[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Riverdale 4-19-1993 by Ord. No. 1-93; amended in its entirety 6-20-2005 by Ord. No. 7-2005. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Riverdale shall establish a list of persons or firms who shall be utilized by the Police Department of the Borough of Riverdale to provide towing and wrecking services for abandoned, wrecked or impounded motor vehicles. In establishing the list, first consideration shall be given to those persons or firms who are presently authorized by the Police Department for this service. All other operators will be given consideration based on the date of the application filed by them, which application is fully described in § 154-2 of this chapter. All storage facilities and business offices must be located in the Borough of Riverdale.
An application for a license as a proprietor of a towing or wrecking business to be placed on the list to be utilized by the Police Department shall be made by the person or firm engaged in operating a towing or wrecker service. The application shall be made on forms furnished by the Borough Clerk and specifically report the following facts:
The full name and address of the applicant. If the application is made for a corporation, it shall state the names and address of the officers and directors thereof, its registered office and its registered agent.
The year, make and model of each tow truck used in said business, its serial number, registration number and its registered owner.
The address where the tow truck or wrecker is regularly garaged, the telephone numbers available on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis and the names of all operators, their addresses and their New Jersey driver's license numbers.
The application for a towing-wrecking license shall be accompanied by a certification of liability and property damage insurance for said wrecker in the policy limits of no less than $1,000,000/$3,000,000 per occurrence. The certificate of insurance shall be issued by a company certified to do business in the State of New Jersey, and each policy so required must contain an endorsement providing for a thirty-day notice of cancellation, stating that the Borough of Riverdale and the licensee shall receive 30 days' notice of cancellation by certified mail, return receipt requested.
The application for the towing-wrecking license shall be accompanied by a certificate for full comprehensive automobile liability insurance, including hired and nonowned auto coverage.
The application for a towing-wrecking license shall be accompanied by a certificate for full garage-keepers legal liability coverage, including fire, theft, collision and comprehensive, including vandalism and malicious mischief.
The Borough of Riverdale must be named as an additional insured under the liability portion of the insurance coverage.
The towing-wrecking firm must establish a hold-harmless indemnification agreement in favor of the Borough of Riverdale for all liabilities (both legal and equitable) arising out of the performance of the contract.
The Borough Clerk shall refer the application for a license to the Police Department for a check of all equipment, personnel and facilities of the applicant to determine the ability of the applicant to perform the business herein regulated.
The Mayor and Council shall have the authorization to issue up to two licenses.
Each licensee shall be issued an identification card in the form required by the Chief of Police. The identification card shall be issued and signed by the Chief of Police, the Police Commissioner and the Mayor, which card shall be renewable annually.
The office, workshop and storage areas of the applicant must be located in zones where such use is permitted if said areas lie within the boundaries of the Borough of Riverdale.
Each vendor providing towing service must show proof of ownership or a lease agreement for a proper land area to store a minimum of 15 cars dedicated for Riverdale towed vehicles. Adequate lighting, as determined by the Borough Engineer, shielded from abutting premises shall be maintained during night hours. All storage areas must be kept in a clean and orderly manner and shall be fenced in.
[Amended 9-23-2015 by Ord. No. 14-2015]
No stacking of wrecked automobiles shall be permitted one on top of the other, and only one level of storage is permitted.
One hydraulic wrecker must meet all of the requirements of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes of New Jersey, entitled "Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations," and must have a lifting capacity of at least 15 tons with an under reach capacity of 15 tons.
[Amended 9-23-2015 by Ord. No. 14-2015]
Operator must possess at least one flatbed capable of carrying vehicles up to seven tons.
After the application has been submitted and reviewed by the Chief of Police, it shall be forwarded to the Mayor and Council for approval or disapproval. Such approval or disapproval shall be dependent on both the applicant's technical ability to perform the requested tasks as outlined above and upon the applicant's personal fitness to engage in a business regulated in the public interest.
Factors which the Police Department and the Mayor and Council shall determine as disqualifying for reasons of personal fitness shall include:
The Chief of Police shall see that a record is maintained containing the names, addresses and twenty-four-hour telephone numbers of all licensed wreckers and a record of the types of wreckers available to meet the specific need of the emergency. He shall also see that a record is maintained of the regular response of wreckers to police calls and any and all complaints from vehicle owners as to improper service or charges.
The Chief of Police shall maintain a revolving list of licensed wreckers to provide service where needed and instruct all duty officers to call those listed in order of the monthly rotation basis. All owners or operators of disabled vehicles must first be advised that they have a right to call a wrecker of their own choosing and retain the right to direct the towing vehicle to remove the damaged vehicle to a garage or workshop of their own choosing. However, if the police officer at the scene of the accident or disabled vehicle feels that the vehicle is causing an unsafe condition, he will have the authorization to have the vehicle removed.
[Amended 9-23-2015 by Ord. No. 14-2015; 12-26-2018 by Ord. No. 06-2018]
Towing fees and other charges shall conform with the New Jersey State Police towing rates published and updated on an annual basis.
Additional rate provisions.
The towing rate shall be calculated based on the total distance traveled from the tow vehicle's base of service to the job site and return by way of the shortest available route. Fractions shall be rounded up to the nearest whole mile.
Tow vehicles transporting multiple vehicles at one time shall receive applicable fees for each vehicle transported.
The storage fees are the maximum storage charges per twenty-four-hour period.
Every operator of a towing service shall, prior to the actual towing or storage of any vehicle, give the owner a written estimate of costs and a written receipt when paid upon request.
The practice of cruising with a wrecker or tow truck is forbidden. Furthermore, no person shall pay any money to any third person not involved in the accident or to any police officer for information as to the location of any accident or soliciting the employment of the licensees' service nor give any gratuities, fees or other compensation or gifts to any members of the Police Department. No solicitations for automobile repairs shall be made by a licensee at the scene of an accident or within 48 hours of the release of an automobile owner from any hospital.
The fee for the license issued under this chapter shall be a fee of $150 per year paid on receipt of said license. The license shall remain valid from January 1 to December 31 of each year or part thereof. Initial fee-paid licenses may be renewed annually by the operator, provided that the operator continues to comply with all the terms and conditions of this chapter.
By making application to be utilized as a tower or wrecker by the Police Department and by accepting such employment, the person or firm agrees to:
Provide a prompt response to each call.
Clean all debris at the accident site emanating from the accident.
Maintain a ledger of vehicles towed, the name of the owner or operator, if known, the charges made for the service and the rate and amount paid.
Comply with all other terms and conditions of this chapter.
Comply with all motor vehicle rules and regulations found within Title 39 of the Revised Statutes of New Jersey.
The applicant agrees to have a Riverdale-licensed tower cover for said applicant should he be unable to fulfill his responsibility on a particular day or night.
The tower shall place all personal property from vehicles in a safe and secure place and make the property available to the owner.
The Chief of Police is hereby given the authority to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of this chapter, subject to the approval by resolution of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Riverdale.
The Chief of Police is hereby given the authority to suspend or revoke the right of any person or firm which is on the authorized list if the person or firm violates any of the terms and conditions of this chapter.
Any person or firm aggrieved by any rules or regulations promulgated by the Chief of Police or by a suspension or revocation made by him shall be given a hearing by the Borough Council within 15 days of the filing with the Borough Clerk of a request for a hearing.
If a tower refuses a call or misses a call without obtaining coverage, that tower shall forfeit the next month on rotation. If a tower refuses or misses two calls without obtaining coverage during a license year, the license shall be revoked.
Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the owner or operator of an automobile from contracting a tower of his own choice to remove his vehicle from the public streets of the Borough of Riverdale after it has become disabled or otherwise inoperable by virtue of accident or other reason. Said owner or operator shall have a reasonable time within which to select a tower of his own choice to remove the vehicle from the public roadways of the Borough.
After this reasonable period of time, the Borough shall remove the vehicle by resorting to the procedures set forth in this chapter, except where the vehicle creates a hazardous condition. The police officer will take into consideration the condition of the vehicle and the position on the roadway.