Township of Bridgewater, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Bridgewater 6-21-1976 by Ord. No. 76-19; amended in its entirety 11-6-2014 by Ord. No. 14-10. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 94.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 204.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 206.

§ 216-1 Word usage; definitions.

A. 
Word usage. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words in the plural number include the singular number; and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely discretionary.
B. 
Definitions. For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
AUTOMOBILE
All motor vehicles except motorcycles.
(1) 
The removal and transportation of an automobile or motorcycle from a highway, street or other public or private road or any parking area or from a storage facility and other services normally incident thereto. This does not include recovery of an automobile which is fixed or has been thrust upon any other object within or without the right-of-way or berm, nor does it include removal of trucks or buses. This includes but is not limited to any motor vehicles that can be driven, under its own power, to the wrecker or the wrecker can pull up and remove the motor vehicle.
(2) 
Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:45A-31.2 of the rules of the State Division of Consumer Affairs, "basic towing service" also includes 15 minutes' waiting time after arriving at the site from which a motor vehicle will be towed.
(3) 
Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:45A-31.2 of the rules of the State Division of Consumer Affairs, "basic towing service" also includes issuing documents for the release of the motor vehicle to its owner or other person authorized to take the motor vehicle; issuing an itemized bill; three trips to the motor vehicle in storage, which if applicable, include making a vehicle available to an insurance appraiser or adjuster; issuing documents for the release of the motor vehicle to its owner or other person authorized to take the motor vehicle; and retrieving a motor vehicle from storage.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of the Police Department of the Township of Bridgewater or anyone designated by him.
CRUISING
Driving an unengaged wrecker back and forth on a public street in a manner primarily calculated to solicit business without being specifically requested by the police or owner/driver of an automobile or truck.
DECOUPLING
Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:45A-31.2 of the rules of the State Division of Consumer Affairs, "decoupling" means releasing a motor vehicle to its owner or operator when the motor vehicle has been, or is about to be, hooked to or lifted by a tow truck, but prior to the motor vehicle actually having been moved or removed from the property.
DEPARTMENT
New Jersey Department of Insurance and Banking.
HEAVY-DUTY WRECKER
Commercial manufactured truck with wrecker body, Minimum GVW 26,001 pounds used to tow and recover commercial vehicles over 26,000 pounds GVW as well as passenger vehicles unable to be recovered by other means.
INSIDE BUILDING
A vehicle storage facility that is completely indoors, having one or more openings in the walls for storage and removal of vehicles, and that is secured by a locking device at each opening.
LABOR
The additional work done at the scene by the tow truck operator that is beyond that required to perform a basic tow, or any additional manpower needed to complete a recovery, winching or towing of a vehicle.
LIGHT-DUTY WRECKER
Used to tow and recover small light-duty vehicles up to 10,000 pounds.
MEDIUM-DUTY WRECKER
Used to tow and recover small commercial vehicles from 10,001 pounds to 26,000 pounds GVW.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any automotive vehicle, not operated on rails, with rubber tires for use on highways and includes, not by way of limitation, automobiles, as defined hereinabove, trucks, tractor-trailers, buses and motorcycles.
NONCONSENSUAL TOWING
The towing of a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or operator of the vehicle. Nonconsensual towing includes towing a motor vehicle when law enforcement orders the removal of the vehicle whether or not the owner or the operator consents thereto.
OPERATOR
A person, firm, corporation or other legal entity engaged in the business of providing wrecker services and storage services for vehicles towed. This shall include all employees of said firm, corporation or other legal entity engaged in the business of providing wrecker services and storage services for vehicles towed.
OUTSIDE SECURED
A motor vehicle storage facility that is not indoors and is secured by a fence, wall or other man-made barrier that is at least six feet high. The facility is to be lighted at night.
RECOVERY
When the tow operator applies his knowledge in a skillful manner to preserve the condition of the motor vehicle while winching and/or lifting the damaged vehicle back to a normal towing or loading position.
ROAD SERVICE
Services performed by an operator upon a motor vehicle located on a highway, street or other public or private road or a parking area which do not involve towing or are otherwise not incidental to towing, e.g., jump starts, flat tire repair, mechanical repair.
SECURE STORAGE FACILITIES
A storage facility that is either completely indoors or is surrounded by a fence, wall or other man-made barrier that is at least six feet high and is lighted from dusk to dawn.
SHAREHOLDER
Any person or entity owning 10% or more of the shares of the wrecker/towing company.
STORAGE CHARGES FOR TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR PERIOD
The maximum allowable amount to be charged by a storage facility for a twenty-four-hour period or fraction thereof. The twenty-four-hour period shall commence at the time the storage of the vehicle begins.
TOWING LIST
A list shall be maintained by the Police Department containing the names of those wreckers licensed by the Township to respond to requests for the towing of motor vehicles made by the Police Department. No operators will be allowed to have more than one spot on the list. Unless an operator has the ability to perform towing services and meet the minimum standards required, it will not be allowed on the list. Any operator already on the list will be grandfathered in, provided that it can meet the minimum standards except where otherwise noted in this section.
TOWING PROCESSING FEE
The charge paid to the Township of Bridgewater as per the provisions of this chapter. Such charge is hereby established to cover costs incurred by the Township of Bridgewater in administration of towing services, automobile releases, reports, advertisement of auctions and notifications to owners. Towing operators shall collect and submit this fee as per this chapter. The towing processing fee is assessed per vehicle per § 216-13 and is separate and apart from the yearly Township licensing fee.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Bridgewater.
TOWNSHIP LICENSING FEE
The Township Licensing fee is intended to cover the cost of administrative expenses which include, not by way of limitation, certain investigation with respect to applications and owners of wrecker/towing services and operators of wrecker/towing truck(s), maintenance of rotating wrecker lists, periodic inspection of wrecker and towing services to ensure compliance with the standards and criteria set forth in this chapter and under New Jersey law. The Township licensing fee is assessed yearly pursuant to § 216-4 and is separate and apart from the per-vehicle towing processing fee.
TOW RATE
The maximum allowable rates set forth in § 216-13.
WAITING TIME
Any time a towing company spends at the site from which a motor vehicle will be towed, during which the towing company is prevented from performing any work by another individual, beyond the time included as part of a basic towing service.
WINCHING
The process of moving a motor vehicle by the use of additional chains, nylon slings and additional lengths of winching cable from a position that is not accessible for direct hook up by conventional means for towing and/or loading onto a tow vehicle. Winching is not pulling a vehicle onto a flatbed carrier or lifting a motor vehicle by conventional means (tow sling, wheel lift, etc.).
WRECKER/TOW TRUCK VEHICLE
A vehicle driven by mechanical power and employed for the purposes of towing, transporting, conveying and/or removing any and all kinds of motor vehicles which are unable to be and actually are not operated under their own power from one place to another, for which a charge or fee is exacted. It includes those motor vehicles equipped with a boom, winches, slings, tilt beds, wheel lifts or under-reach equipment specifically designed by its manufacturer for the removal or transport of private passenger automobiles or any other motor vehicle.
VEHICLE ACCESS CHARGE
A one-time, per-vehicle charge that operators can charge if they must escort an insurance appraiser, a removing tow company, the owner of the vehicle or their representative or anyone other than law enforcement who properly request to see the vehicle. This charge shall only be assessed after three visits.

§ 216-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a uniform set of procedures for administering the issuance, renewal, suspension and revocation of all licenses issued under this chapter in the interest of fair treatment of the motoring public and towing operators and to establish standards for the operation of towing businesses by licensees and to set rates for services performed by licensees.

§ 216-3 Establishment of towing list.

The Township will establish a list of licensed operators that will provide towing services upon request. The list will be maintained and administered in a nondiscriminatory, nonexclusionary rotating basis by the Chief of Police. Official towers shall be placed on the list in the order in which applications are approved. If the initial list has already been established, new official towers shall be added to the end of that list upon the approval of their applications.

§ 216-4 License required; licensing fee.

A. 
No person who wishes to engage in municipal towing at public request, from the official towing list, shall engage in the business of operating wrecker or towing vehicles for the aforementioned purposes within the Township without first obtaining a license therefor. Nothing in this chapter shall apply to wreckers that pick up disabled vehicles outside the Township limits and are in the course of taking such vehicles to a garage or other location either within or without the Township and to wreckers whose services are typically requested by the driver or owner of the motor vehicle as opposed to by the Police Department.
B. 
The fee for initial and renewal of said license shall be $200. The renewal fee shall be paid annually by December 31 of each year. For an initial license, the fee will be due after approval is granted.

§ 216-5 Application for license; information required; minimum equipment standards.

A. 
Any operator who desires to perform towing work at police request should submit a completed Bridgewater Township application for wrecker service license, in duplicate, to the Chief of Police and a statement that he will not discriminate in the hiring, terms and conditions of employment in accordance with New Jersey and federal law. By submitting an application, the tow company owner or shareholder agrees to abide by all that is contained in this chapter. The owner/shareholder will be subject to the penalties defined in the chapter should they violate it. All applications for the renewal of the license must be completed and submitted to the Chief of Police before December 31. Failure to return a complete application will result in the tower being removed from the list.
B. 
Information required. The applicant will submit the following information:
(1) 
The name, address and phone number of the applicant.
(2) 
The name, address and phone number of the operator.
(3) 
The names and addresses of all shareholders of the company, if any.
(4) 
One phone number of the operator which will be used by the police department to contact the tower. This number must be available on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week basis.
(5) 
The year, make, type and model of each wrecker (including heavy wreckers) used by the operator, its vehicle identification number and New Jersey registration number.
(6) 
The location and size of all operators' vehicle storage lots, together with such photographs of the same as the Chief of Police may require.
(7) 
The names, addresses, and driver's license numbers of all employee-drivers of the wreckers identified. Employee-drivers must possess a valid driver's license, from one of the 50 states, prior to the date of application. A photocopy of the state license and a certified driver's abstract for each employee-driver must be attached to the application. The same shall also be attached for the operator if he/she is an individual who will be operating a wrecker. A current and up to date abstract shall be provided with the renewal application.
(8) 
A completed New Jersey State Police SBI-212A Form for every employee of the operator.
(9) 
Copies of any and all successful civil complaints filed against the operator, its agents, workers or employee-drivers for deceptive business practices, including but not limited to insurance fraud, price gouging or other similar complaint or offense.
(10) 
A description of the security features of the vehicle storage lots.
(11) 
A list of the names, addresses, policy numbers and coverage of the insurance required by this chapter, together with a signed indemnification agreement pursuant to this chapter. The form of such indemnification agreement shall be provided by the Chief of Police.
C. 
Minimum equipment standards.
(1) 
All applicants must be able to provide tow service for any situation that the Township requires and be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The following shall serve as a minimum standard for light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty wreckers.
(a) 
Light- and medium-duty: With the exception of those operators who are presently on the Township rotating list, new operators will be required to have a minimum of two flatbed trucks and one hydraulic wrecker truck.
(b) 
Heavy-duty: Heavy-duty operators will be required to have a minimum of one heavy-duty truck.
(c) 
All trucks must be equipped with two-way communications capabilities. Tow businesses must maintain amber light permits for all wrecker emergency lighting permits issued by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission pursuant to provisions of Section 39:3-50.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 39:3-50.
(2) 
Light-duty (10,000 pounds and below GVWR capacity):
(a) 
Dual rear wheels or equivalent.
(b) 
Gross vehicle weight: 14,000 pounds.
[1] 
Boom rating: 8,000 pounds.
[2] 
Winch rating: 8,000 pounds.
[3] 
Cable size: 3/8 inch.
[4] 
Cable length: 100 feet.
[5] 
Wheel lift retracted rating: 6,000 pounds.
[6] 
Extended rating: 3,000 pounds.
(c) 
Extra chains and cable for pulling or securing a towed vehicle.
(d) 
Flatbed vehicles must be equipped with:
[1] 
Gross vehicle weight: 18,000 pounds.
[2] 
Winch rating: 8,000 pounds.
[3] 
Cable size: 3/8 inch.
[4] 
Bed length: 17 feet.
[5] 
Bed width: seven feet (inside side rails).
[6] 
Wheel lift retracted rating: 6,000 pounds.
[7] 
Wheel lift extended: 3,000 pounds.
(e) 
At least one amber rotating beacon or strobe light mounted on the highest practical location on the vehicles, visible from 360° when in use and visible at a minimum distance of 500 feet during daylight hours, colored.
(f) 
Safety tow lights or magnetic tow lights for towing vehicles at night, amber or red colored.
(3) 
Medium-duty (small commercial type vehicles from 10,001 to 26,000 pounds):
(a) 
Dual rear wheels.
(b) 
Gross vehicle weight: 33,000 pounds.
[1] 
Boom rating: 28,000 pounds.
[2] 
Winch rating: 28,000 pounds.
[3] 
Cable size: 1/2 inch.
[4] 
Cable length: 100 feet.
[5] 
Wheel lift retracted rating: 11,000 pounds.
[6] 
Extended rating: 7,000 pounds.
(c) 
Extra chains and cable for pulling or securing a towed vehicle.
(d) 
Air brakes.
(e) 
At least one amber rotating beacon or strobe light mounted on the highest practical location on the vehicles, visible from 360° when in use and visible at a minimum distance of 500 feet during daylight hours.
(f) 
Safety tow lights or magnetic tow lights for towing vehicles at night, amber or red colored.
(g) 
Connecting airlines for connection with the air compressor and air brake lines of code vehicles.
(h) 
A brake caging tool.
(4) 
Heavy-duty (32,000 pounds or more GVWR capacity):
(a) 
Dual rear wheels.
(b) 
Gross vehicle weight: 30,000 pounds.
[1] 
Boom and winch rating: 40,000 pounds.
[2] 
Cable size: 5/8 inch.
[3] 
Cable length: 200 feet.
[4] 
Wheel lift retracted rating: 25,000 pounds.
[5] 
Wheel lift extended rating: 12,000 pounds.
(c) 
Extra chains and cable for pulling or securing a towed vehicle.
(d) 
Air brakes.
(e) 
At least one amber rotating beacon or strobe light mounted on the highest practical location on the vehicles, visible from 360° when in use and visible at a minimum distance of 500 feet during daylight hours.
(f) 
Safety tow lights or magnetic tow lights for towing vehicles at night, amber or red colored.
(g) 
Connecting airlines for connection with the air compressor and air brake lines of code vehicles
(h) 
A brake caging tool.
(5) 
All wreckers shall be equipped with the following:
(a) 
One large street broom and shovel.
(b) 
Safety flares for night work.
(c) 
Speedy-Dry or equivalent absorbent material for fluid spills and containers to remove same.
(d) 
Fire extinguisher (ABC type).
(e) 
Basic set of automotive tools needed to complete any service or tow.
(f) 
Two-way communications capabilities.
(6) 
All drivers will wear a serviceable A.N.S.I. class II or III retro-reflective garment while working in the roadway.
(7) 
All wreckers licensed under this chapter shall be in compliance with all the applicable provisions of Title 39, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Traffic Regulations.
(8) 
Storage.
(a) 
The operator must have available space to properly accommodate and protect all vehicles towed at the request of the Township. This includes both inside and outside secured storage.
(b) 
The operator will be responsible for the safe storage of all vehicles towed.
(c) 
The storage area must be enclosed with a minimum six-foot-high fence, wall or barrier.
(d) 
The storage area must be secured and, if it is an outside storage facility, must be adequately lighted from dusk to dawn.
(e) 
The storage area must be legally zoned for such use.
(f) 
No vehicles will be stored in an unsecured area or allowed to remain on public property or any public street.
(g) 
The storage facility to which the vehicle is towed shall have a business office open to the public between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. To accommodate customers who cannot retrieve the vehicle within that timeframe on those days, the towing company shall allow the vehicle to be released on Saturday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. or shall make other reasonable arrangements to allow the vehicle to be released. The tow companies shall not delay the release of any vehicle upon the owner's request, by any means, without the permission of the Chief of Police, excluding nonconsensual towing. In instances of nonconsensual towing, vehicles shall be released only with the consent of the Chief of Police or his designee.

§ 216-6 Investigation of applicant.

After receiving a Bridgewater Township application for wrecker service, the Chief of Police shall conduct or shall cause to be conducted an investigation. The information contained in this application must be updated annually by the applicant before December 31 of each year. The purpose of the investigation shall be to determine the truth and accuracy of all information contained in the application including:
A. 
Driver's license and criminal background checks of the owner(s) and all wrecker/tow truck operators and shareholders and officers of the applicant will be performed at the time of the initial application and then each renewal, the cost of which shall be borne by the applicant.
(1) 
The applicant shall submit the names of any new wrecker/tow truck operators, shareholders and officers along with a completed New Jersey State Police SBI-212A Form within 10 business days of the change for investigation by the Bridgewater police. Only drivers that are included on the operator's application will be allowed to tow vehicles for the Township.
B. 
Whether the applicant has demonstrated, by his equipment capacity and personnel, the ability to respond to calls 24 hours a day and whether such ability is sufficient to provide speedy and sufficient responses to requests for wrecker service in any part of the Township which is hereby declared to be a period of 20 minutes for light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty tows. To insure prompt and efficient responses for day or night services, applicants shall have a site within an eight-mile radius of the center point of Bridgewater Township which is the intersection of Mine and Crim Roads. At the site, the applicant shall have appropriate minimum equipment as provided for in § 216-5 of this chapter.
C. 
Whether the equipment is thoroughly safe and in sound condition and complies with the regulations and standards of this chapter as well as any applicable provisions of the New Jersey Statutes.
D. 
Whether the applicant has demonstrated the adequacy of equipment and facilities, availability and response time and that he/she can provide for the security of the motor vehicles towed or stored. There will be no unsecured storage of any vehicle towed at the request of the Township.
E. 
Whether the applicant has the proper licenses, trade and business references.
F. 
Whether the applicant has sufficient, safe and reasonably proximate storage facilities which are available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
G. 
If the applicant, its shareholders and officers have charges pending with respect to a criminal offense.

§ 216-7 Issuance of license; denial, suspension and termination.

A. 
Upon completion of his investigation, the Chief of Police shall forward a copy of the completed Bridgewater Township application for wrecker service license to the Mayor along with a written recommendation for approval or disapproval of the license and the reason(s) for disapproval.
B. 
Upon receipt of the application, the Mayor, based upon a favorable recommendation by the Chief of Police, shall approve the license and the applicant's name will be placed at the end of the towing list.
C. 
Upon receipt of notice by the Mayor from the Chief of Police that the applicant has been approved and upon compliance by the applicant with § 216-9, Insurance and hold harmless agreement, herein, and upon payment by the applicant of the license fee of $200, the Chief of Police shall have the new operator placed on the official tow list and the operator shall be issued a license. Any license issued under this chapter shall be valid for a period of one year. The license is nontransferable.
D. 
The Chief of Police, in his discretion, may make a determination to temporarily deny, suspend or revoke the license, pending the outcome of an appeal, as delineated in § 216-8 below, under the following circumstances:
(1) 
When it is found that the license was secured by fraud or concealment of material facts by the wrecker, which facts, if known, would have caused the refusal to issue the license.
(2) 
When it is found that the operator has violated any of the provisions of this chapter, including those requirements which were the basis for the issuance of the license as delineated in §§ 216-4, 216-5 and 216-6.
(3) 
When the Chief of Police is not satisfied, based on compliance with this chapter and § 216-11 in particular, with the services of the operator and/or employees or with the cooperation the Township or the owner/driver of the towed motor vehicle has received in rendering such services.
(4) 
When it is found that the operator has violated state or federal law or regulation dealing with the issue of insurance.
(5) 
When it is found that the operator does not meet the minimum standards set forth in § 216-5C of this chapter.
(6) 
When it is found that the operator or any of its shareholders, officers, employees or drivers of its wrecker vehicles has been convicted of any violation of New Jersey Statutes, Title 2C, Chapters 11 through 41, for crimes of the fourth degree through the first degree or for a conviction for any indictable or felony crime in any other state.
(7) 
When the investigation reveals a refusal to submit the information required in § 216-5B.

§ 216-8 Appeal process; notice and hearing.

Once the Chief of Police has either made a recommendation to deny a license application or made a determination that an existing license will be temporarily suspended or revoked, the operator may appeal that decision and request a hearing by the Mayor or his/her designee in accordance with the following procedure:
A. 
Within 10 business days of the date of the Chief's written recommendation or decision to the Mayor, the operator will receive a written notice from the Chief of Police setting forth his recommendation and/or determination and the reasons therefor. During this ten-day period, the operator shall not receive calls of services.
B. 
The operator shall be given a hearing within 45 days of receipt of that written notice, with 14 days' advance written notice of the hearing date.
C. 
The Mayor or his/her appointee shall consider the matter at a hearing open to the public, at the discretion of the operator, and may request that the operator appear and give testimony and/or provide documents, photographs and the like regarding the basis for the charge that the license should be denied, suspended or revoked, as the case may be. The operator shall be afforded the right to be heard, including presenting witness(es), documents, photographs and the like regarding the charge that the license should be denied, suspended or revoked. After considering the matter and the evidence presented, the Mayor or his/her appointee shall make certain findings and conclusions relative to the charge which shall constitute the decision.
D. 
If the Mayor or his/her appointee finds in support of the charge and against the operator by a preponderance of the credible evidence, the Mayor or appointee may consider and impose the following penalties: denial of the license to the applicant or operator; suspension of the operator's license for a fixed period or duration; revocation of such license for a fixed period or duration; termination of the license; prohibiting unacceptable employees from performing any work related to towing requested by the Township or any other such penalty as the Mayor or appointee deems just and equitable under the circumstances.
E. 
In considering the imposition of penalties, the Mayor or appointee shall take into account factors including, but not limited to, any prior violations, the nature and seriousness of the complaint and the danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public.

§ 216-9 Insurance and hold harmless agreement.

All insurance companies must be authorized to do business in New Jersey and must be acceptable to the Township. Such acceptance shall not be withheld unreasonably.
A. 
No wrecker license shall be issued under this chapter until the applicant has deposited with the Chief of Police the following insurance policies:
(1) 
Garage keeper's policy. A garage keeper's liability policy shall be in the minimum amount of $100,000 per location. Each vehicle damaged shall be deemed a separate claim.
(2) 
Garage liability; motor vehicle liability; comprehensive general liability; and miscellaneous coverage. The wrecker/towing service shall maintain general liability and personal injury insurance coverage, in a form satisfactory to the Township, which shall be for an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit and $1,000,000 umbrella/excess liability coverage, which insurance policy shall indemnify the Township against any loss due to vehicles, accidents or damages of any character whatsoever, where any such loss is the result of an act or omission of the wrecker, his agents or employees or due to the execution of the work called for under the contract, including but not limited to damages or loss sustained to any vehicle contents, if such vehicle is in the towing service company's possession. Liability insurance policies shall be specifically endorsed to provide collision insurance for vehicles in tow. The Township of Bridgewater shall be named as additional insured and all liability policies and the insurance certifications shall indicate such fact and shall be presented to the Township Clerk for filing.
B. 
Every policy required under this section must contain an endorsement by the carrier providing 30 days' notice of cancellation to both the Chief of Police and the insured or in the event of any change in coverage under the policy.
C. 
In the event that the policy is changed so as to conform with any of the requirements contained herein or a policy of the operator is cancelled 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 and remove the operator from the official towing list. If said corrections, reinstatements or replacements of insurance in compliance with this chapter do not occur within 30 days of suspension, the license shall be revoked and the Chief of Police shall pick up from the owner all indicia of licensing.
D. 
Applicants shall agree in writing to assume the defense and indemnify and hold harmless the Township of Bridgewater, its elected officials, boards, commissions, officers, employees and agents from all suits, actions, damages or claims to which the Township may be subjected of any kind or nature whatsoever resulting from, caused by, arising out of or as a consequence of the providing of towing, wrecking, storage and/or emergency services provided at the request of the Township pursuant to this chapter. Operators shall enter into a hold harmless agreement in a form to be prepared by the Township Attorney prior to being included on the official tower's list.
E. 
Proof of worker's compensation coverage in accordance with the New Jersey State statutes shall also be provided to the Township.

§ 216-10 Towing listrotation; notification or request to respond to any call for service.

A. 
The Township shall request wrecking, towing and storage services from each operator in rotation. When called, the operator shall advise the dispatcher if a vehicle is available and the estimated time of arrival. If no tow vehicle is available or if response time will exceed 20 minutes, the next operator on the list shall be called, and the original operator called shall be placed at the bottom of the rotation list. If none of the operators are available or able to provide such services as requested by the Township, the Township may request such services from any other available source.
B. 
It is specifically permitted for the Chief of Police or his designee to call an operator out of sequence if the nature of the wreck requires specialized equipment or if estimated response time makes it practical to do so. See § 216-13 regarding the types of specialized equipment.
C. 
During adverse weather conditions, heavy traffic conditions or emergency conditions, operators shall give priority to requests from the Township over any other requests which may be received by the operators.
D. 
The Police Department retains the right to assign the Department/Township's internal towing capabilities for police-related enforcement and initiatives that are emergent in nature, present an extraordinary set of circumstances, and/or require services related to a specialized law enforcement function, including but not limited to police impounds, DWI checkpoints, and vehicle inspections; along with such other police related activities as the Police Department in its sole discretion deems appropriate. These tasks will be performed by approved Township employees in Township-approved tow trucks, and the operators of said tow trucks shall be held to the same standards as those of the towers on the rotating list. All remaining police-related towing requirements and all non-police-related tow requirements shall be assigned to the official towers on a rotating basis as set forth above.

§ 216-11 Basic standards and operational requirements.

A. 
The Chief of Police shall maintain due diligence over all wreckers and see that they are kept in safe condition for transporting or hauling disabled motor vehicles and shall have the right at all times to inspect all licensed wreckers and shall maintain a report of all such inspections.
B. 
If at any time the Chief of Police shall find equipment inadequate or unsafe, he shall have the power to demand immediate correction and, if not so corrected by the operator to the satisfaction of the Chief of Police, the Chief of Police shall have the power to suspend the license until such time as the corrections and repairs are made, all in accordance with Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated.
C. 
The operator, through its authorized agents, must agree to follow the instructions and orders of the police officers in charge of the removal scene. The operator shall remove any vehicles which the Police Department may lawfully direct it to so do and shall store the same at its lot or storage facility until said vehicle is reclaimed by the lawful owner or otherwise disposed of according to law.
D. 
The operator shall be responsible for any vehicle and the contents thereof after receiving said motor vehicle in its custody and shall reimburse the owner of any such motor vehicle removed by it for any such damage or loss sustained to any motor vehicle or its contents while said motor vehicle is in the operator's possession.
E. 
The operator shall not make any repairs to any vehicle towed or removed by it as provided hereunder without first receiving written authorization of the owner thereof or authorized agent.
F. 
The operator, in removing damaged or impounded automobiles and light vehicles, including pickup trucks, minivans, motorcycles and vans, shall use, at a minimum, the vehicle manufacturer's suggested towing or removal method, including but not limited to, a hook tow, dolly, winch, sling, wheel lift or under reach or flatbed.
G. 
The operator shall be responsible for removing all debris from a crash scene. This will include sweeping the roadway and removing all broken glass, plastic and other parts and removal of such debris from the scene. This will be done with no charge to the Township.
H. 
All towing service charges shall be paid by the owner or operator or any person, firm or corporation claiming the right to possession of any motor vehicle moved or stored by the towing service/wrecker company as provided for herein, and the Township of Bridgewater shall not be liable for the payment of any sum to the wrecker/towing service which may be due on account of any towing, removal or storage.
I. 
All chapter standards and operational requirements shall be made available to the public at the office of the Municipal Clerk during normal business hours. All requirements and fee schedules shall also be posted at the storage facility. All operators of towing facilities will have copies of the Bridgewater Township wrecker ordinance available for review upon the customers' request.
J. 
In all of his/her dealings with the public in connection with this chapter, the operator is expected to always act in a professional manner and, at all times, to be courteous and respectful toward members of the public as well as members of the Township Police. While members of the public, especially those whose cars have been towed and impounded, may, at times, resort to strong language, threats and unbecoming behavior toward the operator, the operator is expected to exercise restraint and not to respond in kind and thereby reflect unfavorably upon the Township and/or the Police Department. No operator shall represent to any member of the public that he is an employee of the Township.
K. 
Reports of discourteous behavior, excessive fees and damages to motor vehicles by the operator, which can be substantiated and documented, may be considered by the Township as sufficient cause for termination or suspension from the rotation list.
L. 
Each operator shall maintain adequate and complete records showing all vehicles towed, stored and released, all services rendered and all fees charged and collected. All records shall be available for inspection by the Township at any time during normal business hours. Records shall be maintained by the operator at Police headquarters and shall be retained for a period of four years. Records may be written, printed or computerized as long as the requirements of this subsection are met. Operators shall forward a true and accurate copy of all tow receipts for the vehicles towed on behalf of the Township of Bridgewater during that month, to ensure compliance with the wrecker ordinance. The list must contain the date the vehicle was towed, the location of the tow, the make, model, vehicle registration, date and time of storage, date and time of release from storage and total fee charged. The list and copies of the bills, along with the Township processing fee for each vehicle towed and released, must be forwarded to the Police Department no later than the 15th day of each month.
M. 
The operator shall make all tow vehicles available to the Police Department for inspection at any time. All changes to the roster of vehicles must be filed with the Chief of Police prior to their being placed in service and inspected by the Police Department.
N. 
All tow vehicles must be clearly permanently marked with the name of the operator. Every tow vehicle shall display the operator's business name and municipality as listed on the official Township towing license and, if applicable, vehicles must display the vehicle's gross vehicle registered weight. All vehicle lettering must conform to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-46a and 39:4-46b.
O. 
No operator may engage in the act of cruising. This requirement is intended to prohibit operators from soliciting business at the scenes of crashes and emergencies. This shall not be construed to prohibit any operator from contracting with any person, firm or corporation, provided that the operator, his agents and employees, do not solicit towing contracts at the scenes of crashes or emergencies.
P. 
A license issued to an operator under this chapter shall not be transferable. Subcontractors have not been subject to the investigation process established by this chapter and, therefore, are prohibited from towing for the Township.
Q. 
Each licensee shall produce his license when called upon to do so during the course of any police towing as authorized under this chapter. Every tow vehicle or flat vehicle shall have the name of the official tower displayed on the vehicle in such manner and of such lettering as conforms to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-46.
R. 
For services rendered or to retrieve a motor vehicle from storage, the operator shall accept payment by cash, a check issued by an insurance company, a valid debit card or a valid major credit card or charge card subject to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 56:13-16g of the Predatory Towing Prevention Act and 56:13-4b, the latter of which states: "The operator may request additional identification, as determined by the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, before proceeding with the towing. Unless the motorist is unable to produce such identification or the operator has a bona fide reason to believe the card or other identification is fictitious, altered, stolen, expired or revoked or not valid for any other cause or clearly offered with intent to defraud the issuer, the debit card, charge card or credit card shall be deemed an acceptable form of payment in lieu of cash if the operator ordinarily accepts the card at his place of business. Nothing in this act shall preclude payment by a motorist in the form of check or money order, if this form of payment is acceptable to the operator."
S. 
Operators are prohibited from retaining personal property located in a vehicle as leverage to coerce payment. Property must be returned to the owner upon request.
T. 
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 56:13-16e, it shall be an unlawful practice to fail, when so requested by the owner or operator of a vehicle subject to a 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 vehicle an unreasonable or excessive decoupling fee.
U. 
All operators responding to a heavy-duty tow that require more than the basic tow requirements shall have a recovery supervisor on scene that is certified by a nationally recognized organization.
(1) 
The Nationally recognized organizations that are acceptable for Bridgewater Township are:
(a) 
National Towing and Recovery Association of America (T.R.A.A.) (800-728-0136).
(b) 
Wrecker Master (800-267-2266).
(2) 
Each heavy-duty recovery supervisor must obtain a certification from a nationally recognized organization as determined by the Chief of Police or his designee. Each tow truck operator must obtain certification within nine months from the start of employment and must receive training in an industry recognized recovery course every two years keeping current with the industry standards.
(3) 
All certifications will be verified and maintained at police headquarters annually.
(4) 
Each recovery supervisor shall obtain a Level III certification from T.R.A.A. or the equivalent Level 6/7 from Wrecker Master.
(5) 
All operators shall have six months to complete the required training to operate as light,- medium,- and heavy-duty operator.

§ 216-12 Complaints against operators; violations by licensed owners or operators.

Complaints against and violations by operators:
A. 
All complaints involving vehicles towed or stored, with or without the owner's consent, regarding the improper or unsatisfactory performance of services by an operator, violation of this chapter or applicable law, excess charges or damage to a motor vehicle while in custody of the operator shall be made to the Chief of Police. If complaints are made to any other office or employee of the Township, they shall be promptly forwarded to the Chief of Police
B. 
In the event the complaint is received by the Chief of Police, a written notice of the same shall be provided by the Chief of Police or his appointee to the complainant and the operator. After a complaint is received by the Chief of Police, he shall direct an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the complaint.
C. 
If the investigation reveals that there has been no violation of the Township Code, the complainant and the operator shall be given written notice of the same.
D. 
If the investigation reveals a violation of this chapter 216 of the Township Municipal Code, the Chief of Police may, in his discretion, make a determination to suspend temporarily, pending appeal, the operator from the tow list and notify the Mayor in writing with his reasons therefor. Once the Chief of Police has made the determination to temporarily suspend the license, the operator may appeal that decision and request a hearing by the Mayor or his designee in accordance with the same procedure outlined in § 216-8.

§ 216-13 Towing and storage fee schedule.

The below listed fees are the only allowable charges for vehicles towed at the request of the Township. No tow company will charge any additional fees that are not listed in § 216-13, towing and storage fee schedule. The rate per truck only applies if the truck is actually used in the removal of the vehicle. All dates and times for the storage and releasing of vehicles will be documented for the purposes of the fee schedule. The Township shall provide each tower with an annual fee schedule which shall include and describe the fees contained herein, including the vehicle processing fee as described below.
A. 
Basic towing service. The prices listed below will cover labor and services rendered to complete the service. After the first hour, fees will be based on half-hour increments.
(1) 
Light-duty: $125 per truck.
(2) 
Medium-duty: $265 per hour per truck.
(3) 
Heavy-duty: $400 per hour per truck.
B. 
Waiting time. Waiting time in excess of 30 minutes, which shall be calculated based upon each 30 minutes spent at the site from which a motor vehicle will be towed, with fewer than 30 minutes rounded up to 30 minutes: a charge of $12.50 per thirty-minute period.
C. 
Recovery. The prices listed below will cover labor and services rendered to complete the service. After the first hour the fees will be based on half-hour increments.
(1) 
Light-duty: $170 per hour.
(2) 
Medium-duty: $325 per hour per truck.
(3) 
Heavy-duty: $475 per hour per truck.
D. 
Storage.
(1) 
Light-duty:
(a) 
Outside: $35 per twenty-four-hour period.
(b) 
Inside: $50 per twenty-four-hour period.
(2) 
Medium-duty:
(a) 
Outside: $75 per twenty-four-hour period.
(b) 
Inside: $150 per twenty-four-hour period.
(3) 
Heavy-duty:
(a) 
Outside: $125 per twenty-four-hour period.
(b) 
Inside: $225 per twenty-four-hour period.
E. 
Road service:
(1) 
Light- and medium-duty: $75 plus the reasonable cost of fuel and supplies.
F. 
Additional heavy-duty fees:
(1) 
Recovery, hydrocrane: $800 per hour.
(2) 
Recovery, hazardous: $1,200 per hour.
(3) 
Road service, plus fuel/supplies: $250 per hour.
(4) 
Labor, per man and recovery supervisor: $95 per hour.
(5) 
Tractor with Landoll: $350 per hour.
(6) 
Tractor with lowboy: $400 per hour.
(7) 
Air cushions, recovery:
(a) 
First hour: $2,500.
(b) 
Each additional hour: $1,750.
(8) 
Lighting and generator: $175 per hour.
(9) 
Cutting tools (blades included): $250 per hour.
(10) 
Absorbent pads: $3 each.
(11) 
Absorbent booms: $15 each.
(12) 
Speedy-Dry (or equivalent): $20 per bag.
(13) 
Torches (gas included): $250 per hour.
(14) 
Any rentals, as needed to complete the tow or recovery: price of rental plus 20%.
(15) 
For the heavy-duty towing fees that are not covered in the Ordinance, each tower will submit a list/quote of rates and charges for each type of service provided by each towing and recovery unit. These lists/quotes will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and/or his designee. If the fees are reasonable and comparable to the other local towers, then they will be approved and that company will be locked into that fee schedule for that calendar year. Each tower will submit their lists/quotes each year along with their original or renewal application paperwork. Each list/quote will be submitted on company letter head with the original signature of the owner or a shareholder. These fees are chargeable by an operator in addition to the above recovery tow fees, if they are applicable.
G. 
Other fees.
(1) 
Material off-loading: $100 per hour billed in one-quarter-hour increments, when material needs to be off-loaded for security/health or safety reasons. If the operator discharged a disposal fee, that fee may also be passed on to the responsible party.
(2) 
Administrative fee: A one-time fee of $30 after three trips to the vehicle in storage.
(3) 
Absorbent material: $20 per bag.
(4) 
Crash scene cleanup: $25.
(5) 
Decoupling: $50.
H. 
Mileage will not be charged for vehicle towed from the scene to the operator's storage facility or to a location in the Township. A charge of $4 per mile is allowable for vehicles towed from the scene to a location outside of Bridgewater Township. In addition to the above listed fees, the operator will collect a $50 per vehicle processing fee on all released vehicles. This fee will be paid to the Township by the operator by the 15th of each month from the release of the vehicle. This fee only applies to vehicles that were towed at the request of Bridgewater Township. It excludes any and all vehicles abandoned at the operator's yard in which a junk title must be obtained or if the vehicle's owner turns over the title to the operator in place of payment. Operators will note on bill: "Fee of $50 to Bridgewater Township for administrative charges." The vehicle processing fee shall be included and described in the annual fee schedule provided by the Township to all towers.
I. 
If the Township of Bridgewater specifically requests the storage of any vehicle, the fees charged to the Township of Bridgewater shall be governed by N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.50, as amended.
J. 
The Bridgewater Township Police Department's impound lot will be designated as an outside secured storage facility.

§ 216-14 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any operator unable to respond to four or more Police Department requests per month will be subject to removal from the approved list.
B. 
Municipal penalties.
(1) 
Operators shall be subject to the following penalties in certain circumstances. Violators of this section will be issued a summons which will be heard in the Township's municipal court.
(a) 
Failure to arrive on scene with the required equipment will result in a fine of $25.
(b) 
Responding to scene with an unauthorized driver will result in a fine of $125.
(2) 
For a violation of § 216-10A, regarding wrecker response times, operators shall be subject to the following penalties:
(a) 
The first and second violation in any given calendar year will result in a warning letter.
(b) 
The third violation in any calendar year will result in a seven-day suspension from the police tow list and a fine of $25.
(c) 
The fourth violation in any calendar year will result in a fourteen-day suspension from the police tow list and a fine of $50.
(d) 
The fifth violation in any calendar year will result in a suspension from the police tow list for 30 days and a fine of $75.
(e) 
The sixth violation in any calendar year will result in a suspension from the police tow list for the remainder of the calendar year. The operator will be ineligible to apply for a wrecker license the following calendar year and fined $100.
(3) 
For a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter not addressed above, operators shall be subject to the following penalties:
(a) 
The first violation in any given calendar year will result in a warning letter.
(b) 
The second violation in any calendar year will result in a fifteen-day suspension from the police tow list and a fine of $25.
(c) 
The third violation in any calendar year will result in a thirty-day suspension from the police tow list and a fine of $50.
(d) 
The fourth violation in any calendar year will result in a suspension from the police tow list for the remainder of the calendar year. The operator will be ineligible to apply for a wrecker license for the following calendar year and fined $100.

§ 216-15 Enforcement.

The Police Department of the Township of Bridgewater shall be responsible for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. The Chief of Police shall establish and cause enforcement of such reasonable rules and regulations for operators as from time to time he deems appropriate, for the safety, well-being and protection of citizens within his jurisdiction and their property. All operators are required to comply with these rules and regulations as well as with all the provisions of this chapter.

§ 216-16 Public auction of motor vehicles.

A. 
Any vehicle that has been towed by any operator at the request of the Police Department will be considered "in the possession of the public agency." If a vehicle that has been towed at the request of the Police Department has not been claimed by the owner/lien holder and remains in storage at the operator's storage facility for a period of 10 days, the operator shall notify the Police Department. Operators shall make every effort to notify the registered owner of the vehicle. The Police Department and operators shall at all times adhere to the requirements of N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1 with regards to vehicles that are abandoned under the provisions of that statute.
B. 
If the owner/lien holder has failed to make arrangements for the removal of the vehicle within 20 days, the Police Department will immediately notify the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission and the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The Police Department will then follow the procedures established by N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1 regarding abandoned and unclaimed motor vehicles.

§ 216-17 Record book of vehicles towed.

A. 
Every operator shall record, whether in a hardbound book or in a computer-based system, solely for such purpose, the details of each disabled vehicle towed, serviced or transported, together with full information concerning the details surrounding the hiring, the names of the owner of the towed vehicle and of the person who has come to retrieve the vehicle at the owner's request, with the exception that it is expressly required that each operator maintain a hard-copy receipt of all services provided for under this chapter, which receipt shall bear the original signature of the person to whom the vehicle was released.
B. 
The record book described hereinabove shall be kept open for inspection during normal business hours by the Chief of Police or any duly authorized representative of the Chief of Police.
C. 
All operators shall maintain a record regarding all vehicles impounded at the request of the Township of Bridgewater Police Department. These vehicles may include abandoned vehicles, recovered stolen vehicles or vehicles held for investigation by the Police Department. This record shall be made available to any Police Officer for inspection upon request and shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The date, time, location and name of the operator-driver who towed the vehicle at the Department's request.
(2) 
The physical location of the vehicle after being towed (time at start of storage and time of release).
(3) 
Identification of the impounded vehicle to include make, year, model, vehicle identification number, license number and name of registered owner, if known.
(4) 
A vehicle impounded by the police shall not be released without a written tow order release form authorizing this release.
(5) 
A written record shall be kept or maintained by the operator indicating the name of the person releasing the vehicle, the type of proof of ownership presented and the name of the person receiving the vehicle.
(6) 
The operator shall submit a true and accurate copy of all tow receipts for the vehicles towed on behalf of the Township of Bridgewater during that month. These receipts, along with the Township processing fee, must be received by the Police Department by the 15th day of each month.

§ 216-18 Availability of documents.

Every official operator shall furnish, at its expense, the owner of a disabled vehicle with a copy of towing and storage rates as provided by this chapter. Furthermore, the Township, through the Municipal Clerk's Office and Police Department, shall make available all regulations and fee schedules under this chapter to any member of the public during normal business hours.

§ 216-19 Limitations.

Nothing contained herein shall prevent or limit the right of any person to commence or maintain an action for damages or any other relief, whether civil or criminal, against an operator, the Township of Bridgewater or its officials or employees for complaints relating to the towing of the vehicle in a court of competent jurisdiction. The provisions of this chapter shall, in no manner, be construed to restrict or otherwise limit the Township or the Police Department's ability to investigate, prosecute or enforce any other laws, rules, regulations or contract remedies available.