdf/092509_universformd.pdf.
D. 
All prospective licensees and every towing company employee involved in the towing of vehicles shall provide a certified driver history record abstract from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to the Little Falls Police Department.
E. 
The Police Chief shall recommend the issuance of a license when he finds that:
(1) 
The public convenience and necessity require the proposed wrecker service for which the application has been submitted.
(2) 
The applicant and all its employees are fit and proper persons to conduct or work in the proposed business.
(3) 
The applicant's towing facility, proposed storage area, vehicles and equipment area meet the Township's requirements.
(4) 
The application submitted by the applicant complies with the requirements of this article and all other applicable ordinances of the Township.
F. 
No license shall issue to prospective licensees prior to the payment of the licensing fee of $250.
G. 
The Township shall issue license stickers to licensees to be applied to all of its towing vehicles.

§ 249-24 Rotation schedule.

A. 
The rotation of licensees shall be as follows, subject to modification by the Police Chief or his designee:
(1) 
Licensees shall be placed on a rotation list in alphabetical order by business name. A licensee shall remain at the top of the list for a period of two weeks, at the end of which the next alphabetically listed licensee shall serve. The two-week rotation schedule shall be implemented throughout the two-year license period. The rotating schedule of licensees shall be posted at police headquarters. A licensee that wishes to change its assigned rotation due to vacation or conflict may do so with the consent of the Chief of Police or his designee.
(2) 
In the event that a licensee refuses a call for service or is unable to perform a call for service within the allotted twenty-minute ordinance requirement, that towing company shall move to the bottom of the list and the next licensee on the rotation list shall be called. A one-time refusal or inability to service a call shall not affect the two-week rotation schedule.
(3) 
A licensee that fails to respond to a call for service in the manner prescribed under this article, may be suspended from the rotation in accordance with § 249-25 herein.
B. 
The selection process described herein shall be operative where the tow provider is summoned by the Little Falls Police Department.

§ 249-25 Suspension and removal from licensee rotational list; appeal.

A. 
The Police Chief shall have the authority to suspend a licensee from the heavy tow providers' rotational list for a period of up to 30 calendar days for failure to comply with any of the requirements of this article. For a subsequent failure to comply with any of the requirements of this article, the Police Chief may remove the licensee from the rotational list for a twelve-month period.
B. 
A licensee may appeal the suspension or removal from the heavy tow providers' rotational list by filing a notice of appeal with the Township Clerk within 10 business days of the Police Chief's decision.
C. 
A hearing shall be held by the Mayor and Township Council within 30 days of filing the appeal.
D. 
The Mayor and Township Council shall render its determination within 20 days following the conclusion of the hearing. The Mayor and Township Council's determination shall be final and conclusive.

§ 249-26 Heavy towing rates.

Towing and storage rates are as set forth in Chapter 71, Fees. These rates are subject to modification by way of resolution of the Township Council and shall be on record with the Clerk of the Township.

§ 249-27 Storage; fees; reflective vests; cruising at scenes.

A. 
Each licensee shall be available to the public for the release of stored vehicles at a minimum:
(1) 
Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
(2) 
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
B. 
Storage fees shall not be charged on a Sunday and a holiday where the licensee is unavailable to release the towed vehicle.
C. 
The storage rate shall be as set forth in Chapter 71, Fees.
D. 
All employees of licensees must wear reflective safety vests when out of the tow truck as specified by current standards/statutes.
E. 
Licensees are prohibited from cruising or showing up at scenes without being called by the Police Department.

§ 249-28 Winching.

A. 
Each licensee shall have the ability to provide recovery and winching services. Recovery services are those services that require the recovery of a heavy vehicle from a position beyond the right-of-way or berm or from being impaled upon any other object within the right-of-way or berm by several actions that include, but are not limited to, winching and rigging.
B. 
Under no circumstances shall a winching or recovery fee be charged because a heavy vehicle was dragged onto a flatbed tow vehicle.

§ 249-29 Payment for towing.

A. 
The owner and/or driver of the heavy vehicle that has been towed shall be responsible for the payment of all towing and storage fees.
B. 
Licensees shall have the ability to accept cash or credit cards and shall furnish receipts upon request, including transactions on scene.

§ 249-30 Inquiries from motorists.

A. 
In any instance in which a motorist makes an inquiry of the Little Falls Police Department concerning heavy tow services, the Little Falls Police Department shall advise the motorist of the name and address of the scheduled licensee currently in rotation, and except as provided in § 249-19 hereof where the police shall have the right to summon a heavy tow service, the police officer shall advise the motorist that he may select any heavy tow provider of his own choice and at his own expense.
B. 
If requested to remove a vehicle out of the lane of travel so that a motorist could utilize his/her own heavy tow provider, the maximum allowable charge shall be as set forth in Chapter 71, Fees, and the licensee shall tow the heavy vehicle to a safe location as determined by the on-scene police officer.
C. 
In the event a tow is requested by a motorist through the Police Department to a location outside of the Township from the scene subject to the availability of the on-rotation licensee, the maximum rate that can be charged is $3 per mile, in addition to the tow charge.

§ 249-31 Enforcement.

The Police Chief or his designee is hereby authorized to enforce all provisions of this article in accordance with due process of law.

§ 249-32 Copies of fees and regulations made available to public; additional fees.

A. 
A copy of this article and current fee schedule shall be available to the public at the office of the Township Clerk during normal business hours.
B. 
No other fees or charges that are not specifically listed under this article or Chapter 71 of the Township Code shall be charged.

§ 249-33 Certified scales required.

A. 
All heavy-duty towing applicants shall i) have the ability to weigh vehicles on their premises as may be required at the request of the Little Falls Police Department or ii) have immediate access to scales within a four-mile radius of 225 Main Street, Little Falls, which meet the criteria delineated herein for this purpose.
B. 
The scales shall be certified, annually, by the State of New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures. A copy of the current certification must be included in the application packet. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the most current certification is forwarded to the Little Falls Police Chief on an annual basis.
C. 
Scale requirements. The scale shall, minimally, be required to provide certified weigh slips on vehicles:
(1) 
Under 100,000 pounds.
(2) 
Less than or equal to 70 feet in length; and
(3) 
Less than or equal to nine feet in width.

§ 249-34 Heavy vehicle recovery of 12,000 pounds or more.

A. 
To perform heavy vehicle recovery of 12,000 pounds or more, the Township requires that the licensee have on scene a recovery supervisor with a Level 3 certification from the Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA) or other nationally recognized certification.
B. 
To perform heavy vehicle recovery under this section, the licensee must:
(1) 
Visually document the recovery scene through photos or videotape.
(2) 
Prepare a written report of all procedures employed, actions taken, equipment used and manpower requirements to complete the recovery process in the safest manner and provide a copy to the heavy vehicle owner with the statement for services.
(3) 
Prepare an itemized billing invoice for all services rendered.
C. 
If the licensee finds it necessary, due to the nature of the recovery, to contract additional recovery services to supplement its equipment and manpower recovery, the contracted service providers must work under the supervision of the licensee. The licensee may not subcontract the entire recovery. In the event that the licensee is unable to handle the recovery, then the next heavy tow provider on the rotating list shall be called.

§ 249-35 Violations and penalties.

Any person violating the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction, be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter I, Article I, of the Township Code.