Borough of Norwood, NJ
Bergen County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Norwood by Ord. No. 86-0-27 (Sec. 4-5 of the Revised General Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Parking on snow-covered roads — See Ch. 222, § 222-10.

§ 215-1 Purpose.

In order to protect the property of and persons who operate a motor vehicle in the Borough of Norwood as well as to further promote the free flow of traffic in the Borough, it is desirable and necessary to adopt this chapter to ensure proper licensing, availability and other controls over persons and firms providing wrecker services at police request.

§ 215-2 License required.

No person may engage in municipal towing at police request without first obtaining a license therefor as provided by this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall apply to persons who operate a wrecker or tow truck that picks up disabled vehicles outside the Borough limits and are in the course of taking such vehicles to a garage or other location, either within or without the Borough, nor to wreckers or tow trucks whose services are specifically requested by the driver or owner of a disabled vehicle.

§ 215-3 Contents of application for permit.

Any person, corporation or business firm with its place of business within the Borough who desires to perform towing work at police request shall submit an application for a towing license on forms furnished by the Borough Clerk to the Chief of Police. The application shall state:
A. 
The full name and address of the applicant. If the application is made for a corporation, it shall state the corporation's registered office and its registered agent.
B. 
The year, make and type of each wrecker used in said business, its serial number, registration number and registered owner.
C. 
The address where the wrecker or tow truck shall be regularly garaged, the telephone numbers available on a twenty-four-hour per day basis and the names of all operators, their addresses and their New Jersey motor vehicle license numbers.
D. 
The location, size and security features of the storage lot on which towed vehicles will be stored.
E. 
The name and address of the insurance carriers and agents and the policy numbers of garage keepers and garage liability insurance policies.
F. 
A statement of willingness to be available 24 hours a day, each day of the year, and to abide by the fees set forth herein.

§ 215-4 Investigation.

After receiving a letter of application for a towing license, the Chief of Police shall conduct or cause to be conducted an investigation to determine the truth and accuracy of all the information contained in the application, whether the applicant and all employees are fit and proper persons to conduct the proposed business, whether the applicant has demonstrated, by his equipment capacity, the location of the business and the location to which requests will be directed during on-call hours, the ability to respond to calls 24 hours a day and whether such ability to respond is sufficient to provide a response to any location within the Borough of Norwood within 15 minutes of request made by the Police Department of the Borough of Norwood. Upon completion of his investigation, the Chief of Police shall forward a copy of the letter of application for a towing license to the Borough Council, along with a recommendation for approval or disapproval of the license and the reasons, if any, for disapproval. Upon receipt of the application, the Borough Council shall determine whether or not the applicant has complied with all the necessary standards and criteria, and if it shall so find, the license shall be issued to the applicant, and the applicants name shall be placed at the end of the towing list.

§ 215-5 Issuance of license; fee.

[Amended 12-5-2000 by Ord. No. 00:17]
The Borough Clerk shall promptly notify the applicant of the approval of his application and shall issue the license. The license shall contain the following information: name and address of the licensee, number of the license and amount of fee paid, date of issuance of the license and expiration date, the signature of the Borough Clerk and the Seal of the Borough. All licenses shall expire on December 31 of the year issued. The Borough Clerk shall keep a copy of the license for filing and maintain a permanent record of all licenses issued. The license fee for the license issued under this chapter shall be $50 per year.

§ 215-6 Revocation of license; transferability.

[Amended by Ord. No. 91-0-14]
A. 
The Borough Council may terminate a license under the following circumstances:
(1) 
When it is found that the license was secured by fraud or the concealment of a material fact by the applicant, which fact, if known, would have caused the refusal to issue the license.
(2) 
When it is found that the applicant has violated any of the requirements or regulations established by the Chief of Police or any of his employees.
(3) 
When the Borough is not satisfied with the general services of the owner and/or employees or with the cooperation it has received in rendering service.
B. 
A license issued to a person or business firm under this chapter shall not be transferable.
C. 
The Borough Council shall notify the licensee in writing that it intends to revoke the license. This written notice shall be served by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall specify the reasons why the Borough Council intends to revoke the license. The licensee may request a hearing on the charges by requesting same in writing within seven days of its receipt of the notice of revocation. Thereafter, the Borough Council shall conduct a hearing not later than 21 days after it receives the licensee's request for said hearing. The Borough Council can continue the hearing from time to time to hear additional evidence. Upon the close of the hearing, the Borough Council shall notify the licensee of its final decision as to revocation of the license.

§ 215-7 Certificate of liability.

No towing license shall be issued under this chapter until the applicant has provided the following:
A. 
Garage-keeper's policy. A certificate of full garage-keeper's legal liability coverage, including fire, theft, collision and comprehensive, including vandalism and malicious mischief in the minimum amount of $50,000 with each vehicle damaged deemed a separate claim.
B. 
Garage liability policy.
(1) 
A certificate of liability and property damage insurance covering the operation of the applicant's business, equipment or other vehicles shall be in the minimum amount of $500,000 single-limit coverage and an additional $100,000 for all damage arising from injury to or destruction of property.
(2) 
Every policy required under this chapter must contain an endorsement by the insurance carrier providing 30 days' notice to both the Borough of Norwood and the licensee in the event of any change of coverage under the policy or cancellation thereof.
(3) 
In the event the policy is changed so that it fails to conform with any of the above requirements or if the policy of any licensee is canceled for any reason, the Chief of Police shall notify the person responsible for the policy, and it shall be corrected or reinstated or replaced with a conforming policy within 10 days after notice is received and before the date of cancellation, and in no event will any license be valid after cancellation of such policy. If the policy or certificate is not corrected, reinstated or replaced within the required time, the Chief of Police shall immediately suspend the towing license and immediately remove the name of the licensed wrecker from the towing list.
C. 
The owner or applicant shall assume all liability and shall indemnify and save the Borough, its subdivisions, departments, agents and employees harmless from damages sustained by vehicles while being towed or stored and from all personal injuries occurring to any of the firms' employees or any other persons as a result of towing and storage or activities related to the towing and storage under this chapter.
D. 
A hold harmless agreement executed on behalf of the applicant.
[Amended 10-5-2004 by Ord. No. 04:16]

§ 215-8 Equipment.

[Amended 4-1-2003 by Ord. No. 03:03]
Each wrecker or tow truck must meet all of the requirements of N.J.S.A. 39:1-1 et seq. and must have a lifting capacity of at least four tons. In addition, each wrecker must have the following equipment:
A. 
One large broom and shovel.
B. 
At least one set of dolly wheels.
C. 
Steering wheel lock for towing vehicles from the rear.
D. 
Tow sling type tow bar to prevent any part of crane metal from touching towed vehicles.
E. 
Emergency warning lights.
F. 
Portable safety lights to be installed on rear of towed vehicle, if necessary.
G. 
Safety flares for night work.

§ 215-9 Maintenance of list; choice of tower.

The Chief of Police shall maintain a monthly revolving list of licensed wreckers to provide service where needed and shall instruct all officers to utilize said list. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed so as to prevent any owner or operator of a motor vehicle from calling any tower or wrecker of his own choice. It is specifically permitted for the Chief of Police or his designee to call a wrecker out of sequence or seek the services of a nonlicensed wrecker if the nature of the wreck requires specialized equipment or if the proximity to the wreck or estimated response time makes it practical to do so. No wrecker or person shall respond to the scene of an accident, except upon notification by the Police Department or upon the request of the driver or owner of the disabled vehicle. In the event that the firm that is on call fails to respond within 15 minutes of notification or is for any reason unavailable, the next service in line on the towing list shall be called upon. An unexcused failure to respond shall be grounds for removal from the towing list.

§ 215-10 Storage of towed vehicles.

All vehicles towed at the request of the Police Department must be removed to a place within the Borough or a mile radius outside the Borough unless the owner or operator of the vehicle specifically requests that it be towed to a place outside the Borough limits or to a location approved by the Chief of Police of the Borough of Norwood. The towing firm must provide a safe area for the storage of towed vehicles. This area shall be screened and protected by a fence no less than six feet in height and no greater than eight feet high, having a gate with padlock assembly. The fenced-in area used for the storage of towed vehicles shall be illuminated. The fencing and illumination measures are to provide adequate security for the towed and stored vehicles and to prevent unsightliness.

§ 215-11 Responsibilities of licensee.

By making application to be utilized as a tower or wrecker by the Police Department and by accepting such employment, the person or firm agrees to:
A. 
Provide a prompt response to each call.
B. 
Clean all debris at the accident site emanating from the accident.
C. 
Provide the Police Department with the following information on vehicles unclaimed for over 30 days:
(1) 
Year, make, color and vehicle identification number.
(2) 
Owner's name and address, if available.
D. 
Maintain a ledger of all towing or wrecking jobs handled, the name of the owner or operator, if known, the charges made for the service and the date and amount of payment.
E. 
Comply with all other terms and conditions of this chapter.
F. 
Comply with all motor vehicle rules and regulations found in N.J.S.A. 39:1-1 et seq.

§ 215-12 Towing and storage rates.

[Amended by Ord. No. 91-0-14; 4-1-2003 by Ord. No. 03:03; 10-5-2004 by Ord. No. 04:16]
A. 
The following fees may be charged by authorized contractors:
(1) 
Towing, flatbed or regular tow to garage, passenger cars, small vans and pickups: $110.
[Amended 12-12-2012 by Ord. No. 12:11]
(2) 
Towing, flatbed or regular tow to garage, motorcycles, mopeds and trail bikes: $110.
[Amended 12-12-2012 by Ord. No. 12:11]
(3) 
Service calls during regular business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.: $50.
[Amended 12-12-2012 by Ord. No. 12:11]
(4) 
Service calls after hours, Sundays and holidays: $75.
[Amended 12-12-2012 by Ord. No. 12:11]
(5) 
Service call (flat tires, remove tire and replace with serviceable spare) add to above rates: $15.
(6) 
Vehicle storage, inside or outside per day: $40.
[Amended 12-12-2012 by Ord. No. 12:11]
(a) 
No storage charge for the first day of towing.
(b) 
No charge for storage of mopeds and trail bikes for the first two days.
(7) 
Additional charges may be added at the rate of $70 per hour due to unreasonable delays or unusual difficulties encountered at the scene.
(8) 
Vehicles will be released during normal business hours only.
B. 
Fees for all other types of vehicles shall be determined in accordance with this subsection:
NOTE: Class 1 vehicles are all vehicles 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight to 16,000 pounds gross vehicle weight; Class 2 vehicles are all vehicles 16,000 pounds gross vehicle weight to 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
(1) 
The following is the fee schedule for towing services:
(a) 
Days.
Service Class 1 Class 2
Standard tow $100.00 $150.00
Wheel lift $125.00 $175.00
Flatbed $150.00 $200.00
(b) 
Nights.
Service Class 1 Class 2
Standard tow $125.00 $175.00
Wheel lift $150.00 $200.00
Flatbed $175.00 $225.00
(2) 
The following is the fee schedule for storage services:
(a) 
Inside building.
Storage Facility Capacity Class 1 Class 2
21 or more spaces $25.00 $50.00
10-20 spaces $25.00 $50.00
(b) 
Outside building.
Storage Facility Capacity Class 1 Class 2
21 or more spaces $25.00 $50.00
10-20 spaces $25.00 $50.00
(3) 
The fees for nonpassenger vehicles in this section are the maximum charges that shall apply for basic towing services. The official towers, however, shall be allowed for winching and wrecking services over and above the basic towing services an additional $50.00 per hour for light-duty wrecker, $100 per hour for medium-duty wrecker and $150 per hour for heavy-duty wrecker. There shall be no additional charges for any other services, including but not limited to waiting time, cleanup costs and additional labor when only basic towing services, as defined, are provided.
C. 
The fees set forth in Subsections A and B of this section for towing rates are the maximum charges that shall apply to basic towing services. There shall be no additional charges other than those provided herein, including, but not limited to, flatbedding, waiting time, winching, cleanup cost and additional labor when only basic towing services as defined are provided. The official towers, however, shall be allowed to charge for services other than basic towing services, as defined in this section, the sum of $25 per hour for any additional winching services required over and above the basic towing services when removing a 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.