Questions about eCode360? Municipal users Join us daily between 12pm and 1pm EDT to get answers and other tips!
Township of Stafford, NJ
Ocean County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Stafford 11-26-1991 by Ord. No. 91-71; amended in its entirety 11-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-25. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Abandoned or junked vehicles — See Ch. 199.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 201.
As used in this chapter, terms shall be defined as follows.
BASIC TOWING SERVICE
The removal and transportation of a vehicle from a highway, street or other public or private road or a parking area or from a storage facility, and other services normally related thereto, but does not include the 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.
OFF-ROAD RECOVERY
The removal of a vehicle from a position beyond the right-of-way or berm of any roadway, but does not include any area where the recovered vehicle, if operable, could be driven from without the assistance of special equipment or others.
TOWING OPERATOR
A person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of providing wrecker services and storage services for vehicles towed, which services are made available to the general public upon such rates, charges and fees as determined by said person, firm or corporation and who is licensed under the provisions of this chapter.
WINCHING
Any operation in which a vehicle is moved onto a roadway, from a position substantially off the roadway, or any operation in which substantial work is required to prepare a vehicle for normal towing.
WRECKER
A vehicle driven by mechanical power and employed for the purposed of towing, transporting, conveying or removing any and all kinds of vehicles, or parts of vehicles, which are unable to be operated under their own power, for which a service charge or fee is exacted.
A. 
There is hereby established a rotating list of towing and storage contractors authorized to provide vehicle towing and storage services as required by the Township of Stafford. The Chief of Police shall be responsible for the administration of the rotating list. Based on the traffic volume and number of collisions within the Township borders, the governing body deems it necessary for the interest and welfare of its inhabitants to have at least five official towing contractors on its rotating list. However, in order to protect the interest and welfare of its inhabitants, the Township reserves the right to add additional towing contractors to the established list if the volume of traffic and number of collisions warrants.
B. 
The Township of Stafford deems it necessary to appoint one or more additional tow contractors to the rotating list.
(1) 
The appointed persons or companies will be known as "official towers."
(2) 
Official towers will be identified by means of a license issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
The award of a license to an applicant is subject to compliance with the license requirements of the chapter.
A. 
Basic towing. Basic towing services shall be available and provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays, for the entire geographic area of the Township of Stafford. The contractors on the rotating list must be able to respond to any tow scene within 15 minutes of the Township's request.
B. 
The tower will be responsible for cleanup of debris in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.8, with the exception of fuel oil, chemicals or hazardous waste materials.
C. 
Storage requirements:
(1) 
Storage lot must display a certificate of occupancy for automotive-related use from the Township of Stafford or the respective Township where the lot is located.
(2) 
Storage shall be provided for all vehicles towed until claimed by the vehicle owner or disposed of in accordance with applicable law.
(3) 
Towing operator must be equipped to provide proper, safe and secure storage for all vehicles that are towed and stored. The Stafford Police Department will conduct an annual inspection of the storage facility.
(4) 
Storage facility must be located within 15 minutes of place of tow.
(5) 
Storage facility must have twenty-four-hour surveillance.
(6) 
The contractor shall provide adequate land sufficient to store a minimum of 10 vehicles, be enclosed by a security fence to deter trespassing and/or vandalism and an inside garage area space for at least one vehicle must be available.
(7) 
Adequate lighting between dusk till dawn.
(8) 
Facility available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, and open to the public on weekdays during normal business hours and limited hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
A. 
Motor vehicles which are stolen, abandoned, involved in a crime, involved in a fatal collision or a collision which in the judgement of the police may become fatal shall be considered police impounds. Police impounds shall be towed to a designated police impound property at the selection of the investigating officer due to the nature of the investigation.
B. 
Police impounds shall not be released, entered or photographed without prior police approval.
Towing operator granted as an authorized tower of Stafford Township must meet or exceed the following standards.
A. 
Heavy-duty fleet requirements (if applicable). Towers having heavy-duty trucks in their fleet, the requirements will follow:
(1) 
Boom capacity of no less than 16 tons, which meet the following criteria.
(2) 
Thirty-three thousand pounds GVWR minimum commercially manufactured hydraulic wrecker and chassis, with underreach capabilities.
(3) 
Compliance with state and federal DOT requirements governing commercial motor vehicles.
(4) 
Air brakes.
(5) 
Air transfer system to control brakes of towed vehicles.
(6) 
Vehicle manufacturer serial plate legible and visible for inspection on undercarriage and chassis boom or certified by manufacturer's rating paperwork.
(7) 
Two safety chains, two inches by 10 feet, with a minimum of Grade 8 alloy.
(8) 
Axle lifts, safety straps or equivalent retention device.
(9) 
Amber emergency lights with proper light permit from the State of New Jersey.
(10) 
Two flood- or work lights to the rear of the wrecker.
(11) 
Two light bar or magnetic tow lights.
(12) 
Two-way radio or cellular phone.
(13) 
Assortment of wood blocks and boards.
(14) 
Assortment of tools.
(15) 
Flashlight.
(16) 
T-bolts/maxi release pins.
(17) 
Angle iron.
(18) 
First aid kit.
(19) 
Broom and shovel.
(20) 
Road flares, triangles or road cones.
(21) 
Two twelve-ton snatch blocks per winch.
B. 
Wrecker. At least one four-ton-or-larger-boom-capacity wrecker with boom and drum capable of being operated from inside or outside the wrecker, having a minimum rating of four tons; drums to have a minimum of 100 feet of cable at least 3/8 inch in diameter with a recommended working limit of a minimum of 7,000 pounds; recommended gross vehicle weight of truck or chassis of 10,000 pounds or greater; and dual rear wheels maintained and equipped at least in accordance with manufacturer's specifications; equipped with emergency warning lights with permit.
C. 
Safety equipment to be carried on tow trucks shall include the following:
(1) 
One universal towing sling.
(2) 
Five gallons of Speedy Dry or equivalent absorbent material.
(3) 
Shovel and broom.
(4) 
Tow hooks and chains.
(5) 
One snatch block for three-eighths to one-half-inch cable.
(6) 
Two high-test safety chains.
(7) 
Auxiliary safety light kit to place on rear of towed vehicle.
(8) 
Tool box with assortment of hand tools and emergency pry bars.
(9) 
At-scene work lights.
(10) 
Fire extinguisher.
(11) 
Steering wheel lock or tie down.
(12) 
Protective gloves.
(13) 
Removal bins for debris.
(14) 
Flat beds: at least one flatbed or car carrier with at least a one-car capacity with emergency warning lights with permit.
(15) 
Safety equipment to be carried on tow trucks on call shall include the following:
(a) 
Shovel and broom.
(b) 
Tow hooks and chains.
(c) 
One snatch block for three-eighths to one-half-inch cable.
(d) 
Two high-test safety chains.
(e) 
Auxiliary safety light kit to place on rear of towed vehicle.
(f) 
Tool box with assortment of hand tools and emergency pry bars.
(g) 
At-scene work lights.
(h) 
Fire extinguisher.
(i) 
Protective gloves.
(j) 
Removal bins for debris.
D. 
Required vehicle operating licenses.
(1) 
All drivers must have a valid New Jersey driver's license to operate the vehicles and equipment required hereunder.
(2) 
Each heavy-duty driver must possess a commercial driver's license (CDL) and must comply also with 49 CFR 391.51. Additionally, each heavy-duty driver must have a valid New Jersey medical certificate.
(3) 
The nationally recognized organizations that are acceptable for the Stafford Police Department are:
(a) 
WreckMaster: Level 2/3 certification must be obtained by all drivers to ensure all employees towing for Township of Stafford have the proper training and knowledge to perform a level of service.
(b) 
WreckMaster: Level 4/5 certification must be obtained in order to tow heavy-duty vehicles which will be examined by the New Jersey State Police Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit based off of an investigation.
(c) 
Towing and Recovery Association of America: Level 1 certification must be obtained by all employees towing for the Township of Stafford to have the proper training and knowledge to perform a level of service.
(d) 
Towing and Recovery Association of America: Level 2 Medium/Heavy-Duty certification must be obtained in order to tow heavy-duty vehicles which will be examined by the New Jersey State Police Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit based off of an investigation.
(4) 
All certificates will be verified and maintained at the Stafford Police Department annually.
A. 
Insurance.
(1) 
Towers must present a certificate of liability insurance from a company licensed to provide insurance in the State of New Jersey certifying the following coverage, which shall be maintained throughout the license term.
(a) 
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.
[1] 
Automobile liability insurance. Limit of liability shall not be less than $1,000,000 combined single limit (bodily injury and property damage) per occurrence.
[2] 
Garagekeepers 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 tower. Limit of said coverage shall be not less than $200,000.
[3] 
Excess umbrella insurance. Limit of liability shall be not less than $1,000,000 providing protection in excess of the $500,000 garage and auto liability coverage. Note: This requirement may be waived if the limits of liability in Subsections A(1)(a)[1] and [2] are not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit.
(b) 
Workers' compensation insurance; New Jersey statutory coverage, including employer's liability coverage.
(2) 
All public liability insurance, including garage liability and garagekeepers legal liability coverage, shall name the Township of Stafford and its officers, agents, employees as additional insureds and shall hold them harmless and indemnify them from any and all claims filed against the Township arising out of any act or failure to act on behalf of the tower and shall contain an endorsement providing 30 days' notice to the Township in the event of any material changes of the policy or cancellation thereof.
B. 
Personnel. Towing operators and employees shall be fully trained and knowledgeable in the operation of all required equipment, must be competent to provide minimum road services for disabled vehicles, present a neat appearance at all times, obey all traffic safety laws and shall not have been convicted of an indictable criminal offense or any offense including but not limited to stolen or embezzled vehicles, fraud relating to the towing business, stolen property or any offense of similar nature within the past seven years.
C. 
Land use.
(1) 
All facilities and sites used for towing operations and storage, wherever located, must comply with all applicable municipal zoning regulations, land use approvals, construction permits and property maintenance.
(2) 
Licensees must remain in continuous compliance with all approvals and conditions of approvals throughout the license term.
(3) 
Failure to obtain and comply with all requisite approvals and conditions or to rectify any violations as required by the appropriate enforcement authority shall result in suspension or revocation of the license as provided herein.
D. 
Location. Towing operators shall be located in a geographic area that enables a response time of 15 minutes under normal circumstances.
E. 
Availability.
(1) 
All towing operators must be available for service on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-per-week basis.
(2) 
Should the tow operator be unavailable, specific details will be provided to the Stafford Police Telecommunications and properly recorded.
A. 
To apply for and obtain a towing license, the following fees apply:
(1) 
Applications fee: $100 annual.
(2) 
Background checks: $20 for each background check conducted by the Township on each employee. Background checks will be completed one time for each employee. These backgrounds are necessary and will be done in the interests of public safety.
(3) 
Fees paid pursuant to this section are not refundable for any reason.
B. 
Required information. Applications for towing licenses must provide the following information:
(1) 
Name, residence, business address and telephone number of the owner of the towing company. If the owner is a corporation, limited-liability company, partnership or other business entity, the application must contain the name, residence, business address and telephone number of every stockholder owning more than 10% of the issued stock or member owning more than 10% of the membership interest.
(2) 
Current registrations and proof of insurance of each vehicle in the applicant's fleet.
(3) 
Verification of three years' towing-for-hire experience, either as an owner or principal, which shall be confirmed by the Police Department.
(4) 
For each employee, full name and home address.
(5) 
Copies of all motor vehicle and operator's licenses required pursuant to § 192-5D.
(6) 
For both applicant and each employee, full fingerprinting and criminal background check in accordance with the procedures established by the Police Department.
(7) 
For each driver, copies of individual New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission drivers' abstracts.
(8) 
Names and addresses of at least two business references that have known the applicant for at least two years and can attest to the applicant's experience and performance in the towing, wrecking and storage business.
(a) 
Proof from the Zoning Officer or other appropriate official in the municipality where any facilities and sites used for towing operations and storage are located that those facilities and sites are in compliance with all applicable zoning regulations, land use approvals and property maintenance codes.
C. 
Application deadline. Applications shall be submitted to the Township Clerk no later than April 1 of the licensing year. Late applications will not be considered. On or before February 1 of the licensing year, the Township Clerk shall provide public notice of the application period.
D. 
Police department review:
(1) 
Background check to determine if either the applicant or the applicant's personnel have been convicted of any indictable offense or any offense involving stolen or embezzled vehicles, fraud relating to the towing business, stolen property, or any offense of similar nature and maintain all required licenses in good standing.
(2) 
Inspection of personnel, vehicles, equipment and storage areas to determine the accuracy of information set forth in the applications and compliance with the licensing and eligibility standards set forth pursuant to 192-6 and all applicable laws, regulations and performance standards.
A. 
Following review, the Chief of Police or the Chief's designee shall issue a written report to the Township Council detailing the results of the required background investigation and inspection and recommending approval or rejection of the applicant based on the criteria set forth in this chapter.
B. 
Upon consideration of the report issued by the Chief of Police or the Chief's designee, the Township Council shall award licenses to qualified applicants by resolution.
C. 
Applications for towing licenses may be rejected on any or all of the following grounds:
(1) 
The applicant's or its employees' criminal convictions for any indictable offense or any offense involving stolen or embezzled vehicles, fraud relating to the towing business, stolen property, or any offense of similar nature, within the past seven years.
(2) 
Failure to meet or exceed any of the eligibility criteria set forth pursuant to Chapter 192.
(3) 
Repeated or egregious violations of the requirements of this chapter during previous service as a licensed tower for the Township of Stafford.
(4) 
Repeated complaints from the general public, substantiating and documented by the Police.
(5) 
Department of inadequate or unsatisfactory service or improper or illegal practices during previous service as a licensed tower for the Township of Stafford.
(6) 
Fraudulent or illegal activity of any kind.
D. 
Rejected applicants may appeal in accordance set forth in § 192-11.
E. 
Said license shall be nontransferable.
A. 
In order to assure provision of safe and efficient towing service, tow licenses pursuant to this chapter shall be issued upon the following basis.
B. 
A towing rotation shall be established on a per-incident basis throughout the Township. This rotation will be calculated and monitored by the Stafford Police Department Traffic Safety Unit. The number of tow operators in the rotation will be determined by the number of licenses, not to exceed five, issued pursuant to this chapter.
Every operator of a towing service shall give the owner a written itemized bill for the towing cost and a written receipt when paid. A schedule of the towing regulations and fees shall be posted for viewing by the public at each towing business on the police duty list and in the Traffic Safety Office in the Police Department. Towing charges and fees shall be as follows:
A. 
Towing;
(1) 
Class 1 vehicle, GVWR 6,000 pounds or under: $175.
(2) 
Class 2 vehicle, GVWR 6,001 to 10,000 pounds: $200.
(3) 
Class 3 vehicle, GVWR 10,001 to 15,000 pounds: $225.
(4) 
Class 4 vehicle, GVWR 15,001 pounds and up: $350 per hour based upon portal to portal. Detailed breakdown of hours must be provided.
B. 
Off-road recovery/winching, as defined in this chapter, to be billed in thirty-minute increments:
(1) 
Class 1: $100 per hour.
(2) 
Class 2: $175 per hour.
(3) 
Class 3: $350 per hour.
(4) 
Class 4: covered under the hourly rate § 192-10A(4).
C. 
Storage:
(1) 
Class 1 vehicles:
(a) 
Outside: $35 per day.
(b) 
Inside - by request of Police Department or vehicle owner: $45 per day.
(2) 
Class 2 vehicles:
(a) 
Outside: $45 per day.
(b) 
Inside - by request of Police Department or vehicle owner: $55 per day.
(3) 
Class 3 and 4 vehicles: $100 per day.
D. 
Miscellaneous.
(1) 
Debris cleanup is mandatory and included within the initial hookup fee. If debris is excessive and requires more than 20 minutes to remove, a one-time fee of $50 is permitted.
(2) 
Protection of vehicles in storage from further damage due to weather (broken windows, doors, hoods, trunk missing or damage, which allow weather intrusion):
(a) 
Window wrap, if needed: $25.
(b) 
Tarp vehicle, if needed: $50.
(3) 
Standby/wait time on scene: $75 per hour billed in fifteen-minute increments after 15 minutes on scene has elapsed. Tow operators must notify an officer on the scene upon their arrival and departure.
E. 
Additional personnel/truck on scene to assist: $100 per hour per truck, billed in thirty-minute increments once vehicle is on scene. Billed on a case-by-case basis, must be supported by documentation and reviewed by the Traffic Safety Officer and his/her decision will be final.
F. 
Holiday rates: 1 1/2 times the regular towing rate for towing on the following holidays.
New Year's Day
Easter Sunday
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day
G. 
The tow operators shall not charge any fee not defined in this section unless previously authorized by the owner of the vehicle being towed/recovered.
H. 
Tow operators shall provide a specific itemized list of services to the Traffic Safety Unit within three days of the date of service. Reports can be facsimile, physical copy or electronic mail.
The Chief of Police or his designee 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 a suspension or a permanent removal. In such cases, an appeal may be filed with the Township Clerk within 10 business days of the suspension or removal. A hearing shall be held by the Stafford Township Council within 30 business days of the filing. The Stafford Township Council shall render its determination within 20 business days following the conclusion of the hearing. The governing body's determination as rendered shall be final and conclusive under this chapter.
Any person, firm or corporation who willfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties as provided in Chapter 134. Each and every violation of this chapter for 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 officers to serve and execute process for violation of this chapter.