[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of Fair Lawn 3-11-1997 by Ord. No. 1675-97. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For reference purposes, this chapter shall be known as the "Towing, Road Service and Storage of Vehicles Ordinance of the Borough of Fair Lawn."
[Amended 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006; 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
The purpose and intent of this chapter is to provide, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.49 et seq., N.J.S.A. 56:13-7 et seq. and as guided by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, and as guided by the Garden State Towers Association, Inc., criteria and standard operating procedures that are reasonable, nonexclusionary, and nondiscriminatory in the selection and use of towing operators on a rotational basis, by the Borough, and the operation of towing services and booting services generally. It shall include towing, road service and the storage of vehicles, including, but not limited to, the removal of vehicles that are abandoned, disabled, illegally parked or stolen, involved in accidents, and/or those vehicles suspected or identified by the Borough as being involved in criminal activities.
Editor's Note: This ordinance, which revises numerous sections throughout this chapter, provided that it shall take effect 6-29-2015.
As used in this chapter, the terms listed below shall be defined as follows:
- Any group of products used to soak up spills or vehicle fluids,
including oil dry, absorbent pads, socks, booms, etc.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- ADMINISTRATION CHARGE
- Charges for services, including but not limited to physical
inspection, telephone and/or fax calls, copying of documentation,
removal of personal items and additional office paperwork before and
at the time of release.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- ANNUAL TOWING LICENSE
- Upon approval of a tow company application, the Borough shall
issue an annual towing company license. The tow company license shall
be valid from May 1 of the issuing year and shall expire on April
30 of the following year.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- BASIC TOWING SERVICE
- The removal and transportation of a vehicle from a highway, street or other public or private road, parking area or from a storage facility. This chapter and the definitions herein shall not include the recovery of a vehicle from a position beyond the public right-of-way or berm or from being impaled upon any other object outside of the public right-of-way or berm.
- Any device that is attached to a vehicle that prevents the
vehicle from being driven.[Added 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006]
- BOOTING SERVICE
- Any person, company, corporation, or other entity who or
which engages in or who or which owns or operates a business which
engages in whole or in part in the booting of vehicles. [Added 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006]
- The operation of a wrecker by a towing operator along the
public streets in any fashion intended to solicit or to take advantage
of the prospect of towing, without being called to the scene or immediately
engaged in a towing service.[Added 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006]
- DISABLED VEHICLE
- A vehicle which has been abandoned, impounded or rendered inoperable as a result of a mechanical failure, involvement in an accident or criminal activity. A vehicle, the location of which constitutes a hazard to the motoring public, shall be deemed disabled for the purposes of this chapter.
- EXTRA PERSONNEL
- The additional personnel needed to complete a recovery, winching
or towing of a vehicle that is beyond the scope of a basic tow. The
charge for additional personnel shall be based on a per-person hourly
rate with a one-hour minimum.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- The act of storing and confining a vehicle upon an order of the Police Department at either the towing operator's storage area or at the borough facility as a result of abandonment involvement in an accident or suspected criminal activity, or disabled as defined in "disabled vehicle" above.
- INSIDE BUILDING STORAGE FACILITY
- A vehicle storage facility that is completely indoors, having one or more openings or storage bins in the walls for the storage of vehicles and that is secured by a locking device on each bin or opening.
- The additional work done at the scene by the tow truck operator
that is beyond the scope of a basic tow. The charge for additional
labor shall be based on an hourly rate in fifteen-minute increments.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- OUTSIDE SECURED STORAGE FACILITY
- A vehicle storage facility that is not completely indoors and that is secured by a fence, wall or other man-made banner that is at least six feet in height and is protected with on-site security or an alarm system. Outside storage facilities shall also maintain adequate lighting to protect stored vehicles from vandalism.
- OUTSIDE UNSECURED STORAGE FACILITY
- A vehicle storage facility that is not indoors and is not secured by a fence, wall or other man-made barrier, and all other storage facilities not defined under "inside building storage facility" and "outside secured storage facility" above as inside a building or outside secured.
- 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.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- ROAD REPAIR SERVICES
- Servicing a disabled vehicle to repair or replace a tire,
dispense gasoline, gain access to a locked vehicle, charge a battery
and similar road services.[Added 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006]
- ROTATIONAL DUTY SERVICE LIST
- The nonexclusionary list established and maintained by the Borough pursuant to § 223-8 for approved towing operators called by the Borough police or other officials to perform towing services.[Added 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006]
- Covering or recovering a vehicle to prevent against further
weather damage or unauthorized access.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- The moving or removing from public or private property or
from a storage facility by a motor vehicle of a consumer's motor
vehicle that is damaged as a result of an accident or otherwise disabled,
is recovered after being stolen or is illegally or otherwise 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. Dues or other charges of clubs or associations
which provide towing services to club or association members shall
not be considered a service charge for purposes of this definition;
and when a tow truck and/or hydraulic flatbed carrier takes in its
possession the care, control and custody of a motor vehicle by means
of standard industry procedures.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- TOWING, NONCONSENSUAL
- The towing of a motor vehicle without the consent of the
owner or operator of the vehicle.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- TOWING OPERATOR
- A person, firm, corporation or partnership engaged in the business of providing towing, road and storage services for vehicles.
- TOWING, PRIVATE PROPERTY
- The nonconsensual towing from private property or from a
storage facility by a motor vehicle of a consumer's motor vehicle
that is damaged as a result of an accident or otherwise disabled,
is recovered after being stolen or is illegally or otherwise 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 section 1 of P.L. 1967, c. 305 (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 section 1 of P.L. 1973, c.137 (N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.6).[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- TOWING SERVICE
- Shall include any person, company, corporation, or other
entity, whether licensed or not, that engages in or that owns or operates
a business which engages, in whole or in part, in the towing or removal
of motor vehicles for compensation.[Added 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006]
- VEHICLE ACCESS CHARGE
- Owner and/or insurance representative must be accompanied
into the secured storage yard facility to inspect, remove personal
belongings, adjust and take vehicle photographs. Documentation such
as the driver license of the vehicle owner or business card of the
insurance representative must be photocopied and time stamped when
this additional service is performed.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- VEHICLE OWNER
- A person, firm, corporation or partnership who owns and/or
operates a vehicle on the roads and highways within the Borough of
Fair Lawn, which vehicle, by reason of being disabled or abandoned
on the roads and highways of the Borough, requires towing and/or storage.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- WAIT TIME
- Additional time a tow operator spends at the scene other
than the time required for actual tow and/or recovery.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- The process of moving a motor vehicle by the use of additional
chains, slings and additional lengths of winch 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 slings, wheel lift, etc.).[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- Material used to cover exposed areas from weather elements.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
- The process of removing wreckage from the roadway, e.g.,
the vehicle and its debris, including the removal of vehicle pieces
and other objects from a crash scene, with the end result being that
roadway is returned to pre-crash condition.[Added 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "class A vehicle," added 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006, which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015.
Editor's Note: The former definitions of "owner" and "private parking lot," the latter of which was added 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006, which immediately followed this definition, were repealed 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015.
Editor's Note: The former definition of "tow," added 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006, which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015.
Editor's Note: The former definitions of "trespass towing" and "wrecker," added 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006, which immediately followed this definition, were repealed 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015.
The Chief of Police and the Borough Manager are hereby designated to administer and enforce all provisions of the Towing, Road Service and Storage of Vehicles Ordinance.
[Amended 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
Application. It shall be the responsibility of the Police Department to review all applications submitted by towing operators to be considered for providing this service to the Borough. On forms provided by the Borough, applications will be accepted approximately two months prior to the expiration of the existing tow licenses. A nonrefundable fee to cover the administrative expense of processing the application shall be collected at the time of application as set forth in § 94-12Z. All towing operators shall submit documentation that they are in compliance with current New Jersey laws and the qualification and criteria requirements set forth below.
Qualifications and criteria.
Guideline. The towing operator shall maintain insurance policies of the type and with the minimum limits indicated below and in a form satisfactory to the Borough. The towing operator shall provide a certified copy of the policies and/or certificates of insurance satisfactory to the Borough of Fair Lawn prior to the commencement of work.
Garage liability insurance. Limit of liability shall not be less than $1,000,000 combined single limit (bodily injury and property damage) per occurrence including premises operations and products/completed operations.
Automobile liability insurance. Limit of liability shall not be less than $1,000,000 combined single limit (bodily injury and property damage) per occurrence.
Garage keeper's legal liability insurance. Physical damage insurance policies shall be specifically endorsed to provide direct primary insurance, where applicable, for vehicles in tow, possession of or storage on property owned or controlled by the operator. Limit of said coverage shall be not less than $100,000.
Excess umbrella insurance. Limit of liability shall be not less than $1,000,000 providing protection in excess of the $1,000,000 garage and auto liability coverage. NOTE: this requirement may be waived if the limits of liability in Subsection B(1)(b) and (c) above are not less than $1,500,000 combined single limit.
Additional Insured. On all liability policies, the Borough of Fair Lawn shall be added as an additional insured, and insurance certificates shall indicate such coverage as primary coverage notwithstanding any insurance carried by the municipality.
Worker's compensation insurance. Statutory coverage, including employers' liability coverage with a limit of at least $500,000/$500,000/$500,000.
Additional insurance requirements.
Certified copies of all insurance policies provided above or certificates thereof satisfactory to the Borough of Fair Lawn shall be furnished prior to a towing operator performing towing services. Each such policy or certificate shall contain a provision that it is not subject to change, cancellation or nonrenewal unless 30 days' prior written notice via certified mail/return receipt shall have been given to the Borough of Fair Lawn by the towing operator's insurer. These must be received 30 days prior to commencement of towing operations.
Providing any insurance required herein does not relieve the towing operator of any of the responsibilities or obligations assumed by it for which it may be liable by law or otherwise.
If any policies contain deductibles or copayments, it shall be the responsibility of the towing operator to pay such sums at the same time a claim is settled by its insurance company.
If any policies contain limits of liability with an aggregate limit, the towing operator or its insurance company shall provide the municipality, quarterly during the policy period, a statement evidencing the limits of liability required to be in force.
Failure to provide and continue in force such insurance as required above shall be deemed a material breach by the towing operator.
All policies shall be written in either a company licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey or a New Jersey eligible Surplus Lines Company, with a minimum Best rating of A-X. They shall be written on an ISO (Insurance Service Office) form or better.
Indemnity. The towing operator will defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Borough from any and all claims for personal injury or property damage arising out of the operation of any towing services or repair services. The towing operator will further defend the municipality, at its expense, in connection with any claim, demand, suit or action brought against the municipality arising out of the awarding or operation of any towing, garage or repair services under this chapter.
Business office. Any person, firm, corporation or partnership operating a towing and storage business shall endeavor to maintain a principal place of operation within the Borough as a property taxpayer. In maintaining a principal place of operation with the Borough, any person, firm, corporation or partnership operating a towing and storage business shall conform to a legally approved zoning and/or site plan and shall comply fully with all of the Borough's zoning, land use and property maintenance codes. Failure to comply with the Borough's zoning, land use and development and property maintenance codes may subject any operator to suspension from the Rotational Duty Service List upon request to the Borough Manager from the Borough's Construction Code Official, Zoning Officer or Property Maintenance Officer. In no event shall the principal place of operation be further than one mile from the border of the Borough of Fair Lawn.
Storage facility. All towing operators shall have a storage facility which can accommodate a minimum of 10 medium-sized vehicles. The storage facilities shall be lighted, fenced and/or secured in order to guarantee the safe storage of all vehicles in accordance with the minimum requirements for indoor and outdoor secure and unsecured storage facilities as defined under § 223-3 of this chapter. The storage facility, however, shall be no further than five miles from the border of the Borough of Fair Lawn. The storage facility for any towing operator which provides towing service to the Borough on the rotational duty service list shall be no further than one mile from the border of the Borough of Fair Lawn and legally zoned and operational in the municipality.
Vehicles. In addition to other equipment which is necessary for the safe performance of towing emergency road and storage services, all towing operators must own and have available at least two light-duty tow trucks, one flatbed truck, one medium-duty tow truck, and one heavy-duty tow truck. Failure of the towing operator to own or have available at least one heavy-duty tow truck shall not disqualify the owner from being added to the rotation for towing; however, the available heavy-duty tow truck utilized must be have a Borough tow license.
Equipment. All towing operators' trucks shall be equipped with brooms, shovels and any other street sweeping equipment for the purpose of clearing debris off the roadways. The towing operator shall at the time of removing any motor vehicle, in response to a police request, remove from the public or private roads or highways any motor vehicle debris or material in the area surrounding the vehicle, except for any debris or material which may be hazardous, such as oil, gasoline, kerosene or other petroleum or chemical products. The cleanup of debris, other than hazardous materials, shall be performed by the towing operator, without charge to the Borough of Fair Lawn or the vehicle owner.
The towing operators' wrecker(s) and all other vehicles shall be properly licensed and registered with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. All towing operators' vehicles shall display New Jersey commercial license plates.
All towing operators shall have facilities and equipment that will ensure and guarantee the furnishing of prompt and efficient services for all standard passenger automobiles.
The towing operators' company name, address and telephone number(s) shall be prominently and permanently displayed on both sides of all wrecker(s) and other towing vehicles.
It shall be the responsibility of the Borough Manager or his/her designee, upon recommendation of the Chief of Police, to issue a license to towing operators that have complied with the criteria as set forth in the application process. The license year shall be from the last Monday in June to the last Sunday in June of the following year.
[Amended 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006; 2-10-2009 by Ord. No. 2139-2009; 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
All towing operators selected to serve on a rotational basis must guarantee the availability of all services to the Borough Manager seven days a week, 24 hours a day. In this respect, a towing operator shall immediately respond to any type of towing emergency road service or storage call with the appropriate vehicle and/or equipment within 20 minutes after receipt of telephone notification from the Police Department's dispatcher/desk officer. Unless heavy or unusual traffic conditions or inclement weather within the Borough prevent a towing operator from arriving at the scene within 20 minutes, failure to respond within the time frame shall be considered a breach of this chapter. In the event that a towing operator fails to respond within 20 minutes from the time of the call, the Police Department reserves the right to contact the next available towing operator on the rotational list and utilize its services.
In times of emergencies and/or natural disasters, the Borough of Fair Lawn reserves the right to contact other towing service operators who may not be on the rotational list.
The owner of a vehicle involved in an accident shall have the right, if he/she so desires, to designate a towing operator of his/her choice as long as public safety needs do not dictate otherwise.
Employees of the towing operator, in responding to a call, shall request and be afforded police assistance during the course of providing towing, emergency road services or removal of abandoned or accident vehicles when such employees find it necessary to turn around, back up, tow in the opposite direction of traffic or cross the median.
A towing operator shall not permit a vehicle to be removed from the site of a vehicular accident, the scene of a crime or any other instance or situation without the prior approval and permission of a police officer and/or superior at the scene.
No towing operator serving on the Rotational Duty Service List shall charge for private towing and storage services in excess of the amounts established in § 94-12Z herein for towing and storage services initiated by the Borough Police Department or any other Borough department or official.
The fees set forth on the schedule for towing and storage rates are the maximum permitted charges that shall apply to the towing and/or storage of passenger automobiles or other vehicles. Towing operators transporting multiple passenger cars at one time shall receive the applicable fees for each vehicle transported.
It shall be the responsibility of all towing operators to provide all motorists utilizing the towing operator's services with a written schedule of fees which lists in full all fees to be charged for towing, storage and road service within the Borough of Fair Lawn. Towing operators shall not exceed the maximum charges set forth on the fee schedule for towing and storage of vehicles regulated under the provisions of this chapter.
The towing and storage fee schedules of all towing operators serving the borough on a rotational basis shall be filed with the Chief of Police and the Municipal Clerk and shall be made available to any citizen upon request. The fee schedules shall be available at the Municipal Building, 8-01 Fair Lawn Avenue, Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Monday through Friday, except holidays, during regular business hours.
[Amended 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
In addition, the Chief of Police and the Municipal Clerk shall be informed in writing at least 10 business days prior to the amendment of any towing operator's towing and storage fee charges. Under no circumstances shall any amendments exceed the maximum amounts for towing and storage as described below.
In no instance shall the towing operator request payment from the Borough of Fair Lawn for any services rendered to the owners of private vehicles except, however, in those cases where the Police Department authorizes the removal of a borough-owned vehicle, or a vehicle that is abandoned or related to criminal activity.
Fees as set forth in Chapter 94, Article VI, of this Code.
[Amended 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006; 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
Booting fees: as set forth in § 94-12Z(6) of this Code.
[Amended 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
Following the issuance of a tow license by the Borough Manager, it shall be the Chief of Police's responsibility to establish a towing operators' Rotational Duty Service List. The Police Department shall call the towing operators in sequential order as set forth by the Chief so that each towing operator will be given the opportunity to respond to individual calls as received by the borough. The Police Department shall have the right to call the next towing operator on the list should a towing operator fail to respond to a call within 20 minutes or if the first operator called cannot be reached by telephone or advises that he/she is unable to respond.
The following guidelines shall be followed in order to process vehicles that have been towed either because of abandonment or have remained unclaimed for the required amount of time. These guidelines conform with the procedures outlined in Chapter 10A of Title 39, Motor Vehicle and Traffic Laws. In the event of any inconsistencies between this chapter and N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1, the aforesaid statute shall prevail.
If owner is known.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:10A-11, the towing operator shall give notice to the owner of any abandoned or unclaimed vehicle and to the holder of any security interest therein not less than 30 days' notice of the intent to sell the motor vehicle or cause it to be sold. The towing operator shall also give the aforesaid individuals at least five days' notice of the date, time, place and manner of the proposed sale.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:10A-12, the towing operator shall give notice to the owner of the motor vehicle or other person having a legal right thereto and to the holder of any security interest in the motor vehicle 30 days' notice of the towing operator's intention to obtain a junk title certificate.
All notices required above shall be by certified mail, return receipt requested.
If no response is received from this certified letter, the towing agency will submit on a form provided by the Borough of Fair Lawn a request for title information on said vehicle. The Borough of Fair Lawn will be responsible for sending in the appropriate forms to try and ascertain ownership and/or apply for a Junk Title Certificate or Abandonment Certificate to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
If owner is not known.
If the owner or a person with the legal right thereto of a vehicle is not known, then the towing agency will submit on a form provided by the Borough of Fair Lawn a request for title information on said vehicle. The Borough of Fair Lawn will be responsible for sending in the appropriate forms to try and ascertain ownership and/or apply for a Junk Title Certificate or Abandonment Certificate.
The towing agency will incur all costs for the processing of all paperwork;,such as certified mail fees, photographs, cost of Junk Title, any cost for any vehicle that is to be sold at public auction.
After the towing agency has submitted the requested information, the Police Department will be responsible to then send the necessary forms, SS-6 Report of Possession of Abandoned Vehicle by Public Agency or SS-12 Report of Possession of Abandoned Vehicle by Public Agency and Request for Junk Title Certificate, to the Division of Motor Vehicles to receive a clear certificate of title for auction.
The Borough of Fair Lawn shall give notice of such sale by certified mail, to the owner, if his/her name and address is known and to the holder of any security interest filed with the Director of Motor Vehicles, and by publication in one or more newspapers published in this state and circulating in the municipality in which such motor vehicle is held, by one insertion, at least five days before the day of sale.
The auction will be held at the towing agency, at a date and time set up in agreement with the towing agency and the Borough of Fair Lawn.
The Borough of Fair Lawn shall execute and deliver to the purchaser for any motor vehicle for which no junk title certificate has been issued an application for certificate of ownership Form SS-5.
At any time prior to the sale of a motor vehicle at auction, the owner or other person entitled thereto may reclaim possession of the motor vehicle upon payment of the reasonable costs of removal and storage of the vehicle and any fine or penalty and court costs assessed against him/her for a violation which gave rise to the seizure or taking possession of such vehicle.
[Amended 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 2342-2015]
As per § 223-6B above, the towing operator must provide towing on a twenty-four-hour, seven-days-a-week basis, including all holidays; additionally, it must have appropriate personnel available to release a towed vehicle to its owner Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. subject to the appropriate authorization of the Fair Lawn Police Department.
The towing service company must handle removal of all abandoned and junk vehicles for the borough without expense to the borough, and said removal shall be completed within 24 hours after request by the borough.
The towing service company must maintain a recordkeeping system as required by the Borough of Fair Lawn Police Department and the laws of the State of New Jersey; at a minimum, the recordkeeping system shall include:
Date and time of request for towing.
Date and time vehicle was towed.
Address from where vehicle was towed and address to where vehicle was towed.
Name and towing operator performing service.
Complete dates of storage of said vehicle, and all charges assessed to or paid by the owner of each vehicle.
Date of release of said vehicle including by whose authorization and name and address of person obtaining said vehicle from storage. (It shall be required that the towing operator obtain a signed release for said vehicle from the person claiming and removing said vehicle from storage).
The towing operator shall remove any vehicle which the Police Department may lawfully direct them to so do and shall store same at their lot(s) until said vehicle(s) is reclaimed by the lawful owner or is otherwise disposed of according to law.
The towing operator shall be responsible for any vehicle and the contents thereof after receiving said vehicle in its custody and shall reimburse the owner of any such vehicle removed by it for any such damage or loss sustained to any vehicle or its contents while the said vehicle is in the towing service company's possession.
The towing operator shall agree to indemnify and hold the borough harmless for any damage or loss sustained to any vehicle or contents, if such vehicle is in the towing service company's possession, said indemnification shall include but not be limited to the defense of all law suits relating to the towing of any vehicle by any party, the payment of any judgments relating thereto against the borough, cost of suit, including investigation cost.
The towing operator shall not make any repairs to any vehicles towed or removed by it provided for hereunder without receiving written authorization of the owner thereof or its authorized agent.
The towing operator shall not represent that it is a servant, agent or employee of the borough with respect to said towing service but is an independent contractor pursuant to ordinance and shall not hold itself out as an official member of the government of the borough of Fair Lawn or its departments.
The towing operator must, upon request, tow all borough-owned vehicles within one hour at a cost to be listed in this chapter, to and from points within the borough. If a special situation arises when it is mutually advantageous to waive this one-hour requirement, the towing service may request a waiver from the Borough Manager or Chief of Police.
The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to establish reasonable rules and regulations for the supervision, inspection and safe operation of tow trucks, wreckers and other related vehicles and equipment in accordance with the standards outlined in this section. The Chief shall maintain due vigilance over all towing operators to make certain that the tow trucks and other related vehicles and equipment are maintained in a safe working condition for transporting and hauling disabled vehicles. The Chief or his/her duly designated representative shall have the right, at all times, to inspect all towing vehicles and related equipment which perform services pursuant to this chapter.
At any time should the Chief or his/her designee determine that the vehicles and/or equipment being used are unsafe, he/she shall have the power and authority to direct the immediate correction or repair of any automotive defect, malfunction or violation of motor vehicle regulations within a specified period of time to be determined by the Chief. The Chief of Police is authorized and empowered to establish and transmit from time to time to all towing operators on the rotational list, such additional rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter as may be reasonable and necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
The Chief of Police shall have the power to suspend a towing operator from the Rotational Duty Service List for a period of up to 30 calendar days for failure to comply with any section of this chapter. A subsequent violation may result in the permanent removal of a towing operator from the Rotational Duty Service List for a twelve-month period. A towing operator may appeal the Chief's ruling of either a suspension or a permanent removal. In such cases, an appeal may be filed with the Clerk within 10 business days of the Chief's decision. A hearing shall be held by the Borough Manager within 30 business days of the filing. The Borough Manager shall render his/her determination within 20 business days following the conclusion of the hearing. The Borough Manager's determination as rendered shall be final and conclusive under this chapter.
Failure to comply with the borough's zoning, land use and property maintenance codes may subject any operator to suspension from the Rotational Duty Service List upon request to the Borough Manager from the borough's Construction Code Official/Zoning Officer and/or Property Maintenance Officer. Any towing operator suspended form the Rotational Duty Service List for any violation of the borough's zoning, land use and development and/or property maintenance codes shall have the right to due process and appeal as set forth in Subsection A above.
[Amended 9-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2059-2006]
The following provisions shall apply to any towing operator and/or booting service when engaged by the owner or other person in control or possession of private property to remove therefrom or boot an unauthorized vehicle, pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.6 and Chapter 223 of this Code.
No towing or booting service shall boot or conduct a trespass tow of a Class A vehicle from a private parking lot for compensation when the point of origin of the boot or tow is within the jurisdictional limits of the Borough of Fair Lawn, without complying with the provisions of this chapter.
Posting of warning signs.
No vehicle shall be booted or towed from a private parking lot for designated parking violations unless a sign is conspicuously posted and clearly visible from all vehicle and pedestrian entrances to the property, indicating the following:
A warning that the property is a private tow-away zone and a vehicle not authorized to park on the property will be towed at the owner's expense.
The telephone number of the person or entity from whom a towed vehicle can be recovered.
A statement that the vehicle may be recovered between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on any day.
A warning sign is not required as a condition precedent to towing a vehicle blocking a private entrance, exit, driveway, fire lane or loading area; neither shall this section apply to statutory parking violations relating to handicapped parking or nonconsensual tows directed by a governmental enforcement officer.
No towing or booting service operating within the Borough shall tow or boot a vehicle or charge for its services where the registered owner or other legally authorized person in control of the vehicle arrives at the scene prior to towing the vehicle from the lot and:
No vehicles removed from private property shall be stored on public property, including public streets.
No vehicle shall be removed unless to a storage facility located at a distance no greater than five miles from the municipal boundaries of the Borough of Fair Lawn.
[Amended 3-10-2009 by Ord. No. 2144-2009]
Whenever a vehicle is towed from private property, the Police Department of the Borough shall be notified, within five minutes of the time of removal, as to the reason of the towing; the year, make and license number of the vehicle; the name and address of the owner, if known; the name and address of the towing operator; and the address or location to which the vehicle is being towed.
Any person, firm or corporation who or which willfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. Each and every violation of this chapter or each and every day that any violation shall be permitted to continue shall be construed as a separate and distinct violation hereof. The Police Department is specifically designated as the enforcement office to serve and execute process for violation of this chapter.