Township of Union, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Union 11-25-1975 by Ord. No. 3047 (Ch. 105 of the 1986 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Vehicles and traffic regulations — See Ch. 266.
Human-powered locomotion devices — See Ch. 362.
Motorcycles and similar vehicles — See Ch. 369.

§ 179-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BICYCLE
A device having two wheels, with tires 16 inches or more in diameter, connected by a frame of metal or wood and arranged to be propelled by human power. This definition does not apply to toy bicycles or velocipedes.

§ 179-2 Registration requirements.

A. 
No person residing in the Township of Union shall ride or propel a bicycle upon any street, public highway or other public property in the Township of Union in the County of Union without having first registered said bicycle with the Police Department in the manner herein provided and without having first attached to such bicycle a proper registration tag or decal, as also herein provided.
B. 
No person engaged in the business of renting bicycles for hire in the Township of Union shall rent or offer for rent any bicycle which has not been registered as herein provided and does not have attached thereto a valid registration tag or decal pursuant to this chapter.

§ 179-3 Application for registration; decals.

[Amended 2-22-1994 by Ord. No. 4294]
A. 
Application for a registration certificate and registration tag or decal, or for a transfer thereof, shall be made to the Police Department upon a form approved by the Township Committee and/or the Police Department and such authorized agents as may be designated by the aforementioned. Such application shall set forth the name and address of the owner, along with a description of the bicycle to include the name of the manufacturer, color, sex and serial number appearing on the frame of the bicycle. Applicants will be required to furnish proof of ownership of such bicycle or proof of prior registration thereof with the Township of Union. The Chief of Police is authorized to purchase and have on hand at all times an adequate supply of registration certificates and tags or decals to be issued as herein provided.
B. 
Upon receipt of the aforesaid application in proper form, and after investigation and determination that the person applying for such registration is entitled thereto, a registration certificate and tag or decal shall be issued to the applicant.
C. 
Bicycle license decals/registrations shall be valid for a period of 10 years from the date of application and automatically deleted from official Township files unless an application to renew said registration is received from the bicycle owner or said registrations have been affected pursuant to §§ 179-7, 179-8, 179-9, 179-12, 179-13, 179-14 and/or 179-18 of this chapter.

§ 179-4 Inspection; responsibility for maintenance.

The Police Department may cause an inspection to be made of each bicycle for which an application is made, under § 179-3 of this chapter, as to its safe mechanical condition and as to the ability of the applicant to operate the bicycle safely. Maintenance of a bicycle in proper mechanical condition shall be the sole responsibility of the owner.

§ 179-5 Form and content of certificates; bicycles without serial numbers.

A. 
Every registration certificate shall be numbered in sequence and shall set forth the name and address of the owner of the bicycle, the name of the manufacturer of said bicycle, the color, sex and serial number appearing on the frame of the bicycle. The tag or decal shall have upon the same the name of the Township of Union and an identification number, the size, color, configuration and numerical sequence which shall be approved by the Township Committee and/or the Police Department.
B. 
If for some reason a bicycle is without a serial number or is illegible for identification purposes, a number shall be stamped into the frame of the bicycle by the Police Department. Said number shall be determined by the Police Department to be used in the administration of this chapter and shall be considered the official serial number of the respective bicycle.

§ 179-6 Display of tags or decal.

The registration tag or decal shall be affixed to the frame of the bicycle on the seat tube, in an upright position, no less than six inches nor more than 12 inches below the top of said tube at the point where the seat is attached to said seat tube and facing to the front. Removal of any such tag or decal, except by authority of the Police Department, shall constitute a violation of this chapter.

§ 179-7 Purchases of new or secondhand bicycles; duties and responsibilities.

A. 
It shall be the responsibility and duty of every person who purchases a new or secondhand bicycle to register said bicycle within five days of the date of purchase with the Police Department, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
It shall be the responsibility and duty of every person in the Township of Union who purchases or receives a bicycle, which is presently registered in the Township of Union and is being transferred from the former owner to the aforementioned purchaser, to reregister said bicycle within five days from the date of purchase or receivership in the manner herein provided for in this chapter. Said transfer shall be transacted directly with the Police Department, and the new owner shall be issued a new registration certificate bearing the registration tag or decal number recently affixed to the bicycle. If no such Township of Union tag or decal is present on the bicycle, a new registration tag or decal shall be issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 2-22-1994 by Ord. No. 4294]

§ 179-8 Notification upon sale, transfer or dismantle of bicycles.

It shall be the responsibility and duty of every person who sells, transfers ownership of or permanently dismantles any bicycle registered pursuant to the provisions of this chapter to make a report thereof and surrender the registration certificate and tag or decal to the Police Department within five days of said sale, transfer or dismantling. If the bicycle is to be transferred or sold to another person residing in the Township of Union, the seller shall notify the Police Department of the same within five days of said transfer or sale, surrender the registration certificate and forward the name and address of the person to whom such transfer or sale was made. The registration tag or decal, if any, shall remain on the bicycle for the purpose of identification for the new owner. The new owner shall reregister the bicycle pursuant to the provisions of § 179-7 of this chapter.

§ 179-9 Reports of purchases and sales.

All persons engaged in the business of buying secondhand bicycles or selling new or secondhand bicycles are hereby required to make a report to the Police Department of any purchases of secondhand bicycles or sale of new or secondhand bicycles, giving the name and address of the person from or to whom each bicycle is purchased or sold, along with a description of each bicycle to include make, color, sex and serial number of said bicycle, as well as the number of the registration tag or decal found thereon, if any. Said report shall be made within five days from the date of purchase and/or sale upon an authorized form which identifies the person purchasing and/or selling said bicycles as herein provided in this section. Said form may be the authorized stationery of the person and/or dealer purchasing a secondhand bicycle or selling a new or secondhand bicycle or a form constructed by the aforementioned which identifies the name and address of said person and/or dealer.

§ 179-10 Registration tag affixed to bicycle.

Any person engaged in the business of renting, hiring or loaning bicycles shall first obtain a registration tag or decal for each bicycle as herein provided in §§ 179-2 and 179-3 of this chapter and shall affix to each bicycle a valid registration tag or decal in the manner as herein provided for in § 179-6 of this chapter.

§ 179-11 Records to be kept by Police Department.

The Police Department shall keep a record of the registration of all bicycles, including the number of each registration certificate and tag or decal issued, the date of issuance, the name and address of the person to whom issued and the name or make and the serial number on the frame of the bicycle for which issued. Said records shall also include the provisions of this chapter not covered in this section.

§ 179-12 Replacements of lost or stolen certificates or tags.

[Amended 2-22-1994 by Ord. No. 4294]
Whenever an issued registration certificate and/or tag or decal is lost, stolen or mutilated, a replacement certificate and/or tag or decal shall be required by the Police Department as herein provided in §§ 179-2 and 179-3 of this chapter. In the case of certificate replacement, said replacement shall be made without charge.

§ 179-13 Altering or defacing tags or decals.

A. 
No person shall remove, destroy, mutilate or alter any registration tag or decal, except as herein provided in § 179-8 of this chapter when said tag or decal may be so removed for the purpose of surrendering the same to the Police Department in the event of sale or transfer of ownership or dismantling of a bicycle.
B. 
No person shall remove, destroy, mutilate or alter the serial number on the frame of any bicycle or have in his possession any bicycle on which said serial number is removed, destroyed, mutilated or altered. If a person should happen to have in his possession such a bicycle whose serial number is removed, destroyed, mutilated or altered and he is the legal owner of said bicycle, said person shall report to the Police Department, within 24 hours of said removal, destruction, mutilation or alteration, the reason for the same and produce proof of ownership of the bicycle. The Police Department may then institute an investigation regarding the same to determine any violation of this chapter. If no violation is determined, the Police Department may stamp the previous serial number, in a new location, into the frame, or issue a new serial number, which will be stamped in a new location on the frame.

§ 179-14 Revocation or suspensions.

A. 
In addition to the penalty prescribed in § 179-20 of this chapter, any registration certificate and tag or decal issued for a bicycle may be revoked or suspended for cause after a hearing before the Chief of Police or his designated representative. A written notice, setting forth the charge(s) and the time and place of the hearing, shall be served upon the person to whom the certificate and registration tag or decal were issued.
B. 
The Chief of Police or his designated representative, pending the hearing, may suspend the registration certificate and tag or decal if, in his judgment, the protection of the public safety so demands. In such event, the owner of the bicycle shall not permit the use of the bicycle upon any street or public place within the Township of Union.
C. 
In the event of either revocation or suspension, the owner of the bicycle shall forthwith surrender the registration certificate and/or remove the tag or decal as herein provided in this chapter.

§ 179-15 Rules and regulations.

No operator of a bicycle shall leave a bicycle lying or standing upon any sidewalk in the Township of Union in such a manner as to hinder or impede pedestrians. The operator shall so place the bicycle as to avoid annoyance and danger to said pedestrians during the absence of said operator.

§ 179-16 Bicycle riding prohibited in certain areas.

[Added 11-24-1992 by Ord. No. 4221[1]]
No person shall use, operate or ride upon any bicycle within the Friberger Park area nor on any public parking lot, public sidewalk, public tennis court, public paved field hockey surface, public paved basketball court surface or other public place within Zones BA, BB and BC within the Township of Union. Bicycles shall be prohibited from being ridden on sidewalks of the area popularly designated as the "center business district" which extends from Caldwell Avenue to Warren Avenue along Morris Avenue and from Johnson Place to Vauxhall Road along Stuyvesant Avenue for the purpose of this legislation.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 179-17 Helmet requirements.

[Added 2-22-1994 by Ord. No. 4294]
A. 
A person under 14 years of age shall not operate or ride upon a bicycle as a passenger unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z90.4 bicycle helmet standard) or the Snell Memorial Foundation's 1990 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling. This requirement shall also apply to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat which is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by the bicycle.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
The requirement in Subsection A of this section shall apply at all times while a bicycle is being operated on any property open to the public or used by the public for pedestrian and vehicular purposes; however, the Township may by ordinance exempt from this requirement a person operating or riding on a bicycle as a passenger when the bicycle is operated:
(1) 
On a road or highway closed to motor vehicle traffic and limited to pedestrians or bicycles at all times or only during specified periods of time during which bicycles may be operated; or
(2) 
Exclusively on a trail, route, course, boardwalk, path or other area which is set aside for the use of bicycles or the use of pedestrians and bicycle operation is not otherwise prohibited. However, an exemption may not be granted under this subsection for any portion of a trial, route, course, boardwalk, path or other area which is immediately adjacent to a road or highway used by motor vehicle traffic and which does not contain a barrier of sufficient height and rigidity to prevent the inadvertent or deliberate entry of a bicycle operator onto the road or highway.
C. 
An ordinance enacted pursuant to Subsection B of this section shall specify those roads, highways, trails, routes, courses, boardwalks, paths or areas within the Township where helmets are not required during the operation of a bicycle.
D. 
When a bicycle is being operated in an area where bicycle helmets are not required, the operator or a passenger, except a passenger in a restraining seat or trailers, shall dismount from the bicycle and walk whenever it is necessary to enter a crosswalk or to cross a road or highway upon which motor vehicle traffic is permitted.

§ 179-18 Police inspections; impoundment.

A. 
Any member of the Police Department of the Township of Union may inspect any bicycle on any street or public place at any time to ascertain whether said bicycle has been properly registered, has a registration tag or decal properly affixed thereto and is in proper mechanical condition to be operated safely. Such maintenance of a bicycle shall be the sole responsibility of the owner.
B. 
In the event that a bicycle is being used or operated without the registration tag or decal or is in such condition as to be unfit for safe operation or there is a failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter, the Police Department may impound the bicycle until such time as the owner or registrant has procured the necessary registration certificate and tag or decal or has rendered the bicycle safe for use or has fully complied with all requirements of this chapter.
C. 
In the event that a bicycle is operated in violation of § 179-17, any officer of the Union Police Department may, in conjunction with enforcement, impound said bicycle until such times as a parent or legal guardian may be contacted and notified of the violation.
[Amended 2-22-1994 by Ord. No. 4294]
D. 
Whenever any bicycle shall be impounded for violation of the provisions of this chapter, it shall be surrendered at the expiration of the impounding period to the owner or parent or guardian of the offender, on the payment of a charge for storage, at the discretion of the Chief of Police. Such charge shall not exceed $10 for the first impoundment nor more than $20 for second or subsequent impoundments. In the case of seizure of a bicycle because it has been found in the possession of a person, firm, partnership or corporation not the legal owner thereof, and the bicycle is not reclaimed by the legal owner thereof, it shall be sold at public auction after the expiration of 90 days from the date of seizure. Notice containing a description of the bicycle shall be published in a newspaper circulating in the Township of Union in the County of Union at least 10 days prior to the date of said sale. The proceeds of the sale shall be remitted to the Treasurer of the Township of Union and shall be used pursuant to the laws of the State of New Jersey.
[Added 2-22-1994 by Ord. No. 4294[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 179-19 Intent.

[Amended 2-22-1994 by Ord. No. 4294]
The intent of this chapter is in no way an effort to discourage, discriminate against or prohibit the riding of bicycles within the Township of Union, but rather promote and safeguard the welfare and property of the bicyclist, regardless of age, and the community as a whole. Failure to comply with or the violation of any provision of this chapter or with the safety regulations promulgated by the Chief of Police may also subject the operator to the authority having jurisdiction over juvenile offenders.

§ 179-20 Violations and penalties; warnings.

[Amended 10-28-1986 by Ord. No. 3879; 12-13-1988 by Ord. No. 3998; 2-22-1994 by Ord. No. 4294]
A. 
Any person over the age of 17 years and any firm which violates any provisions of this chapter, excluding § 179-17, shall be subject to one or more of the following: imprisonment in the county jail or in any other place provided by the municipality for the detention of prisoners for any term not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, to become effective on the effective date of this section.
B. 
A person who violates a requirement of § 179-17 shall be warned of the violation by the enforcing official. The parent or legal guardian of that person may be cited for the violation. The parent or legal guardian may also be fined a maximum of $25 for the person's first offense and a maximum of $100 for a subsequent offense if it can be shown that the parent or guardian failed to exercise reasonable supervision or control over the person's conduct. Penalties provided in this section for failure to wear a helmet may be waived if an offender or his parent or legal guardian presents suitable proof that an approved helmet was owned at the time of the violation or has been purchased since the violation occurred.

§ 179-21 Additional definitions; word usage.

The word "person" in this chapter shall be deemed to apply to an individual, firm, partnership or corporation, whichever application is appropriate and conducive to the enforcement of this chapter. Pronouns may refer to the singular or plural number or to either gender, whichever is appropriate and conducive to the enforcement of this chapter.