Borough of Garwood, NJ
Union County
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[HISTORY: Derived from Chapter 20.1 of the 1974 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
An individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation or other entity, including the singular or plural.
A motor vehicle equipped and/or employed for the purpose of towing, transporting, conveying and/or removing vehicles which are not capable of being operated or are not actually being operated under their own power or are otherwise disabled; any person engaged in or employed by a business of operating a wrecker.
There is hereby established a system in the Borough of Garwood whereby licensed wreckers shall be engaged.
The Chief of Police shall provide for the licensing of wreckers as set forth in this chapter.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, wrecker services in the Borough of Garwood shall be provided only upon the call of the Garwood Police Department which shall be based upon a rotating list of the licensed wreckers established by the Chief of Police.
No wrecker shall operate within the Borough of Garwood without having first applied for and obtained a license from the Chief of Police of the Borough of Garwood.
The prohibition of nonlicensed wreckers shall not apply to a wrecker specifically called by the owner or operator of a disabled vehicle for the purpose of removing the vehicle from the Borough of Garwood, provided that the Police Department shall retain the power to call a licensed wrecker with respect to any vehicle which, in the sole discretion of any police officer on the scene:
Obstructs a public right-of-way or private property.
Presents a fire or safety hazard or a nuisance.
Bears no discernible registration or identification data.
Is unregistered.
Is violating any emergency no parking provision or regulations, or is violating any other parking prohibition for which towing away is permitted by law.
The annual fee for such license shall be $100 per calendar year, which fee shall not be prorated.
Application for a license issued hereunder shall be made upon forms prescribed by the Chief of Police, signed by the applicant under oath. The application shall contain:
A statement as to the form of business entity, that is, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other type of entity.
As to any sole proprietorship, the name and home address of the owner of the business.
As to any partnership, corporation or other entity, the full names, home addresses and telephone numbers of each and every person owning or controlling an interest in the business of 10% or more, with the percentages of ownership of each such person listed.
The trade, business or corporate name under which the wrecker business is conducted, the business address and business telephone number.
A listing and description of each wrecker owned by the applicant to be used in the Borough of Garwood, including the make, model, year, type, description, serial number and plate number.
A description, which may be in the form of a plot plan or survey, describing the space available to the applicant to properly accommodate and store vehicles to be towed or otherwise removed. The space available shall be identified by street address and by tax map lot and block number. The applicant shall either certify that it owns the property or shall provide a copy of a written lease for the property, the duration of which shall include the calendar year for which the license is sought.
A certificate of insurance of the type and in the amounts prescribed by this chapter, providing for notice of cancellation of any such policy to be provided to the Borough of Garwood in advance of any such cancellation.
Such other information as may be required by the Chief of Police.
No person shall be licensed as a wrecker in the Borough of Garwood unless he shall first obtain and keep in force with an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey:
A garage keeper's liability policy with policy limits of at least $50,000 per vehicle and $100,000 per occurrence.
A liability policy covering all owned vehicles with policy limits in the amount of at least $500,000 combined single limit or $500,000/$1,000,000/$100,000.
The Borough of Garwood shall be designated as an additional insured on said policies with respect to activities conducted by the licensee in and at the request of the Borough of Garwood.
In the event that the insurance required shall be canceled or otherwise lapse, any license granted shall be suspended or revoked until such time as proof of insurance as set forth hereunder is provided.
[Amended 7-11-2017 by Ord. No. 17-11]
The Chief of Police shall investigate each application. All owners of each wrecker business shall be considered an applicant. The Chief shall grant a license if it is determined that:
The applicant is at least 18 years of age.
The applicant is a reputable person.
The applicant has not, in the 10 years last past preceding the date of the application, been convicted of a crime or of any offense involving moral turpitude.
The applicant has suitable, secure storage facilities, adequate to meet the needs of the Borough of Garwood, within the Borough of Garwood or within five miles of the Garwood municipal boundary.
The applicant owns suitable equipment and has the ability to respond and to provide the services required under this chapter.
The application otherwise complies with this chapter and with applicable law.
Licensed wreckers shall observe the following rules, regulations and standards:
Wrecker services must be provided on a twenty-four-hour, seven days a week basis.
The licensed wrecker shall respond to the scene upon the request of the Police Department within 15 minutes. If a licensee refuses to respond or fails to respond within that time, then the next licensee on the rotational list shall be called. Additionally, all incidents of failure or refusal to respond shall be reported to the Chief of Police, who shall review the incident. The Chief of Police may revoke the license of any wrecker failing to respond. The licensee shall not be considered to have refused to respond if the call involves extraordinary services, such as a flatbed truck, which the licensee does not have the facilities to perform.
The licensee shall provide access to towed vehicles by the Police Department and by the vehicle owners or their designees between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. weekdays. The licensee shall also provide the means for owners of vehicles to obtain possession of same on weekends.
When called to the scene of an accident, the licensee shall clear the roadway of all debris generated by the accident.
The licensee shall display the current rate schedule promulgated by the Borough of Garwood in a conspicuous area in its place of business.
Licensees shall provide itemized charges and receipts for payment of services to all customers, whether requested or not, specifying each charge and the basis thereof.
No licensee shall utilize dealer plates on any wrecker.
All licensees shall store all vehicles towed or otherwise removed from the Borough of Garwood in storage facilities as set forth in this chapter, within the Borough of Garwood or within 1/4 mile of its municipal boundary.
No licensee shall impose any charge for any service specified in this chapter in excess of the rates and charges set forth herein.
Each licensee shall maintain a record book kept solely for such purpose of the details of each service provided pursuant to this chapter, including the date and time of each call, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle, the name of the agent or employee of the licensee performing the service, and the nature and extent of the services provided. These records shall be maintained for at least six years by each licensee and shall be produced for inspection by the Garwood Police Department upon request.
No wrecker shall:
Drive an unsolicited wrecker on the public streets of the Borough of Garwood for the purpose of soliciting business in the Borough.
Solicit employment by responding to the scene of an accident or disabled vehicle without having first specifically been called by the Police Department or by the owner or operator of a vehicle to be towed or otherwise removed.
Use flashing lights or sirens except as permitted by law.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to permit the storage of vehicles which is otherwise prohibited by or in violation of any provision of the Zoning Ordinances or other ordinances of the Borough of Garwood.
Refusal to issue license. If the Chief of Police shall determine that the applicant does not meet the criteria set forth in this chapter for the issuance of a license, he shall deny same.
Revocation of license. If the Chief of Police shall determine that any licensee hereunder shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter, he may suspend or revoke any license issued.
Notice of refusal, suspension or revocation of license. If the Chief of Police shall refuse to issue any license applied for, or shall suspend or revoke any license, he shall notify the applicant or licensee in writing, setting forth the reason for the refusal, suspension or revocation. The applicant or licensee may appeal such refusal, suspension or revocation by filing a written request for a hearing within 15 days of the date of notice of the action appealed from. The appeal shall be determined by the Police Committee of the Borough Council. The time and place for hearing shall be fixed by the Police Committee and the applicant or licensee shall be notified of the time and place of hearing and of the opportunity to be heard by the Borough Clerk, who shall also notify the Chief of Police of the hearing. The decision of the Police Committee shall be final.
[Amended 8-11-1998 by Ord. No. 98-12; 7-11-2017 by Ord. No. 17-11]
No licensee shall impose any fee for the towing, transporting, conveying or otherwise removing any vehicle in or from the Borough of Garwood in excess of the following fees:
Towing and storage fees.
Towing service:
Light-duty tow, Category 1 (0 to 6,000 lbs GVW)
Medium-duty tow, Category 2 (6,001 to 26,000 lbs GVW)
Heavy-duty tow, Category 3 (26,001 lbs GVW and over)
$400 per hour
Low bed trailer heavy-duty service
$450 per hour
Mileage charge:
Per towed mile (first two miles free)
$4 per mile
Winching service:
Light and medium duty
$125 per hour
Heavy duty
$400 per hour
Note: Winching fees are charged for pulling a vehicle back onto the roadway to put the vehicle into proper position to hook the vehicle to the tow truck, not pulling it onto a flatbed.
Storage fee:
Light duty, outside
$35 per day
Light duty, inside
$45 per day
Medium duty, outside
$40 per day
Medium duty, inside
$50 per day
Heavy duty, outside
$100 per day
Heavy duty, inside
$125 per day
Note: Storage fees start 1 hour after a vehicle is in impound and accrues on a daily basis.
Yard fee
Administration fee
Service calls:
Flats (per tire), jump starts, lock outs, gas delivery (plus cost of fuel)
Accident cleanup (in 15-minute increments)
Speedy Dry
$15 per 50lb bag
Car trans linkage (no keys)
Tractor service
$350 per hour
Trailer converter dolly fee
Release of brake cylinder
$75 per brake
Bumper removal
$20 per bumper
Air cushion recovery
$5,000 up to 4 hours; $500 each additional hour
Certified airbag operator
$500 per hour
The following definitions and conditions apply to the above fees:
If the vehicle is removed from the scene of an accident, "days" is defined to relate to the time of the accident and it means 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except state holidays. If not from an accident scene, "days" is defined to relate to the time from pickup to delivery of the vehicle entirely, and means from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except state holidays.
No additional towing charges are permitted (flat-bedding, waiting time, winching, cleaning, additional labor or other charges) where only basic towing service is provided. "Basic towing service" means the removal and transportation of an automobile from a highway, street or other public or private road, or a parking area, or from a storage facility and other services normally incident thereto, but does not include recovery of an automobile from a position beyond the right-of-way or berm, or from being impaled upon any other object within the right-of-way or berm.
Storage rates are from any calendar day or part thereof.
"Inside" means completely indoors with a locking device.
"Outside" includes all storage facilities not inside.
No fees shall be charged to the Borough of Garwood for any towed, stored or impounded vehicle. The Borough of Garwood shall incur no liability by virtue of calling for or requesting any services performed under this chapter.
Flat-bedding and winching.
No fees for flat-bedding and/or winching may be charged where only "basic towing service" as defined in Subsection B(2) above is provided.
Where allowed, no licensee shall impose any fee for flat-bedding and/or winching of any vehicle in or from the Borough of Garwood in excess of the above fees.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by one or more of the following penalties: imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days or by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days.