Township of Woolwich, NJ
Gloucester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Woolwich 9-21-1998 by Ord. No. 98-22. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township Committee of the Township of Woolwich shall appoint persons or companies (hereinafter "official towers") which meet the criteria set forth in this chapter and engaged in the business of offering the services of a motor vehicle towing or wrecker service and the ability to store said motor vehicles on site, at the rates contained within this chapter, and under the terms and conditions as set forth below.
A. 
Official towers shall be identified by means of a license that shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Not less than 75 days prior to the beginning of each three-year term of official towers licenses, the Township shall advertise within the Official Newspaper of Woolwich Township for applications for towing licenses for providing towing services pursuant to this chapter.
C. 
All applicants shall submit their applications at least 60 days prior to the commencement date for each three-year period, and the applications shall be reviewed in accordance with the procedures set forth within this chapter. The award of a license to the successful applicants shall be subject to compliance with the license requirements of this chapter.
D. 
For the purposes of the licenses to be awarded pursuant to this chapter in the year which it is adopted, the initial term of the license shall be from the date of issue until December 31, 1998. Licenses issued thereafter shall be for a three-year term commencing on January 1 of the year in which it is issued and terminating three years thereafter.
This chapter is intended to regulate and control the towing and storage of passenger cars and small trucks, which would include pickup trucks, vans and those trucks otherwise of such a size and nature that they could be towed by the required equipment as set forth within this chapter. In the event that a vehicle to be towed is a large vehicle, such as a tractor and trailer or concrete delivery truck, which is beyond the capabilities of the equipment described within this chapter, then the police dispatcher is authorized to contact any towing company having equipment capable to transport such a vehicle that is larger than the vehicles to which this chapter is directed.
A. 
Official towers shall furnish adequate and proper wrecking, towing, storage and emergency repair service to motor vehicles damaged or disabled within the limits of Woolwich Township when requested to do so by the Chief of Police or his authorized designee.
B. 
Any official tower to whom approval to subcontract work has been given shall be responsible for the services performed by the subcontractor and shall remain liable for any violation of this chapter by the subcontractor.
C. 
Certification that the applicant will be able to provide towing services anywhere in the Township with a maximum response time of 10 minutes.
[Added 9-21-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-15]
D. 
Certification that towing company and storage yard are within a four-mile radius of the municipal boundary of Woolwich Township.
[Added 9-21-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-15]
A. 
Applications for inclusion on the official towers list shall be made to the Township Committee of the Township of Woolwich upon a form prepared by the Township Clerk and approved by the Township Attorney and shall contain all of the following information:
(1) 
The name, residence and business address and telephone number of the owner of the towing company. If the owner is a corporation, the application shall contain the name, residence and business address and telephone number of every stockholder owning more than 10% of the issued stock.
(2) 
Such information as may be required by the Township Committee concerning the personnel, vehicles, equipment and storage facilities of such applicant, as hereinafter provided, showing that the applicant meets the minimum standards of performance.
(3) 
A certificate or certificates of insurance evidencing adequate insurance coverage as hereinafter provided.
(4) 
The names and addresses of two business references who have known the applicant for at least two years.
(5) 
Certification that the applicant will be able to provide towing services anywhere in the Township with a maximum response time of 20 minutes, except when extraordinary circumstances occur.
(6) 
Certification that the applicant will be available for service 24 hours a day and that he will abide by the fees contained in or referenced to within this chapter.
(7) 
A site plan showing the location of the storage area, the number of cars that can be stored and the total square footage area of the storage area.
(8) 
Agreement to abide by the general rules and regulations established by the Chief of Police in connection with towing procedures within the Township of Woolwich.
B. 
The applicant shall submit completed duplicate applications to the Township Clerk, who shall forward a copy to the Chief of Police for his review and approval. The review by the Chief of Police shall consist of the following:
(1) 
A background check to determine if either the applicant or the applicant's personnel have been convicted of a criminal offense or have had their driver's license revoked or suspended within the past year. Conviction of a criminal offense or suspension of driver's license within the past year shall be cause for disqualification from inclusion on the official towers list.
(2) 
An inspection of the personnel, vehicles, equipment and storage area proposed to be utilized by the applicant to verify the accuracy of the information contained in the application and to determine compliance with applicable laws and regulations and the standards of performance required by this chapter.
C. 
The Chief of Police shall conduct his review and render a report to the Woolwich Township Committee recommending either approval or denial of the application within 21 days of receipt of the application from the Township Clerk. The Woolwich Township Committee shall take action within 14 days of receipt of the report of the Chief of Police. The applicant or its representative shall be given notice of the date on which the Township Committee will consider the application and shall be permitted to appear and be heard at that time.
D. 
An applicant may be included on the official towers list by the Woolwich Township Committee by resolution adopted at a regular public meeting when, from consideration of the application and from such other information as may be otherwise obtained, it finds that all the following circumstances exist:
(1) 
The applicant has not knowingly and with intent to deceive made any false, misleading or fraudulent statements of material fact in the application or in any other document required pursuant to this chapter.
(2) 
The applicant has met the standards of this chapter and has furnished the required hold harmless agreement and certificate(s) of insurance.
(3) 
The application has been reviewed and approved by the Chief of Police.
(4) 
Neither the applicant nor the applicant's personnel have been convicted of a criminal offense or had their driver's license revoked within the past year.
E. 
Written notice of the approval or denial of the application shall be provided to the applicant within seven days of the decision of the Woolwich Township Committee.
F. 
If the Woolwich Township Committee fails to take action within 60 days of receipt of a completed application, the application shall be deemed to have been denied.
A. 
Upon approval of the application as herein provided and payment of the required fees, the Township Clerk shall issue the applicant an official towers license for each tow vehicle or flatbed vehicle to be utilized in providing services pursuant to this chapter.
B. 
The licenses, which shall be in a form approved by the Woolwich Township Committee, shall be displayed on the tow vehicle at all times.
C. 
The licenses shall be valid for a three-year term as set forth in this chapter, shall be nontransferable and shall be subject to revocation by the Woolwich Township Committee for any of the following reasons:
(1) 
If it is subsequently determined that the applicant knowingly and with intent to deceive made false, misleading or fraudulent statements of material fact in the application or in any other document required pursuant to this chapter.
(2) 
Violation of any federal or state law or municipal ordinance relating to the operation of a motor vehicle or the provision of towing services.
(3) 
Violation of any rule or regulation promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Insurance.
(4) 
Unsatisfactory service provided pursuant to this chapter.
D. 
The license fee for the license issued under this section shall be $100 per license per vehicle.
[Added 9-21-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-15]
E. 
Licenses shall not be transferable from one vehicle to another without the consent of the Chief of Police. Consent may be granted at the sole discretion of the Chief, if the license demonstrates that the transferee vehicle complies with all of the requirements of this chapter.
The official tower shall maintain and have available to render services required by this chapter a minimum of one flatbed vehicle.
A. 
Minimum vehicle requirements.
(1) 
Vehicle classes:
(a) 
Flatbed vehicles must be equipped with a winch or hydraulically operated bed which slides or tilts to accommodate transporting of vehicles.
(b) 
All equipment shall comply with all state and federal regulations.
(2) 
Each applicant shall submit, along with its application, proof of ownership or lease of the vehicles which will be utilized to provide services pursuant to this chapter.
B. 
Minimum equipment requirements.
(1) 
Every flatbed vehicle shall be equipped with the following:
(a) 
At least one amber rotating beacon or strobe light mounted on the highest practical location of the vehicle.
(b) 
One snatch block per winch.
(c) 
Amber safety tow lights or magnetic tow lights for towing vehicles at night.
(d) 
Extra chains and cable for pulling or securing a towed vehicle.
(e) 
At least one heavy-duty broom, a shovel, a crowbar or prybar, a set of jumper cables, a flashlight and one two-pound or larger fire extinguisher of dry chemical type.
(2) 
Every flatbed vehicle shall comply with any and all state, federal and local laws, regulations and ordinances pertaining to safety, lighting and towing equipment requirements and shall be subject to inspection by the Chief of Police or his designee at any time.
(3) 
Every tow vehicle or flatbed vehicle shall display the official towers license and shall have the name of the official tower displayed on the vehicle in such a manner and of such lettering as conforms to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-46.
C. 
Minimum personnel requirements. Official towers shall have available at all times a minimum of two persons to provide the services required by this chapter. All persons employed by official towers to provide the services provided by this chapter shall be subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
Have a valid driver's license having no restrictions other than a condition requiring the wearing of eyeglasses.
(2) 
Be mentally alert and neat in appearance at all times.
(3) 
Obey all traffic laws and regulations.
D. 
Minimum storage requirements.
(1) 
Every official tower shall maintain an inside or outside secured storage area meeting the following requirements:
(a) 
The storage area shall be capable of storing at least five passenger vehicles. The area shall have at least 500 square feet of storage area to hold and protect police hold vehicles.
(b) 
The location of the storage area shall be either within the limits of the Township or at such location outside of the Township so as to facilitate reasonable towing distances.
(c) 
Any outer storage area shall be fully enclosed by a sturdy fence having a minimum height of six feet, with at least one lockable gate for ingress and egress, and shall be lighted from dusk to dawn.
(d) 
The storage area shall be in an area legally zoned for such use.
(e) 
The storage facility shall be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and shall be open to the public on weekdays during normal business hours and for four hours on Saturdays. The applicant is not required to be open on Sundays.
(f) 
The official tower shall have an employee on duty during all hours in which the storage facility is open.
(g) 
The official tower shall not charge a release fee or other charge for releasing vehicles to their owners after normal business hours or on weekends.
(2) 
The applicant shall, with its application, submit proof of ownership or lease of the storage area.
(3) 
The official tower shall be responsible for ensuring the proper and safe storage of all vehicles towed pursuant to this chapter. The official tower shall be responsible for any damage incurred by such vehicles while in transit to or while still stored in the storage areas.
A. 
Official towers shall rotate on the list for one week at a time or for such a period of time as the Chief of Police determines.
B. 
The Township shall contact Gloucester County Dispatch to request wrecking, towing and storage services from each official tower in rotation. When called, the tower shall advise the dispatcher if a vehicle is available and of the estimated time of arrival. If no tow vehicle is available, or if the response time is insufficient under the circumstances to properly protect the public health, safety or welfare, the next official tower on the list shall be called for that particular towing event. The official tower who is at the top of the list, however, shall remain at the top of the list for any subsequent calls until that tower's rotation period is concluded.
[Amended 9-21-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-15]
C. 
All requests for service must be made by the Chief of Police or his designee.
D. 
During adverse weather conditions, heavy traffic conditions or emergency conditions, official towers shall give priority to requests from the Township over other requests which may be received by the official tower.
The applicant shall agree, in writing, to assume the defense of and indemnity and hold harmless the Township of Woolwich, 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 and nature whatsoever resulting from, caused by, arising out of or as a consequence of towing, wrecking, storage and/or emergency services provided at the request of the Township pursuant to this chapter. Official towers shall enter into a hold harmless agreement in a form to be prepared by the Township Attorney prior to being included on the official towers list.
A. 
No person shall be included on the official towers list unless and until such person has provided to the Township of Woolwich a certificate or certificates of insurance evidencing that there is in effect the following insurance coverages:
(1) 
Automobile liability insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limits.
(2) 
Workers' compensation as required by law.
(3) 
Garage keepers' liability in an amount not less than $60,000 per location.
(4) 
Garage liability in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit.
(5) 
Sufficient comprehensive general public liability insurance to protect the Township from any liability, loss or damages arising out of the activities to be conducted. Such insurance shall be in the amount of $1,000,000 for each person and $3,000,000 for each accident.
B. 
Policies of insurance shall contain endorsements to provide collision coverage for vehicles in tow.
C. 
Policies of insurance shall be written by insurance companies authorized to do business in the State of New Jersey. Insurance companies shall be acceptable to the Township and shall have at least a B+ rating by a recognized rating service.
D. 
The Township of Woolwich shall be named as additional insured on all policies of insurance provided pursuant to this chapter. All certificates of insurance shall provide that the policies may not be canceled, terminated or coverage decreased without 30 days' written notice to the Township.
E. 
Policies of insurance required by this chapter shall be maintained in full force and effect at all times. In the event that any coverage is canceled, terminated, interrupted or decreased in amount, the tower shall be removed from the official towers list until such time as the required coverage is reinstated or replaced.
A. 
Fees.
[Amended 12-18-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-30; 1-19-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-02; 9-21-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-15]
(1) 
Automobiles, vans, pick-up trucks.
(a) 
Tow: $140.
(b) 
Storage per day: $35.
(2) 
Commercially registered box and straight homes and campers.
(a) 
Tow: $200 truck, mobile.
(b) 
Storage: $75 per day.
(3) 
Tractor-trailer.
(a) 
Tow: $475 flat fee.
(b) 
Eighty-five-ton crane: $900/hour (four-hour minimum).
(c) 
Labor w/eighty-five ton crane: $175/hour (four-hour minimum).
(4) 
Lot delivery fee applies after fourth day in storage.
(a) 
Category 1: $25.
(b) 
Category 2: $50.
(c) 
Category 3: $50.
(5) 
Recovery rates for extra heavy-duty commercial vehicle.
(a) 
Heavy-duty wrecker, 26,001 pounds and up: $400 per hour.
(b) 
Medium-duty wrecker, 10,001 to 26,000 pounds: $250 per hour.
(c) 
Road service truck: $200 per hour.
(d) 
Forklift: $125 per hour.
(e) 
Specialized equipment (e.g., sixty-ton crane, light tower airbag recovery truck): $125 per hour.
(f) 
Landoll lowboy with tractor: $225 per hour.
(g) 
Relief trailers.
[1] 
Fifty-three-foot reefer unit: $500 flat rate.
[2] 
Forty-eight-foot flatbed: $500 flat rate.
(h) 
Airbag recovery system: $3,500 flat rate.
(i) 
Cleanup: $100 per hour.
(6) 
Recovery rates for extra light-duty 10,000 pounds and under:
(a) 
Flatbed and/or light-duty wrecker: $100 per hour.
(b) 
Winching:
[1] 
Light duty: $100.
[2] 
Heavy duty: $150.
(c) 
Cleanup: $45.
(d) 
Oil-Dri: $15 per bag.
(e) 
Heavy-duty labor: $75 per hour.
(f) 
Administration: $45.
(g) 
Removal from facility by outside contractor: $45.
B. 
The fees set forth in this section for towing rates are the maximum charges that shall apply to a private passenger automobile for basic towing services. There shall be no additional charges other than those provided herein, including but not limited to flatbedding, waiting time, cleanup cost and additional labor, when only basic towing services as defined here are provided. The official towers, however, shall be allowed to charge for services other than basic towing services, as defined in this chapter, the sum of $25 per hour for any additional winching services required over and above the basic towing services when removing a vehicle 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. In addition, the official towers may charge a flat fee of $30 for any road service for private passenger vehicles which do not need to be towed.
(1) 
Other than for commercial vehicles, the towing rates 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.
(2) 
Tow vehicles transporting multiple passenger cars at one time shall receive the applicable fees for each vehicle transported.
(3) 
When towing services are required at the scene of an accident, the day rate shall apply when the time of the accident is between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except New Jersey state holidays. The night, weekend and holiday rate shall otherwise apply.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(4), which immediately followed, regarding the rates for towing services otherwise required, was repealed 9-21-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-15.
C. 
To the extent permitted by law, the Township Committee may revise the rates set forth in the schedules above by resolution adopted by the Township Committee.
A. 
Copies of this chapter and the schedule of fees that may be charged by official towers shall be made available to the public during normal business hours, in the Woolwich Township Municipal Building. Copies shall also be made available at each official tower's place of business.
B. 
All official towers shall post, in a prominent place at each storage area visible to the public, a schedule of the fees which may be charged for all services pursuant to this chapter.
C. 
The Township reserves the right to make periodic unannounced inspections of the personnel, vehicles, equipment and storage areas of all official towers.
D. 
The relationship between an official tower and the Township is one of an independent contractor. Neither party shall be construed in any manner whatsoever to be an employee of the other, nor shall any employee or agent furnished by any party be construed to be an employee or agent of the other party. Inclusion on the official towers list shall not be construed or considered as a joint venture, partnership, association, contract of employment or profit sharing agreement.
E. 
The municipality shall not be liable or responsible for compensating the official towers for any of the services performed under this chapter unless those services are performed for Township vehicles. Compensation shall be the responsibility of the owner of the towed motor vehicle, and the official tower shall proceed directly against the owner.
F. 
The official tower shall, at all times, be solely responsible for the conduct of its employees.
G. 
Each official tower shall keep and 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 kept and maintained by the official tower at one central location and shall be retained for a period of seven years. Records may be written, printed or computerized as long as the requirements of this subsection are met.
H. 
Upon final adoption of this chapter, the Township Clerk is hereby authorized to provide a certified copy of this chapter to the State of New Jersey, Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs.
A. 
In the event that a complaint is received by the Township involving the improper or unsatisfactory performance of services by an official tower, excessive charges or damage to a motor vehicle while in custody of the tower, written notice of the same shall be provided by the Township Administrator to the official tower involved. The tower shall have the opportunity to respond, in writing, within five days.
B. 
Within 14 days of receipt of the tower's response or within 21 days of receipt of the complaint, if no response is received, the matter shall be presented by the Township Administrator to the Township Committee.
C. 
The Township Committee shall consider the matter at a regular public meeting and may request that the complainant and the tower involved appear and give testimony regarding the complaint.
D. 
If, after considering the matter, the Township Committee shall determine that one of the causes for revocation exists, the tower's license shall be revoked, and the tower shall surrender the same to the Township Administrator within one day.
E. 
Failure to surrender the license upon revocation shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
F. 
Nothing contained herein shall prevent or limit the right of any person to commence or maintain an action for damages or any other relief directly against an official tower in a court of competent jurisdiction.
A. 
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000, and each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day the same is violated shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense.
B. 
In addition to the fine imposed above, a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be cause for revocation of the official tower's license.