[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of North Haledon by Ord. No. 4-1991; amended in its entirety 11-13-1991 by Ord. No. 30-1991 (Ch. 162 of the 1990 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall regulate towing and storage services originating in the Borough of North Haledon.
Any owner of a vehicle requiring towing services originating in the Borough of North Haledon shall have the right to select a tower of his/her own choice and at his/her own expense, unless the condition or location of the vehicle creates, in the opinion of the North Haledon Police, a hazard or an impediment to the flow of traffic; or in the event the owner or operator of the vehicle is not present with the vehicle; or in the event that the owner or operator of the vehicle is unable to or unwilling to select a tower of his/her own choosing; or in the event of a motor vehicle arrest; or in the event of a DWI violation or other motor vehicle violation; or in the event of an abandoned vehicle; or in the event of a car fire; or in the event of a criminal arrest; or in the event of reduction of trespass; or where it is necessary to secure and preserve evidence. In such cases, the North Haledon Police Department may summon an emergency tow provider to remove the vehicle at the expense of the owner or driver and store it. In any instance, however, in which the tow provider is summoned by the North Haledon Police, it shall be done pursuant to the provisions of the within chapter.
[Amended 6-16-1999 by Ord. No. 7-1999]
Each year, the Police Chief shall set a rotating schedule for the selection of a tow provider for motor vehicle towing and storage. The selection of the motor vehicle towing and storage provider shall be operative where, under the provisions of this chapter, the tower is summoned by the North Haledon Police. In order to be eligible for placement on the schedule, a tow provider must:
Apply for a license pursuant to the provisions set forth herein. Each license issued hereunder shall terminate on December 31 of each year in which it is issued, and each renewal license shall be for the one-year period of January 1 through December 31.
All towing operators who submit an application to the Borough of North Haledon shall pay the sum set forth in Chapter 275, Fees, at the time the application is filed. This is a nonrefundable fee which shall be utilized to cover the cost of investigation and review and shall also be considered to be the fee for the balance of the year for which the application is filed. Thereafter, the annual fee shall be set forth in Chapter 275, Fees.
Licenses hereunder shall be approved by the Borough Council of the Borough of North Haledon and issued by the Borough Clerk. The application therefor shall contain the following information:
The full name and address of the applicant and, if such applicant is a corporation, the names and addresses of the officers and directors thereof and the registered office and registered agent thereof or, if such applicant is a partnership, the names and addresses of all partners.
The year, make, model and serial number, registration number and owner of each vehicle which is to be used by the applicant in responding to calls from the North Haledon Police Department requesting the towing and storage of disabled motor vehicles.
The tow vehicle's base of service for each tow vehicle to be used by the licensed operator.
The location to which the applicant will tow, transport, convey or remove and thereafter store any motor vehicle towed, transported, conveyed or removed by the applicant pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
The specific area at the location referred to above that the applicant has available for properly storing and protecting disabled motor vehicles. The applicant shall attach to the application a diagram of his/her or its property showing the secured area (inside- or outside-secured) intended for storage and protection of vehicles removed from the roadway.
The place and location where the applicant will maintain an office at which any person whose vehicle has been towed, transported, conveyed or removed may obtain information relative thereto, attend to the payment of any money to be paid in connection therewith and arrange for any further removal or possession of such vehicle.
A statement that the applicant has sufficient personnel and equipment to provide twenty-four-hour towing and storage services and is able to respond to police calls in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and meet all other requirements of this chapter.
A certification that the fees will not exceed the fees set forth in this chapter.
The name of the insurance company and its address and policy number showing the limits of coverage required by this chapter, along with a certification that the Borough of North Haledon will be added as an additional insured under the liability provisions of said policy.
Execution of indemnification and hold harmless agreement with the Borough of North Haledon agreeing to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Borough of North Haledon for any and all suits, judgments, costs, expenses, including attorneys' fees and claims on account of breach of contract, damaged property, or personal injuries, including death, arising out of or in any way connected with the towing and storage services to be provided.
Listing of the applicant's prior towing experience, including the years in business and other municipalities served.
Sufficient data that all operators and employees shall be fully trained and knowledgeable in the operation of all required equipment, all of whom shall be subject to satisfactory background investigation by the Police Chief.
Such other information as deemed appropriate by the governing body of the Borough of North Haledon.
Insurance. All towing operators shall maintain and produce proof of the following insurance coverage, which shall be subject to the approval of the Borough Council, with the Borough of North Haledon named as an additional insured, with the application when submitted to the Borough Clerk:
Automobile liability in an amount not less than $1,000,000, combined single limit.
Comprehensive liability insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000, combined single limit.
Garagekeepers' liability in an amount not less than $75,000, both on hook and for each storage location.
Garage liability in an amount not less than $1,000,000, combined single limit.
Workers' compensation as required by statute.
Any other coverage deemed required to provide complete protection to the municipality against any and all risk of loss or liability.
Guarantee a maximum of 20 minutes' response time.
Be available on a seven-day-per-week, three-hundred-sixty-five-day-per-year basis.
Have adequate storage space within 10 minutes' traveling time of the Borough of North Haledon, and that space shall be secured from pilferage and damage.
Have at its immediate disposal a minimum of one tow truck with sufficient personnel to handle multiple vehicle accidents.
Have immediate access to a flatbed tow truck; however, it shall not be required that the provider own such flatbed tow truck.
All equipment must be of the type, condition and design to efficiently perform the work required by the Borough of North Haledon.
All wrecker/tow trucks with boom and rollback flatbeds (hereinafter known as "trucks") to be used by the towing operator must be of such construction and capacity that they will be able to tow any type of vehicle, including vehicles that are upright, overturned or without wheels. These trucks must be found satisfactory by the Borough of North Haledon Police Department.
All trucks shall be equipped with a two-way radio capable of transmitting and receiving from the towing operator's office to anywhere in the Borough, on a twenty-four-hour basis.
All trucks shall be provided with a serviceable (properly rated) fire extinguisher.
All trucks shall be equipped with all standard trade tools. These shall include, but not be limited to, wrecking bar, hammers, screwdrivers, etc.
The towing operator shall provide all trucks with a shovel, broom and other equipment necessary to clean up broken glass and debris from the scene of any accident to which they are summoned. The towing operator shall be responsible for the subsequent cleanup. Each truck shall have a minimum of 50 pounds of dry sand or a drying compound for oil and/or any other liquid, except gasoline, that might be spilled onto a roadway as a result of an accident. If gasoline is spilled as a result of any accident, it shall be the responsibility of the Police Department to notify the Fire Department for immediate removal. Absorbed liquids, other than gasoline, shall be removed from the roadway, placed in plastic bags and then placed in the towed vehicle by the towing operator and shall be disposed of by the owner of said vehicle.
All trucks used by the towing operator shall be kept in a clean, good working condition. The towing operator shall have displayed on all of his/her trucks in such a manner and of such lettering as conforms to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-46.
The towing operator shall have an impound area that meets the following requirements:
Signs which readily identify the storage facility and which comply with all applicable laws shall be installed.
No towed vehicle shall be parked upon a public or private street or sidewalk. Said vehicle shall be stored by the towing operator within the storage area so provided.
The Borough of North Haledon Police Department shall have access to any part of the impound area at any time, day or night, for the purpose of inspection and/or investigation. This shall include indoor and outdoor areas.
There shall be no unescorted access to any vehicle stored in the aforementioned impound area by the public.
The towing operator shall conspicuously post at his/her place of business the fee schedule for storage and towing of vehicles.
There shall be no piling of vehicles.
Employees of the towing operator shall under no circumstance be deemed an agent, servant, or employee of the Borough of North Haledon or represent to the public that he/she is an employee of the Borough of North Haledon.
The towing operator shall provide the Police Department with a list of said personnel and their driver's license numbers for verification.
Employees shall have a valid CDL license or state-required license to operate appropriate towing vehicles.
[Amended 6-16-1999 by Ord. No. 7-1999]
The fees for towing services, storage services and related services are included in Chapter 275, Fees.
The rotating schedule of tow providers shall be posted at police headquarters.
The owner and/or driver of the vehicle shall be responsible for the payment of all towing and storage fees.
In any instance in which a motorist makes an inquiry of the North Haledon Police concerning towing services, the North Haledon Police shall advise the motorist of the name and address of the scheduled tow provider, and, except as provided in § 563-2 where the police shall have the right to summon a tow service, the police officer shall advise the motorist that he/she may select any tower of his/her own choice and at his/her own expense.
[Amended 6-16-1999 by Ord. No. 7-1999]
The Police Department of the Borough of North Haledon is hereby authorized to enforce all provisions of the within chapter in accordance with due process of law.
All complaints received by the Borough of North Haledon regarding a towing operator's performance under the provisions of this chapter shall be investigated by the Chief of Police or his/her designee and resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. In the event the complaint cannot be resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties, the matter shall be submitted to the governing body of the Borough of North Haledon. The decision of the governing body shall be final.
A license may be denied, suspended or revoked upon any of the following grounds after an appropriate hearing in accordance with the terms of this chapter:
Submitting a fraudulent or misleading application.
A criminal conviction of the towing operator or a named principal of the towing operator.
Failure to respond reliably and promptly to calls for assistance or any other action which interferes with the proper operation of the rotating system maintained by the Police Department.
Violations of motor vehicle laws and/or municipal ordinances.
Failure or refusal to tow or remove a motor vehicle when requested to do so by an appropriate municipal officer.
Violation of the provisions of this chapter or any of its rules or regulations. Proceedings for the suspension or revocation of a license shall be initiated by the service of a notice of charges filed against the licensee. Said notice shall be served by the Chief of Police or his/her designee, either personally or via certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall contain a date, time and place for hearing to be held by the Borough Council of the Borough of North Haledon. Said hearing shall be scheduled no less than seven days nor more than 30 days after the notice of the suspension or revocation shall be served upon the licensee. The licensee shall have the right to file an answer to the notice and to appear in person or be represented by counsel and give testimony at the place and time fixed for the hearing.
When an application for a license is denied by the Borough Council of the Borough of North Haledon, the applicant may request a hearing on said application by the service of a notice requesting a hearing. Said notice shall be served on the Borough Clerk, and at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Borough Council, a hearing date shall be set which shall be no less than seven days nor more than 30 days from the date scheduled.
The within chapter and current fee schedule shall be available to the public at the office of the Borough Clerk during normal business hours.
[Added 6-16-1999 by Ord. No. 7-1999]
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, General Penalty. Those penalties shall be in addition to and separate from any action taken by the Borough of North Haledon pursuant to this chapter.