Township of North Brunswick, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Township of North Brunswick 9-7-2010 by Ord. No. 10-21.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 330.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 356, Wreckers, adopted 9-15-2003 by Ord. No. 03-32.

§ 356-1 License required.

No person shall be authorized to provide wrecker service within the Township of North Brunswick without first obtaining a license from the Township Clerk in accordance with this chapter.

§ 356-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPLICANT
An individual or a legally formed business entity which seeks to obtain a license from the Township to furnish wrecker services within the Township pursuant to this chapter.
BUSINESS LOCATION
A base of operation within the Township which is staffed during the normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., excluding holidays. Such storage facility shall be a secure facility, and if an outdoor facility, be lighted from dusk to dawn. The business must be clearly marked with signs identifying the name of the business and the hours of operation. The applicant must be the owner or principal tenant at the location, which shall include a permanent facility with an office, a patron waiting area, a restroom for patron use and a secured vehicle storage area which is contained within an enclosed building and/or a fenced-in area, as described in §§ 356-3C and 356-14 hereof, which shall be used for the storage of towed vehicles.
DEAD STORAGE
The storage by an operator of a towed vehicle which was delivered to the storage yard by a wrecker as a result of the provision of wrecker services for the vehicle, where such storage continues overnight or for more than 12 hours from the time that a vehicle is removed from the scene from which it was towed, whichever is longer (i.e., there will be no storage charge for the same-day removal of a towed vehicle), and such storage is unrelated to either any repairs or continuing services which are being rendered by the operator at the request of the vehicle's owner.
DECOUPLING FEE
A charge by a towing company for releasing a motor vehicle to its owner or operator when the vehicle has been, or is about to be, hooked or lifted by a wrecker, but prior to the vehicle actually having been moved or removed from the property.
GARAGE
A nonresidential building where motor vehicles can be sheltered, stored, repaired and made ready for use.
LICENSE
The permit to perform wrecker services as hereinafter described. The license is granted to a wrecker operator to provide these services with those vehicles specified on the application for that wrecker operator.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Includes all vehicles propelled otherwise than by muscular power, excepting such vehicles as run only upon rails or tracks and motorized bicycles, motorized scooters, motorized wheelchairs and motorized skateboards.
NONCONSENSUAL TOWING
The towing of a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or operator of the vehicle.
OPERATOR or WRECKER OPERATOR
Anyone who engages in the business of providing wrecker services pursuant to this chapter or who operates a licensed wrecker.
PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNER
The owner or lessee of private property, or an agent of such owner or lessee, but shall not include a private property towing company acting as an agent of such owner or lessee.
PRIVATE PROPERTY TOWING
The nonconsensual towing from private property or from a storage facility by a motor vehicle of a consumer's motor vehicle that is parked illegally, parking during a time at which such parking is not permitted, or otherwise parked without authorization, or the immobilization of or preparation for moving or removing of such motor vehicle, for which a service charge is made, either directly or indirectly. This term shall not include the towing of a motor vehicle that has been abandoned on private property in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.5, provided that the abandoned vehicle is reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency prior to removal and the vehicle is removed in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.6.
WAITING TIME
The period of time between the arrival of a wrecker on the scene to which it was called by the police and the time at which the wrecker is actually permitted to commence its efforts to render any required wrecker services. Waiting time shall not start earlier than the 15th minute after the wrecker service arrives at the scene.
WRECKER
A vehicle licensed pursuant to this chapter which is used to tow or remove other vehicles usually so damaged or disabled or impounded that they cannot proceed under their own power and further described herein.
WRECKER SERVICE
Such roadside assistance as vehicle towing, transport, conveyance or removal and/or storage services as are to be provided by a licensed operator pursuant to this chapter.

§ 356-3 License; duration; application.

A. 
No person operating a wrecker shall operate a wrecker within the Township of North Brunswick nor engage in the business of operating or offering the services of a wrecker within the Township without first obtaining the necessary licenses as hereinafter provided from the Township Clerk. Every vehicle operating as a wrecker shall have its own separate license, even though it is owned or operated by a person having other validly licensed wreckers.
B. 
Duration of license. All licenses issued under this chapter shall expire on the last day of December of the year of issue.
C. 
Application of license; required information; affidavit. Applications for licenses issued hereunder shall be made upon printed forms prepared and made available in the Township Clerk's office and shall state:
(1) 
The complete legal name, trade name (if any), home address and proposed or actual business address of the applicant, and whether the applicant is the owner, lessee or bailee. In the event the applicant is a corporation, the names, addressees and home telephone numbers of every person owning 10% or more of said corporation shall be listed.
(2) 
An abstract of the driving history of each operator of a licensed wrecker and a listing of each criminal conviction of any such operator; a statement of any denial of any license or permit to operate a motor vehicle or a towing service for any person listed in Subsection C(1) by any other governmental body.
(3) 
Evidence that the applicant has at least three years' experience of providing properly insured towing services with references available.
(4) 
Evidence that the applicant has a business location within the Township of North Brunswick on which there is situated a permanent facility and a secured, vehicle storage area which is contained within an outside area surrounded by a chain link, stockade or other such type restrictive fencing which is at least six feet in height. The storage area shall be adequate for properly accommodating and protecting all motor vehicles which may be towed. No operator will be permitted to store, place or otherwise cause or permit any towed vehicles to be stored, placed, parked or otherwise located upon any public property or any Township street or any property which is not zoned for such storage, except as may be specifically directed by the Township police in the course of clearing a collision scene or in regard to an official investigation or vehicle seizure. The entire storage area must be lighted during the hours of darkness so that the interior of the storage area is visible.
(5) 
A certification from the Township's Zoning Officer that the business location is a permitted use pursuant to Township ordinances.
(6) 
A description of each vehicle operated as a wrecker, including year, make, model, type, serial number and any other information which is necessary or proper to effectuate the purpose of this chapter and to determine whether the terms of this chapter have been satisfied.

§ 356-4 Investigation of applicant.

A. 
Investigation and inspection; approval or denial of application. Upon receipt of an application as provided for herein, the Township Clerk's office shall cause an investigation to be made of the applicant and of the subject business location. Inspection of the business location shall be made by both assigned police officers and code enforcement officials of the Township. Said inspection shall be completed within 30 days. The Township Clerk's office may request assistance from the Police Department through the Deputy Chief of Police or his or her designee for the making and completion of such investigation and inspections, or may delegate the inspections of the vehicles to an independent person, who is not a wrecker operator, and who shall be qualified by experience and training to make such inspection. An inspection report for each vehicle shall be filed with the Township Clerk's office and shall clearly indicate whether each vehicle complies with the requirements and standards of this chapter as set forth herein.
B. 
The Police Department of the Township of North Brunswick shall conduct a thorough background check of the licensee, its officers, principals and employees prior to the granting of a license within 30 days after receipt of a completed application. A conviction for a disorderly persons offense and/or a motor vehicle violation evidencing unsafe driving habits or a disregard for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Laws will be considered ample reason to disqualify any applicant or a particular employee. Each prospective licensee shall furnish with its application executed background check waivers for all officers, principals and employees in the form provided by the Police Department.
C. 
A report shall be made to the Director of Police as to whether the wrecker is in compliance with the requirements and standards of this chapter.
D. 
Upon completion of the investigation and inspection, the Director of Police shall forward a report of his or her findings and a proposed classification of the applicant as light-duty motor vehicle accident, light-duty miscellaneous, heavy-duty motor vehicle accident, heavy-duty miscellaneous or not qualified for the call list in accordance with the standards set forth in this chapter. The Township Clerk shall either refuse to approve the application or shall classify and refer the application to the governing body for approval pursuant to § 356-6 hereof and shall inform the applicant of his/her decision. If the application is approved, the applicant shall supply the Township Clerk with the insurance policies or certificates as required.

§ 356-5 Insurance requirements.

The licensee must, prior to the issuance of any license, deposit with the Township Clerk the following insurance polices or certificates, specifically naming the Township as an additional insured:
A. 
Each operator shall maintain, during the term of its license, the following minimum insurance coverages:
(1) 
Public liability insurance covering personal injury and property damage in the minimum amount of $750,000, each accident, single limit, for light-medium-duty trucks.
(2) 
Public liability insurance covering personal injury and property damage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000, each accident, single limit for heavy-duty trucks.
(3) 
Workmen's compensation insurance, as required by the State of New Jersey, including employer's liability coverage with a limit of at least $100,000.
(4) 
Comprehensive general liability insurance, in an amount of not less than $1,000,000 for personal injuries, per occurrence, and $1,000 for property damage, per occurrence, including premises operations and products/completed operations.
(5) 
Garage-keepers' and garage liability insurance, in an amount not less than $100,000.
(6) 
All policies of insurance shall contain an endorsement providing for collision coverage for vehicles in tow.
B. 
All policies of insurance shall contain an endorsement requiring that at least 15 days' notice shall be given to the Township Clerk in the event of any material change in or cancellation of the policy.
C. 
All policies of insurance shall be issued by insurance companies authorized to do business in the State of New Jersey and shall remain in full force and effect during the entire term of the license.
D. 
No license shall be issued until an approved applicant files insurance certificates verifying all of the above requirements. The insurance certificates shall be filed with the Township Clerk.
E. 
Any licensee who has a lapse in any insurance policy, for any reason whatsoever, shall have his/her license immediately suspended. Upon notice of lapse of coverage, the Township Clerk shall immediately serve notice of suspension upon the licensee, with copy of said notice provided to the Police Chief/designee. The suspension shall remain in effect until such time as the insurance is restored.
F. 
All wreckers on the Township's rotating call list shall name the Township of North Brunswick as an additional insured and shall indemnify and hold harmless the Township of North Brunswick from any claims for injury or property damage arising out of, or in any way related to, the operation of any tow truck, towing service or storage yard, pursuant to this chapter. Proof of compliance with the requirements of this section shall be evidenced by a certificate of insurance issued by the insurance carrier at the time of application for the license. The operator shall further defend the Township of North Brunswick, at the operator's expense, in connection with any claim, suit or action brought against the Township of North Brunswick, and arising out of the operation of any tow truck, towing service or towing yard, pursuant to this chapter.

§ 356-6 Approval.

The Clerk shall classify and refer an application to the governing body for approval only when the following requirements have been met:
A. 
The wreckers to be used, on inspection, meet with the required minimum standards for the light-duty motor vehicle accident, light-duty miscellaneous or heavy-duty motor vehicle accident or heavy-duty miscellaneous.
B. 
Adequate proof of the applicant's ability to produce insurance policies as required herein has been submitted.
C. 
The applicant and proposed operators are properly qualified to operate and conduct a wrecker service in the Township in accordance with the requirements as are set forth in this chapter.
D. 
All wrecker operators are currently licensed drivers by the State of New Jersey and such license(s) is (are) not presently revoked or suspended for any reason.
E. 
The applicant is in compliance with all requirements of this chapter and all other governing laws, statutes and ordinances.
F. 
Each wrecker has been properly licensed and inspected by the State of New Jersey and has the necessary stickers affixed thereto. No vehicle shall be licensed as a wrecker which is using dealer's license plates or which has failed the state inspection.

§ 356-7 Denial.

If the Township Clerk denies an application, a letter setting forth the reasons for the denial shall be sent by the Township Clerk's office by certified mail to the applicant within 72 hours of such decision. The applicant may thereafter request a hearing pursuant to § 356-25 hereof.

§ 356-8 Indemnification of Township.

The application of any operator for a license pursuant to this chapter shall imply an agreement by the operator that, upon the issuance of a license, the licensee shall indemnify the Township of North Brunswick against all statutory, common law or contractual claims of third parties relating to any acts or services performed or rendered or which failed to be performed or rendered by the licensee. Any formal agreement to provide said indemnification shall be in such form as is approved by the Township Attorney and shall be properly executed by the operator and attested to by an authorized notary of the State of New Jersey.

§ 356-9 Cancellation of license.

As previously stated herein, the termination or expiration of any of the insurance coverages which are required herein shall be cause for the immediate suspension of a wrecker's license unless renewal or replacement of such coverage is timely made in compliance with the applicable requirements as are set forth hereinabove.

§ 356-10 Confusing vehicle color schemes or name prohibited.

No licensee may use a color scheme or name, monogram or insignia that would conflict with or, in the opinion of the Deputy Chief of Police/designee, imitate any color scheme, monogram, name or insignia used by any other person, firm, or corporation operating a tow truck or a towing agency in such manner as to be misleading or tend to deceive or defraud the public.

§ 356-11 Light duty.

A. 
Any person may apply for a license to provide light-duty wrecker services as defined herein. The licensee must own/lease at least three vehicles to qualify under this chapter, two of which must be flatbed trucks and the third a conventional hydraulic wrecker.
B. 
A light-duty wrecker shall be able to handle all makes of passenger vehicles and small trucks, such as pickup, small-panel trucks and small dump trucks (up to 12,000 pounds), and must have or be equipped with the following:
(1) 
A valid Motor Vehicles Commission ("MVC") registration and, if required, a valid inspection certificate.
(2) 
A valid MVC amber light permit.
(3) 
Dual rear wheels.
(4) 
The garage within the licensee's business location must be equipped with a "Go Jacks" or a comparable device.
(5) 
A power takeoff controlled winch with a minimum cable thickness of 3/8 inch or equivalent.
(6) 
A comparable weight equal to the vehicles to be towed, with a minimum of 5,500 pounds.
(7) 
A three-eighths-inch safety chain. The lift chain and the safety chain are not to be attached in any form or manner to the same part of the wrecker.
(8) 
All towing vehicles must have amber emergency lights mounted on each wrecker so as to warn approaching traffic of their presence. The size and locations of these amber lights must conform to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission standards.
(9) 
All emergency flashing lights shall be such candlepower in intensity as to be visible 1/4 mile away.
(10) 
One fire extinguisher (five-pound carbon dioxide or dry powder).
(11) 
One broom, a debris container and a shovel.
(12) 
A minimum of five gallons of absorbent granules for cleaning up fluid spills.
(13) 
All wrecker operators and their agents and/or employees are required to wear reflectorized traffic safety vests when working at the scene.
(14) 
Detachable light bar with running, stop and turn lights.
(15) 
Dual rear wheels.
(16) 
Mirrors on the wrecker must extend beyond the width of the vehicle being towed to provide a clear line of sight.

§ 356-12 Heavy duty.

Any person may apply for a license to provide heavy-duty wrecker services as defined herein. The licensee must own/lease at least three heavy-duty tow vehicles that are hydraulic in nature to qualify under this chapter. In addition, the following equipment is also required:
A. 
Dual rear wheels.
B. 
Manufactured rating gross vehicle weight of 40,000 pounds. Manufactured rating may be obtained from the factory where the truck originates. Other written evidence of gross vehicle weight may be accepted, if verified.
C. 
Power takeoff controlled winch with a minimum cable thickness of 5/8 of an inch.
D. 
All towing vehicles must have amber emergency lights mounted on each wrecker so as to warn approaching traffic of their presence. The size and locations of these amber lights must conform to the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicle standards.
E. 
All lights shall be of such candlepower in intensity as to be visible 1/4 of a mile away.
F. 
One-half-inch safety chain. The lift chain and the safety chain are not to be attached in any form or manner on the same part of the wrecker.
G. 
Air brakes.
H. 
Connecting air lines for connection with the air compressor and air brake lines of the towed vehicle.
I. 
Detachable light bar with running, stop and turn lights.
J. 
One fire extinguisher (five-pound carbon dioxide or dry powder).
K. 
One broom, shovel and debris container.
L. 
A minimum of 10 gallons of absorbent granules for cleaning up fluid spills.
M. 
Must be equipped with portable lighting equipment when required.
N. 
All wrecker operators and their agents and/or employees are required to wear reflectorized traffic safety vests when working at the scene.
O. 
In the event that a recovery of a heavy-duty vehicle is warranted, the responding tow company shall assign a recovery supervisor to the scene who must have obtained a Level 3 national driver license certification or equivalent within nine months of availability and must have received training in an industry-recognized course. Although all personnel on the recovery scene do not need recovery training, each recovery supervisor must meet the listed requirements.
P. 
One three-stage hydraulic crane with a minimum lifting capacity of 45 tons, one hydraulic low-boy trailer capable of holding trucks or buses with a minimum of 46 feet in length, one fifth-wheel unit and one enclosed trailer at least 40 feet in length along with air cushion recovery system, including starter cushions, with motor-driven air pump, with a lifting capacity of 100,000 pounds. This provision shall not apply to any tower exempt from these requirements pursuant to a court order or stipulation previously executed.

§ 356-13 Right of inspection.

The Director shall maintain due vigilance over all wreckers to see that they are kept in a safe condition for transporting and towing vehicles and shall have the right at all times to inspect all licensed wreckers and shall maintain a record, in writing, of the report of all inspections. If at any time the Director of Police or his or her designee shall find the equipment inadequate or unsafe, or that the licensee has violated any subsections of this chapter, including, without limit, the charging of fees or the requirements relative to the type of facilities or the amount of space which is to be available for accommodating and storing motor vehicles, the Director of Police or his or her designee shall have the power to demand immediate correction, and if not corrected promptly and properly, shall then have the power to issue a notice of violation and violation in accordance with § 356-25 hereof.

§ 356-14 Protection and storage of towed vehicles.

A. 
The wrecker shall be responsible for any damages occurring to a vehicle due to the wrecker's negligence after the wrecker has taken possession of same and until the owner or his or her representative reassumes possession.
B. 
Each light-duty storage facility must be of sufficient size to accommodate at least 15 vehicles at the business location. Each business location must contain at least 3,000 square feet of usable vehicle storage space, whether indoors or within a secured fenced-in area, or both. Each heavy-duty storage facility must be of sufficient size to accommodate at least three tractor trailers at the business location.
C. 
All storage facilities must have office personnel normally available on site to arrange for the release and return of stored vehicles from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, excluding holidays. A wrecker shall provide reasonable accommodations for after-hours release of stored vehicles and, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:45A-31.7(c), a wrecker that does not release a vehicle to its owner during normal business hours (i.e., 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) shall not charge a fee for after-hours release.
D. 
It is recognized by the Township that the wrecker's yard may be utilized for purposes other than the needs of the Township. However, the wrecker will be required to keep available enough space to meet the prescribed license requirements at all times.
E. 
When the Township directs the wrecker company to tow and place in storage a motor vehicle found abandoned, the rules and regulations prescribed in N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1 shall apply. The Township will use its best efforts to assist in the disposal of the abandoned vehicle within the time frames prescribed under state statute. Fees for the storage of such abandoned vehicles towed at the direction of the Township shall be paid in accordance with § 356-21A(1)(d) hereinbelow in accordance with the rates established by N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.50.

§ 356-15 Public auction of abandoned motor vehicles; vehicle inspections.

A. 
The Township of North Brunswick shall hold public auctions of towed and stored motor vehicles that have been deemed abandoned pursuant to the terms and regulations set forth in N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1 at least three times in given calendar year.
B. 
Prior to the time of any public auction, operators of facilities storing towed vehicles shall allow the public to inspect the vehicles to be sold at such public auction. Any operators of a facility storing towed vehicles who takes any actions to impede, delay, defer, prohibit or interfere with the inspection of such vehicles for public auction shall be subject to the penalties provided in § 356-15D hereinbelow.
C. 
Operators of facilities storing towed vehicles shall cooperate and comply with all noticing provisions promulgated by N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1 as follows:
(1) 
When the Township shall have noticed the owner of a towed vehicle, after verification of the owner from the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission, the Township shall also notify the operator of the facility storing the said abandoned motor vehicle, which notice shall be given by telephone, mail, facsimile or electronic notification, and such notice shall include the name and address of the owner of record and the holder of any security interest in the stored motor vehicle.
(2) 
Upon receipt of such notice from the Township, the operator of the facility storing the abandoned vehicle shall provide notice to the owner of record and to any security interest holder in the following manner:
(a) 
The notice shall be by first class mail, with a certificate of mailing, and shall include a schedule of the costs imposed for storing the motor vehicle and instructions explaining how the owner of record or the security interest holder may claim the stored motor vehicle.
(b) 
Storage fees.
[1] 
Except as provided in § 356-15C(2)(c) below, if the operator of a facility storing such abandoned motor vehicle fails to provide such notice to the owner of record and to the security interest holder within 30 days of the date on which the storer of the vehicle received the notice required from the Township pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1(4), the maximum amount that operator of a storage facility may charge the owner of record or the security interest holder for storing such motor vehicle shall be $750 for private towing, provided that the owner of record or security interest holder submits a proper claim for the vehicle not later than the 30th day following the date the notice is delivered from the Township to the operator of a facility storing such motor vehicle.
[2] 
Storage fees to be paid by the Township for towing and storage of vehicles undertaken at the request of the Police Department shall commence at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the date of the tow as follows:
[a] 
A limit of $3 per day for the first 30 days of storage per vehicle.
[b] 
A limit of $2 per day for the 31st day of storage and any day thereafter.
[c] 
A limit of $400 per vehicle stored regardless of the duration of the storage, except that a waiver may be granted for good cause by the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs upon the request of the Township.
(c) 
Should a vehicle be abandoned due to the death or incapacitation of the driver or any passenger, the operator of a facility storing such vehicle shall charge the owner of record or the security interest holder no more than $100 for the first 72 hours after such vehicle is placed on the premises.
(d) 
If the owner of record or security interest holder fails to submit a proper claim for the vehicle on or before that 30th day, the operator of the facility storing such motor vehicle may charge the security interest holder reasonable costs for the removal and storage of the motor vehicle. If the notice is properly provided by the person storing the motor vehicle, the operator of the storage facility may charge the owner of record or the security interest holder reasonable costs for the removal and storage of the motor vehicle from the date the operator removed and stored the motor vehicle.
(e) 
The operator of the storage facility may assess the security interest holder for the actual costs of providing the required notice.
(3) 
The Township will use its best efforts to assist in the disposal of the abandoned vehicle within the time frames prescribed in N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1.
D. 
Violations and penalties.
(1) 
Failure of the operators of facilities storing towed vehicles to comply with the provisions of this § 356-15, Public auction of abandoned motor vehicles; notices required, and of N.J.S.A. 39:10-1 et seq., or to take any actions to impede, delay, defer, prohibit or interfere with the inspection of vehicles for public auction, or with the public auction of abandoned vehicles by the Township of North Brunswick, shall be deemed a violation of this § 356-15, and shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the Township, be subject to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment or community service for a term not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment or community service, in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge.
(2) 
The continuation of any violations of this § 356-15 on each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation(s) may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.
(3) 
Operators of facilities on the Township rotating call list who are adjudicated in violation of this § 356-15 shall be removed from the rotating call list on a permanent basis.

§ 356-16 Conduct of operators generally.

A wrecker license hereunder shall be issued subject to the following conditions whereby no person owning or operating a wrecker or other towing vehicles shall:
A. 
No person owning or operating a wrecker or other towing vehicles, while waiting for assignment, shall stand at any public street or intersection or any public or private property, other than his or her own, without first obtaining the consent of the police officer in charge (of clearing the accident scene or of removing any disabled vehicles) or from the owner of the property.
B. 
No person owning or operating a wrecker licensed under this chapter shall permit or invite loitering within or near his or her wrecker.
C. 
No person shall solicit or attempt to divert prospective patrons of another wrecker nor shall he/she solicit or divert prospective patrons of a requested garage in the Township to another garage.
D. 
No person shall solicit, demand or receive from a person any commission or fee except the proper fee for transporting the vehicle.
E. 
No person shall intercept police calls by radio or obtain information as to the location of the scene of an accident or disabled vehicle by means of interception of police radio calls for the purpose of procuring towing business.
F. 
Offer or pay any gratuity, tip or emolument to any third person or to any police officer or Township employee for any information as to the location of any accident or disabled vehicle or for soliciting the employment of services described herein. The provisions of this section shall apply to the operation of any wrecker on the streets of the Township, whether such wrecker is licensed or unlicensed, and without regard to whether or not the owner, operator or licensee of such wrecker is engaged in the business of operating a wrecker within the Township.
G. 
The licensee who is called to the scene of an accident or other type incident shall be required to clean up the debris at the scene of the incident or accident, to the satisfaction of the police officer in charge at the scene.
H. 
Seek employment by repeatedly and persistently driving a wrecker to and from in a short space in front of any disabled vehicle or by otherwise interfering with the proper and orderly progress of traffic along the public highways.
I. 
Fail, when requested by the owner or operator of a vehicle subject to nonconsensual towing, to release a vehicle to the owner or operator that has been, or is about to be, hooked or lifted but has not actually been moved or removed from the property when the vehicle owner or operator returns to the vehicle, or, to charge the owner or operator requesting release of the said vehicle an unreasonable or excessive decoupling fee. Such fee shall be presumptively unreasonable and excessive if it exceeds by more than 25% of the usual and customary decoupling fee charged by the towing company for consensual towing, or if it exceeds by more than 50% of the usual and customary fee charged for nonconsensually towed vehicles.
J. 
Charge a fee for a private property or other nonconsensual towing or related storage service not listed on the schedule of services for which a fee may be charged as established by the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
K. 
Charge an unreasonable or excessive fee, such fee shall be presumptively unreasonable and excessive if it exceeds by more than 25% of the usual and customary decoupling fee charged by the towing company for consensual towing, or if it exceeds by more than 50% of the usual and customary fee charged for nonconsensually towed vehicles.
L. 
Refuse to accept for payment in lieu of cash or an insurance company check for towing or storage services a debit card, charge card or credit card if the operator ordinarily accepts such card at its place of business, unless the motorist is unable to provide valid identification or if the operator has a bona fide reason to believe the card or other identification is fictitious, altered, stolen, expired or revoked.
M. 
Monitor, patrol, or otherwise surveil a private property for purposes of identifying vehicles parked for unauthorized purposes and towing a motor vehicle parked for an unauthorized purpose from such private property without having been specifically requested to tow such vehicle by the owner of the property.
N. 
A wrecker operator shall not remove any vehicle from the scene without proper authorization from the police officer in charge.
O. 
A wrecker operator's drivers shall not turn around, back up, tow in the opposite direction of normal traffic flow, cross a median or otherwise operate to obstruct or to create a potentially hazardous traffic condition unless directed to do so by the police officers present at the scene and under their direction and supervision.
P. 
Prior to the time of any public auction, operators of facilities storing towed vehicles shall allow the public to inspect the vehicles to be sold at such public auction. Any operators of a facility storing towed vehicles who take any actions to impede, delay, defer, prohibit or interfere with the inspection of such vehicles for public auction shall be subject to the penalties provided in § 356-15D hereinabove.

§ 356-17 Hours of service; communication equipment.

A. 
Wrecker services must be provided on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-per-week basis.
B. 
The licensee shall accept a minimum of two major credit cards 24 hours per day and must be able to do so both at the principal location and by drivers on the road at the time service or tow is performed.

§ 356-18 Record of vehicles towed.

A. 
Every wrecker that performs private property or other nonconsensual towing shall retain and make available all invoices, job orders, logs, claims for reimbursement from insurance companies and other documentation relating to all consensual and nonconsensual towing services performed and the rates charged for such services for a period of three years.
B. 
Every wrecker shall keep a copy of the motor vehicle tow report, which shall be prepared by or at the direction of the North Brunswick police officer in charge of the scene. Said report shall assign an incident number; indicate the date and time that the vehicle was towed, serviced or transported; indicate a reason for the towing; state the make, model and color of the vehicle; the vehicle's license plate and state of registration; the name and address of the owner of the vehicle; and state the name and badge number of the officer who directed the tow.

§ 356-19 Register of wreckers; identification cards; driving record.

A. 
The commanding officer of the Traffic Division of the North Brunswick Police Department shall call for a register to be kept of the names of all those owning or operating wreckers licensed under this chapter, together with the license number and the description of such wreckers, and the date and complete record of inspection made of each of them.
B. 
All operators must have a currently valid New Jersey driver's license and maintain a safe driving record.

§ 356-20 Application and license fees.

A. 
Each application for either a light-duty or a heavy-duty license shall be accompanied by an application fee of $50, plus an inspection fee of $50, for each type of license requested.
B. 
The purpose of these fees is to cover the actual cost to the Township for inspection and administration of this licensing program.

§ 356-21 Rates for towing and storage service.

[Amended 11-1-2010 by Ord. No. 10-32]
A. 
As for wrecker services provided, other than as covered by § 356-20A preceding, service charges shall not exceed the following rates:
(1) 
The following is the fee schedule for light-duty towing services:
[Amended 4-7-2014 by Ord. No. 14-02[1]]
(a) 
Light duty, all passenger vehicles.
[1] 
Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.: $115.
[a] 
Each additional mile outside North Brunswick Township but within the State of New Jersey when the tower agrees to tow outside the Township: $5.50.
[2] 
Monday through Friday, 6:01 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.: $125.
[a] 
Each additional mile outside North Brunswick Township but within the State of New Jersey when the tower agrees to tow outside the Township: $5.50.
[3] 
Weekends and holidays: $125.
[a] 
Each additional mile outside North Brunswick Township but within the State of New Jersey when the tower agrees to tow outside the Township: $5.50.
(b) 
Light duty, all vehicles registered between 6,001 pounds and 12,000 pounds.
[1] 
Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.: $136.50.
[a] 
Each additional mile outside North Brunswick Township but within the State of New Jersey when the tower agrees to tow outside the Township: $6.60.
[b] 
Each additional person after the first person shall be charged at the rate of $88.80 per hour per person.
[2] 
Monday through Friday, 6:01 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.: $163.20.
[a] 
Each additional mile outside North Brunswick Township but within the State of New Jersey when the tower agrees to tow outside the Township: $6.60.
[b] 
Each additional person after the first person shall be charged at the rate of $88.80 per hour per person.
[3] 
Weekends and holidays: $163.20.
[a] 
Each additional mile outside North Brunswick Township but within the State of New Jersey when the tower agrees to tow outside the Township: $6.60.
[b] 
Each additional person after the first person shall be charged at the rate of $88.80 per hour per person.
(c) 
Storage fees shall commence at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the date of the tow.
[1] 
Inside storage facility: $75 per day.
[2] 
Outside storage facility: $35 per day.
[3] 
An additional fee of $2 per running foot shall be authorized for either the indoor or outside storage of trucks, tractor trailers, buses and other vehicles longer than typical passenger vehicles.
(d) 
Storage fees to be paid by the Township for towing and storage of vehicles undertaken at the request of the Police Department shall commence at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the date of the tow as follows:
[1] 
A limit of $3 per day for the first 30 days of storage per vehicle.
[2] 
A limit of $2 per day for the 31st day of storage and any day thereafter.
[3] 
A limit of $400 per vehicle stored regardless of the duration of the storage, except that a waiver may be granted for good cause by the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs upon the request of the Township.
(e) 
Miscellaneous services, not to exceed:
[1] 
Start vehicle: $66.
[2] 
Flat tire: $66.
[3] 
Out of gas (does not include cost of gas): $66.
[4] 
Winching: $66 per 1/2 hour or any portion thereof.
[5] 
Cleanup materials. This item is to be a separate line item and itemized on each bill that its use is required. Reasonable rates are encouraged when billing for this item. When Speedi-Dry is used as a cleanup material, a fee of $15 per bag is authorized.
[6] 
A one-time yard charge for each visit or request may be charged for the following, but not limited to: car cover; photographs; administrative; placing any vehicle on a public street adjacent to it for the vehicle's removal; vehicle estimate requested by the owner or third-party insurance carrier (includes time with appraiser); removal of personal property from the subject vehicle (up to 15 minutes): $20.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that the fees authorized by this § 356-21A(1) for light duty, all passenger vehicles, with the exception of § 356-21A(1)(d), storage fees to be paid by the Township, shall be increased by 10% annually commencing on January 1, 2015, and each year thereafter.
(2) 
The following is the fee schedule for heavy-duty towing services:
(a) 
Heavy-duty towing.
[1] 
Conventional tow, 12,000 pounds to 25,000 pounds: $192.50.
[2] 
Conventional tow, 25,001 pounds to 55,000 pounds: $330.
[3] 
Conventional tow, 55,001 pounds to 80,000 pounds: $495.
[4] 
Conventional tow, bus coach: $495.
[5] 
Nights, weekends and holidays: additional: $82.50.
[6] 
Per mile outside North Brunswick Township (all tolls additional): $11.
[7] 
Extra-heavy-duty tilt bed low-boy tractor and trailer: $385 per hour.
[8] 
Winching: $385.
[9] 
Remove bumper: $33.
[10] 
Connect air line: $27.50.
[11] 
Remove axle: $27.50 per hour.
[12] 
Remove drive shaft: $38.50.
[13] 
Remove air scoop: $49.50.
[14] 
Remove exhaust pipes: $33.
[15] 
Cage brake chambers: $27.50 per hour.
[16] 
Extra men, per hour, per man: $88.80.
[17] 
Cleanup materials. This item is to be a separate line item and itemized on each bill that its use is required. Reasonable rates are encouraged when billing for this item.
[18] 
A one-time yard charge may be charged for the following, but not limited to: car cover; photographs; administrative; placing any vehicle on a public street adjacent to it for the vehicle's removal; vehicle estimate requested by the owner or third-party insurance carrier (includes time with appraiser); removal of personal property from the subject vehicle (up to 15 minutes): $45.
(b) 
Heavy-duty storage.
[1] 
Tractor: $55.
[2] 
Trailer: $55.
[3] 
Bus: $82.50.
[4] 
Tractor trailer: $82.50.
B. 
Every operator of a wrecker shall give the owner of the vehicle a written receipt for the fee paid, when requested, in accordance with the rates posted for the services which are required or directed to be rendered.
C. 
No wrecker shall charge an unreasonable fee for their services. Fees shall be presumed to be unreasonable if they exceed 25% of the usual and customary fee charged for consensual towing and related storage services, or 50% of the usual and customary fees for nonconsensual towing and related storage services by towing and storage companies operating within the Township.

§ 356-22 Additional general regulations.

No driver, operator, owner or licensee of any wrecker shall:
A. 
Engage in cruising as defined herein.
B. 
Seek employment by repeatedly and persistently driving a wrecker to and from in a short space in front of any disabled vehicle or by otherwise interfering with the proper and orderly progress of traffic along the public highways.
C. 
At the scene of an accident, park a wrecker on any public street or intersection, or any public or private property, other than his or her own, without first obtaining the consent of a police officer or the owner of the property.
D. 
Solicit or attempt to divert prospective patrons of another wrecker or divert prospective patrons of one garage to another.
E. 
Solicit, demand or receive any commission or fee from any person except the proper fee for service to and transportation of a disabled vehicle.
F. 
Offer or pay any gratuity, tip or emolument to any third person or to any police officer or Township employee for any information as to the location of any accident or disabled vehicle or for soliciting the employment of services described herein. The provisions of this section shall apply to the operation of any wrecker on the streets of the Township, whether such wrecker is licensed or unlicensed, and without regard to whether or not the owner, operator or licensee of such wrecker is engaged in the business of operating a wrecker within the Township.
G. 
Fail, when requested by the owner or operator of a vehicle subject to nonconsensual towing, to release a vehicle to the owner or operator that has been, or is about to be, hooked or lifted but has not actually been moved or removed from the property when the vehicle owner or operator returns to the vehicle, or, to charge the owner or operator requesting release of the said vehicle an unreasonable or excessive decoupling fee. Such fee shall be presumptively unreasonable and excessive if it exceeds by more than 25% of the usual and customary decoupling fee charged by the towing company for consensual towing, or if it exceeds by more than 50% of the usual and customary fee charged for nonconsensually towed vehicles.
H. 
Charge a fee for a private property or other nonconsensual towing or related storage service not listed on the schedule of services for which a fee may be charged as established by the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
I. 
Charge an unreasonable or excessive fee, such fee shall be presumptively unreasonable and excessive if it exceeds by more than 25% of the usual and customary decoupling fee charged by the towing company for consensual towing, or if it exceeds by more than 50% of the usual and customary fee charged for nonconsensually towed vehicles.
J. 
Refuse to accept for payment in lieu of cash or an insurance company check for towing or storage services a debit card, charge card or credit card if the operator ordinarily accepts such card at its place of business, unless the motorist is unable to provide valid identification or if the operator has a bona fide reason to believe the card or other identification is fictitious, altered, stolen, expired or revoked.
K. 
Monitor, patrol, or otherwise surveil a private property for purposes of identifying vehicles parked for unauthorized purposes and towing a motor vehicle parked for an unauthorized purpose from such private property without having been specifically requested to tow such vehicle by the owner of the property.
L. 
Prior to the time of any public auction, operators of facilities storing towed vehicles shall allow the public to inspect the vehicles to be sold at such public auction. Any operators of a facility storing towed vehicles who take any actions to impede, delay, defer, prohibit or interfere with the inspection of such vehicles for public auction shall be subject to the penalties provided in § 356-15D hereinabove.

§ 356-23 Rotating call list.

A. 
All requests for towing or wrecking service made by the Police Department shall be by rotation. The Department shall maintain four rotating call lists: 1) light-duty motor vehicle accident; 2) light-duty miscellaneous; 3) heavy-duty motor vehicle accident; and 4) heavy-duty miscellaneous. The Department shall, depending upon the vehicle(s) to be towed, call the wrecker service from the appropriate list by rotation within said list. When, however, the owner or driver of the disabled motor vehicle indicates a choice of a specific wrecker owner, that wrecker owner should be called, and no wrecker shall be assigned from the rotating list.
B. 
The rotation system shall be conducted in the following manner:
(1) 
The Township Clerk shall compile four lists of all licensees as provided in this chapter designated as follows:
(a) 
Light duty.
[1] 
Light-duty motor vehicle accident: vehicles having a gross vehicle weight of 12,000 pounds or less towed as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
[2] 
Light-duty miscellaneous: vehicles having a gross vehicle weight of 12,000 pounds or less towed for impounds, disabled road service, vehicle fires or other reasons.
(b) 
Heavy duty.
[1] 
Heavy-duty motor vehicle accident: vehicles having a gross weight of 12,001 pounds or greater towed as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
[2] 
Heavy-duty miscellaneous: vehicles having a gross weight of 12,001 pounds or greater towed for impounds, disabled road service, vehicle fire or other reasons.
(2) 
The original and annual public reporting of the current lists of designated towing contractors containing the company name, address, telephone number and maximum towing fees shall be printed and circulated in the municipality or county as appropriate. The annual reporting of the list shall be available for inspection by any member of the general public upon request and during regular business hours.
(3) 
Each owner, lessee or bailee of a wrecker licensed hereunder shall be placed on an initial call list, for light-duty motor vehicle accident, light-duty miscellaneous, heavy-duty motor vehicle, heavy-duty miscellaneous, or all if heavy-duty, based upon the date on which the license is issued and upon the classification of the wrecker. Where an owner, lessee or bailee shall own or lease more than one wrecker classified for light-duty which shall be assigned to the same areas, said owner's, lessee's or bailee's name shall appear but once on said call list.
(4) 
Whenever the Police Department or any other department summons a wrecker, the owner, lessee or bailee at the beginning of the list for the area concerned will be called. After being summoned, such owner, lessee or bailee shall be placed at the end of such list, whether or not said owner, lessee or bailee responds to the call. Thereafter, the next licensee shall be called until the rotation is completed.
C. 
Additional rules and regulations regarding the rotation of wreckers as may be promulgated hereunder by the Township Clerk shall take effect immediately after service of a copy thereof to all holders of licenses for wreckers in the Township, which may be made by addressing the same to the licensees by mail at their last known addresses. If, pursuant to the rules and regulations for rotation of wreckers adopted under this chapter, the Police Department summons a wrecker to the scene of an accident for the purpose of removing a vehicle and the owner of the disabled vehicle declines to use the services of the wrecker summoned and indicates that he or she prefers to have the vehicle handled by another wrecker, the officer in charge shall authorize the summoned wrecker to go to the garage designated by the owner of the disabled vehicle. In any event, the summoned wrecker shall be entitled to collect towing charges from either the owner of the disabled vehicle or the owner of the garage to which the vehicle is towed at the discretion of its owner.
D. 
A wrecker company that cannot respond when called shall not have any other wrecker company, whether on the rotation list or not, respond in its place. The next wrecker on the list shall be called to respond by the Police Department.
E. 
Any wrecker company unable to respond to four or more police requests per month may be subject to removal from the approved list.
F. 
After being requested by a dispatcher or desk officer of the Police Department, approved wrecker operators shall respond to the scene within 20 minutes between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except state holidays, and within 25 minutes at all other times, unless such response time is prevented by extraordinary conditions of weather or other extraordinary circumstances resulting in obstruction of general access to the scene.
G. 
A wrecker operator shall immediately dispatch a wrecker when requested by the desk officer to respond to an emergency situation.

§ 356-24 Grievance procedure.

Any person having a grievance against a licensee under this chapter may seek redress in the following manner:
A. 
Complaints.
(1) 
All complaints shall be filed, during normal operating hours, with the Deputy Chief of Police. The complaint will set forth with particularity all relevant facts and documentation upon which the complaint is based and must contain an affidavit verifying the facts contained therein to be true and accurate. The complainant may request a hearing before the Deputy Chief of Police with regard to the subject matter of this complaint.
(2) 
The Police Department shall forward all complaints to the Division of Traffic and Safety, which shall review such complaints, and file a recommendation with the Deputy Chief of Police within 15 days of receipt of the complaint.
(3) 
The Chief will conduct a hearing and render a decision within 45 days from the date the complaint was filed.
B. 
Appeals.
(1) 
The complainant may appeal the decision made by the Deputy Chief of Police, provided that said appeal is filed within 10 days following the issuance of the decision.
(2) 
All appeals shall be filed with the Business Administrator. Said Administrator shall review the case based upon the record before the Deputy Chief of Police and issue a decision within 30 days.

§ 356-25 Violations; notice of violations; violations and appeals.

A. 
If any of the provisions of this chapter are alleged to have been violated or if an application is denied, the licensee or applicant shall be notified of any noncompliance or denial by registered mail.
B. 
The notice shall state the specific provision(s) of this chapter which it is alleged has been violated or the reasons for denial of any application.
C. 
In the event of a violation notice, the notice shall further state that, upon request, if made by the licensee within 15 days of the receipt of said notice, the official issuing the notice of violation shall meet with the licensee to discuss the basis for the determination that a violation exists and any proposed means of eliminating any violations. That meeting shall take place within 30 days of said request. Following any such meeting, the official issuing the notice of violation may rescind the notice if it is determined that there was no violation or in the event the alleged violation is otherwise eliminated. The official may also grant time for the correction of any violation upon request.
D. 
If, within 30 days after mailing the notice of violation, or within 30 days after the aforesaid meeting, in the event a meeting is requested and does not resolve the dispute in a mutually acceptable manner, the licensee has failed to correct the violation or reason for noncompliance, the licensee shall be penalized in accordance with this § 356-26.
E. 
A licensee or applicant may appeal from a decision to impose a penalty or a decision not to grant a license within 15 days of the date of receipt of a penalty notice or a notice that a license has not been granted. The licensee or applicant shall file a letter of appeal from the decision and request a hearing before the Township Council. Upon receipt of such letter of appeal, the Township Council shall, by resolution, appoint a hearing officer to hear and determine the appeal and set a date for a hearing. The hearing officer shall schedule a hearing not less than 10 nor more than 30 days from the date of service of the complaint.

§ 356-26 Violations and penalties.

Notwithstanding the penalties provided for violations of § 356-15, the following shall apply for violations of this chapter as follows:
A. 
Rotating call list licensees. Rotating call list licensees shall be subject to the following penalties:
(1) 
For a violation of any provision of this wrecker chapter, except wrecker response time limits:
(a) 
First violation in any given calendar year will result in a warning letter.
(b) 
Second violation in any given calendar year may result in a suspension not greater than 15 days from the rotating call list.
(c) 
Third violation in any given calendar year may result in a suspension from the rotating call list not greater than for a period for the remainder of the calendar year or for 90 days, whichever is greater.
(d) 
Fourth violation in any given calendar year shall result in the permanent removal from the rotating call list on a permanent basis.
(2) 
For a violation of the wrecker response time limits:
(a) 
First violation in any given calendar year may result in a warning letter.
(b) 
Second violation in any given calendar year may result in a suspension not greater than seven days from the rotating call list.
(c) 
Third violation in any given calendar year may result in a suspension not greater than 28 days from the rotating call list.
(d) 
Fourth violation in any given calendar year may result in a suspension from the rotating call list not greater than for a period for the remainder of the year or for 56 days, whichever is greater.
(e) 
Fifth violation in any given calendar year shall result in the permanent removal from the rotating call list on a permanent basis.
B. 
All other operators.
(1) 
For violations of any provision of the wrecker chapter, all operators and/or owners of wreckers not on the rotating call list shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment or community service for a term not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment or community service, in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge.
(2) 
The continuation of any violations of this chapter on each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation(s) may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.

§ 356-27 Enforcement.

The municipal officers and/or agencies designated to enforce the provisions of this chapter in accordance with due process of law are the North Brunswick Township Police Deputy Chief/designee and the North Brunswick Township Zoning Officer and Code Enforcement Officers, where applicable.

§ 356-28 When effective; continued operation.

This chapter shall become effective immediately upon publication of appropriate notice of the adoption of this chapter and shall be applicable to each existing licensee at the time of renewal of such license. Any person who has a valid unexpired license which was issued in accordance with the previous ordinance may continue to operate under such license, but shall be subject to all of the provisions of this chapter, except for such provisions as only address the requirements and procedures for the issuance of a wrecker's license pursuant to this chapter.