Township of Readington, NJ
Hunterdon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Readington 5-17-2004 by Ord. No. 23-2004. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 225.
Inoperable vehicles — See Ch. 227.

§ 217-1 License required.

A. 
No towing operator on or after January 1, 2004, shall operate within the Township of Readington for police-requested towing services and/or storage services unless the towing operator has obtained a license issued by the Township of Readington.
B. 
The requirement for an initial license under this chapter shall commence on January 1, 2004, and the initial license shall expire on December 31, 2004. Thereafter, the license shall be issued on an annual basis for the period of January 1 through December 31 of the following year.
C. 
There shall be a limitation on the number of licenses issued and in effect at one time. The Chief of Police will determine the number of licenses in effect.
D. 
The application for a license under this chapter shall be upon forms made available through the Office of the Township Clerk.

§ 217-2 Exceptions.

Owner-requested service. No tow operator license shall be required for the on-site repair and/or the towing or storage of any vehicle when the request is received by the towing operator from the motor vehicle owner/operator prior to a police request or if the owner/operator of a motor vehicle requests the police contact a tow company of the owner/operator's choice for towing and/or storage under the direction and control of the owner/operator.

§ 217-3 License; term of license.

A. 
Upon this chapter becoming effective, applications for the initial license shall be available from and must be received by the Township Clerk. Thereafter, for a new license or renewal thereof, the applications must be received by the Township Clerk prior to November 1 of each year for processing prior to December 1 of the license year.
B. 
The Township Clerk will forward all complete applications to the Chief of Police within five days of receipt. The Chief of Police will conduct, or cause to be conducted, an investigation of each application to verify the information contained in said application, background check, survey of equipment, compliance with established rules and regulations, and such other pertinent matters related to potential licensing or renewal. Upon concluding the review, the Chief of Police will return a copy of the application to the Township Clerk, along with a recommendation for approval or disapproval of a license, and the reasons, if any, for disapproval. The Township Clerk shall issue a tow operator license to each qualified applicant, and thereafter, the licensee's name shall be placed on the Readington Township Police Department licensed tow operators' list. The Clerk shall forward to any person rejected for a license a copy of his application with the reasons for disapproval.
C. 
The term of the license shall be for one year commencing January 1 and expiring on the next succeeding December 31 and shall list the name of the tow operator business and each employee licensed thereunder.
D. 
Each licensee shall be required to maintain in full force and effect during the term of its license, insurance coverage including garage liability and garage keeper's liability insurance, comprehensive automobile liability insurance, and worker's compensation insurance with limits of not less than those set forth in the Tow Operators Rules/Regulations and Guidelines (which are on file in the Municipal Clerk's office), and provide proof of such coverages to the Township Clerk at the time of filing of its license application.
E. 
In the event of any disapproval, suspension or revocation of a license for failure to comply with this chapter or the Tow Operators Rules/Regulations and Guidelines (which are on file in the Municipal Clerk's office), no refund of application fees shall be given, and payment of another initial application fee shall be required upon applying for reinstatement.

§ 217-4 Application fees.

Application fees. All application fees submitted to the Township are nonrefundable and shall be utilized to offset the cost of processing of the said application and license.
A. 
Initial application fee: $150.
B. 
Renewal application fee: $100.

§ 217-5 Investigation and inspection.

A. 
The Police Department of the Township of Readington may conduct a thorough background check of the licensee, its officers, principals, and employees prior to the granting of a license. A conviction for any offense and/or a motor vehicle record 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 a current driver's abstract, along with executed background check waivers for all officers, principals and employees, in the form provided by the Chief of Police.
B. 
Each licensee shall submit the names of all employees newly hired during the term of the license for a review and background check, which may be performed by the Township Police Department prior to such individual being added to the license and performing any services as described in this chapter. The license shall be subject to revocation for failure to submit employees to such a background check.

§ 217-6 Disapproval, suspension or revocation of license; appeal.

A. 
The Chief of Police shall have the right, in his sole discretion, to disapprove and suspend or revoke any license issued under this chapter, upon investigation and the determination that there has been a violation of the Tow Operators Rules/Regulations and Guidelines (which are on file in the Municipal Clerk's office) and/or this chapter by the licensee or its employees.
B. 
The Chief of Police shall be the sole administrator of the Police Department's licensed Tow Operator's list. All complaints concerning any licensed tow truck company/operator shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police for review and investigation.
C. 
Any license suspension or revocation shall cause the tow company to be removed from the tow operators list. A licensed tow company that has been suspended or revoked may reapply in accordance with the provisions of this chapter to be placed on the list as of January 1 of the year after the suspension or revocation.
D. 
An applicant or licensee shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Chief of Police to disapprove, suspend or revoke its license. Any aggrieved party may appeal the decision of the Chief of Police by providing a written statement of appeal containing the facts and supporting documentation to the Township Administrator within seven (7) days of the date of such disapproval, suspension or revocation.
(1) 
Within 30 days of the receipt of the said appeal, the Township Administrator shall investigate the matter and issue a written report thereon, with copies to the aggrieving party, the Chief of Police and the Township Committee.
(2) 
In the event that the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party, then the aggrieved party may request a final review of such action by the Township Committee, by filing a written request with the Office of the Township Clerk within seven days of the date of the Administrator's written report. Thereafter, the Township Committee will conduct a review of the matter and issue a final determination no later than the second regular Township Committee meeting next following the receipt of the written request by the Township Clerk.

§ 217-7 Rules and regulations; rates.

A. 
There is hereby established and adopted a Maximum Fee Rate Schedule for the towing and storage by licensees under this chapter as hereinafter set forth. The Maximum Fee Rate Schedule shall also be made part of the Tow Operators Rules/Regulations and Guidelines (which are on file in the Municipal Clerk's office) and shall be subject to adjustment.
(1) 
The Chief of Police is directed to monitor and from time to time recommend to the Township Committee amendments to the Tow Operators Rules/Regulations and Guidelines (which are on file in the Municipal Clerk's office) for consideration and enactment by formal resolution of the Township Committee at a public meeting.
(2) 
Prior to the adoption of any amendment to these initial Tow Operators Rules/Regulations and Guidelines (which are on file in the Municipal Clerk's office), the Chief of Police shall provide to each tow operator licensed under this chapter a copy of such proposed amendment at least five days in advance of the public meeting at which the Township Committee will consider such recommendation.
B. 
Rates. There is hereby established and adopted a Maximum Fee Rate Schedule for the towing and storage by licensees under this chapter. The Maximum Fee Rate Schedule set forth herein shall also be made part of the Tow Operators Rules/Regulations and Guidelines (which are on file in the Municipal Clerk’s office), and shall be reviewed annually and be subject to adjustment by ordinance.
[Amended 3-17-2014 by Ord. No. 07-2014]
(1) 
Basic towing services:
Service
Fee
Days (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
First mile or less, $95
Nights, weekends and NJ state holidays
First mile or less, $125
Mileage charge — (round trip)
$3.00 per mile after 1st mile
Accident debris cleanup
$25
Accident debris cleanup with fluid spill (cannot be combined with above cleanup charge)
$35
Service charge daytime (jump starts, tire change, fuel etc)
$95 (parts/fuel not included)
Service charge nights, weekends and holidays
$125 (parts/fuel not included)
Administrative fee (must provide an itemized breakdown of each charge)
Not to exceed $25
(2) 
Storage fees.
(a) 
Inside storage, per 24 hours: $30 (inside storage must be requested).
(b) 
Outside storage, per 24 hours: $20.
Storage time starts from when the vehicle is towed and stops once vehicle owner/operator or a representative thereof request to pick up the vehicle. If the owner/operator or a representative request to pick up the vehicle, but the tow operator is unavailable to release said vehicle, storage fees cannot be charged after that request. If the owner/operator or a representative does not meet at said time, storage charges may resume.
C. 
Miscellaneous provisions.
(1) 
The above towing fees apply to a private passenger automobile/utility vehicle and shall not include such additional services as may be required for recovery such as up-righting of vehicle, etc.
(2) 
Standby time at scene of major accidents when so required by police shall not exceed $50 per hour in addition to above.
(3) 
"Basic towing service" means the removal and transportation of an automobile/utility vehicle from a highway, street or other public or private road, or a parking area, or from a storage facility and other services normally incidental thereto, but does not include recovery of an automobile from a position beyond the right-of-way or berm, or from being impaled upon any other object within the right-of-way or berm.

§ 217-8 Indemnification.

All licensees, by applying for and accepting a tow operator's license under this chapter, agree to and shall indemnify and hold the Township of Readington and its officers and employees harmless from any liability, expense or costs of suit, including reasonable attorney's fees and costs, arising out of or resulting from any action of the tow operator in performing towing and storage services in the Township of Readington as a licensee under this chapter. This indemnification clause shall be included as part of the application for a license and shall also be printed on the applicant's license.

§ 217-9 Violations and penalties.

Any person or entity who shall be found to have violated any section of this chapter or to have submitted a false or misleading application shall, in addition to penalties hereinafter provided in this chapter, be subject to removal from the tow operators list and/or suspension or revocation of its license. Upon conviction of a violation of this chapter, the person or entity shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or by imprisonment for up to 90 days, and/or by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, in the discretion of the Court.