[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Bordentown 9-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 258.
[Amended 12-10-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-17]
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases and words shall have the meanings given, herein:
- ABANDONED VEHICLE
- A vehicle located on a public right-of-way not in operation and with no operator or owner visible and as defined in Title 39.
- BASIC TOW
- Private property towing and other nonconsensual towing and other ancillary services that include the following: arriving at the site from which a motor vehicle will be towed; 15 minutes waiting time; hooking a motor vehicle to, or loading a motor vehicle onto, a tow truck; transporting a motor vehicle to a storage facility; unhooking or unloading a motor vehicle from the tow truck; and situating the motor vehicle in the space in which it will be stored. "Basic tow" also includes issuing documents for the release of a motor vehicle to its owner or other person authorized to take the motor vehicle; issuing an itemized bill; three trips to the motor vehicle in storage, which, if applicable, include making a vehicle available to an insurance appraiser or adjuster; issuing documents for the release of a motor vehicle to its owner or other person authorized to take the motor vehicle; and retrieving a motor vehicle from storage during the hours in which the storage facility is open.
- The City of Bordentown.
- CONSENSUAL TOWING
- Towing a motor vehicle when the owner or operator of the motor vehicle has consented to have the towing company tow the motor vehicle.
- Releasing a motor vehicle to its owner or operator when the motor vehicle has been, or is about to be, hooked to or lifted by a tow truck, but prior to the motor vehicle actually having been moved or removed from the property.
- HEAVY DUTY
- A motor vehicle weighing more than 16,001 pounds.
- LIGHT DUTY
- A motor vehicle weighing up to 10,000 pounds.
- MEDIUM DUTY
- A motor vehicle weighing between 10,001 to 16,000 pounds.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- All vehicles of any type or size propelled other than by muscular power, excepting such vehicles as run only upon rails or tracks and motorized bicycles, motorized scooters, motorized wheelchairs and motorized skateboards. Definition includes, but is not limited to, passenger vehicles, trucks, trailers and other heavy vehicles and equipment.
- NONCONSENSUAL TOWING
- The towing of a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or operator of the vehicle. "Nonconsensual towing" includes towing a motor vehicle when law enforcement orders the vehicle to be towed whether or not the owner or operator consents.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- PRIVATE PROPERTY TOWING
- Nonconsensual towing from private property or from a storage facility by a motor vehicle of a consumer's motor vehicle that is parked illegally, parked during a time at which such parking is not permitted or otherwise parked without authorization or the immobilization of or preparation for moving or removing of such motor vehicle, for which a service charge is made, either directly or indirectly. This term shall not include the towing of a motor vehicle that has been abandoned on private property in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.5, provided that the abandoned vehicle is reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency prior to removal and the vehicle is removed in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.6.
- A person engaged in the business or offering the services of a vehicle tower or towing service, whereby disabled motor vehicles are towed or otherwise removed from the places where they are disabled, impounded or abandoned by use of a tower or truck so designed for that purpose.
- The moving or removing from public or private property or from a storage facility by a motor vehicle of a consumer's noncommercial motor vehicle that is damaged as a result of an accident or otherwise disabled, recovered after being stolen or is parked illegally or otherwise without authorization, parked during a time at which such parking is not permitted or otherwise parked without authorization or the immobilization of or preparation for moving or removing of such motor vehicle, for which a service charge is made, either directly or indirectly. Dues or other charges of clubs or associations, which provide towing services to club or association members shall not be considered a service charge for purposes of this definition.
- WINCHING SERVICE
- The process of moving a motor vehicle by the use of chains, nylon slings or additional lengths of winch cable from a position that is not accessible for direct hook up for towing a motor vehicle. "Winching" includes recovering a motor vehicle that is not on the road and righting a motor vehicle that is on its side or upside down, but does not include pulling a motor vehicle onto a flatbed tow truck. Any operation in which a vehicle is moved onto a roadway from a position off the roadway or any other operation in which substantial work is required to prepare a vehicle for normal towing.
When not consistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words in plural number include the singular number; and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
Any term or word defined in the Predatory Towing Prevention Act, N.J.S.A. 56:13-7 to -23, or by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Rules and Regulations, N.J.A.C. 13:45A-31.1, et seq., shall be applicable to this chapter.
Generally. The City Commission, at the beginning of each year, shall secure contracts with towers which must be used by the Police Department on a rotation basis for the lowing of vehicles as set forth in this chapter. Contracts are awarded by the City Commission only after the submission of an application as hereinafter set forth, together with a review and recommendation of the application by the Chief of Police. A nonrefundable application fee as established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners shall be paid to the Municipal Treasurer at the time of the submission of the application and is considered a part thereof. Any tower receiving a contract shall be placed on the rotational list. In the event that the tower assigned to a particular rotation is unavailable, then the next tower on the list shall be called. Each contract shall be for a period of one year commencing January 1 of each year. Applications for the next contract period shall be received no later than October 1 of the current contract period.
[Amended 5-10-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-11]
Application process. Any person interested in being placed on the aforementioned rotation list, by way of a contract award, shall submit an application on a form to be prepared by the Chief of Police or his or her designee, said form to contain at a minimum the information specified herein. The applicant shall provide, at a minimum, the following information:
[Amended 5-10-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-11]
List of required equipment and proof of ownership.
Experience of applicant with references.
Available personnel (employees).
Proper business and trade licenses and license of vehicles.
Proper proof that the tow trucks have the capability of communicating with dispatch 24 hours a day, seven days a week, either by cellular telephones, beepers, two-way radios or other comparable equipment.
Storage location setting forth capacity, contractor responsible for safe storage area location, proof of ownership or lease of storage area.
Insurance and proofs of coverage.
List of stockholders.
Affirmative action affidavit.
Hold harmless agreement.
Certification that the applicant is able to provide towing services anywhere in the City in accordance with the chapter response times.
Certification that the applicant will be available for service on business premises 24 hours a day and will abide by the fees set forth in this chapter.
Certification that the applicant shall consent to the appointment of the City's Director of Public Safely and Affairs as the applicant's true and lawful attorney for the purpose of acknowledging service out of any court of competent jurisdiction to be served against the applicant.
Review of application. The Chief of Police shall conduct a background check of the applicant and any employees to be utilized in the towing and storage operation. The background check is to determine if either the applicant or its employees have been convicted of a criminal offense or have had their drivers' licenses suspended or revoked within the past year. Conviction of a criminal offense or suspension of a drivers license within the past year shall be a cause for the disqualification from being awarded the contract. The Chief of Police or his designee shall conduct an inspection of the employees, 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 the applicable laws, regulations and standards of performance required by this chapter. The City shall, at the cost of the applicant, obtain a Better Business Service Bureau report and any other reports that the Chief of Police may deem necessary. After a thorough investigation, the Chief of Police shall recommend to the Director of Public Safety and Affairs whether an applicant should be awarded the appropriate contract to provide towing services to the City of Bordentown in accordance with the terms and conditions of this chapter.
Independent contract. By submission of the fee and application, the tower agrees that all personnel and equipment used under the terms of the contract shall be and remain property of the tower, and in no event shall the property or any employee of the tower be represented or considered belonging to or employed by the City of Bordentown. The tower shall be operating under a contract and in no way or sense is an agent or employee of the City of Bordentown.
Hold harmless agreement; liability.
The tower, by submission of the fee and application, agrees to assume the defense of and indemnify and hold harmless the City, its elected officials, boards, commissions, officers, employees and agents from all suits, actions, damages or claims to which the City may be subjected, of any kind or nature whatsoever, resulting from, caused by, arising out of or as a consequence of the provisions of providing the services required by this chapter. Prior to providing the towing services, the tower shall execute the appropriate contract containing the required hold harmless clause.
The owner of the garage or the parking or storage location shall also agree to indemnify and hold harmless the City and its officers, employees and agents from any and all suits, actions, damages or claims arising out of the performance of the duties specified in this chapter.
The City of Bordentown shall not be liable for any service whatsoever which may be rendered to motor vehicles, and the tower shall only seek payment from the driver and/or owner of such vehicles for compensation.
City Commission decision. The Chief of Police shall conduct the aforementioned review and investigation and render a report to the Director of Public Safety and Affairs recommending either approval or denial of the application within 21 days of the receipt of the application from the Director of Public Safety and Affairs, who shall immediately forward the review and recommendation to the City Commission. The City Commission shall take action with regard to the application and award or not award a contract within 14 days of the receipt of the report and recommendation of the Director of Public Safety and Affairs. The applicant or its representative shall be given notice of the date on which the City Commission shall consider the application and the award of the contract and shall be permitted to appear and be heard at said time. Written notice of the approval or denial of the application shall be provided to the applicant within seven days of the decision of the City Commission.
The following general requirements shall apply to all towers and towing operations acting on behalf of the City of Bordentown:
Equipment. The tower shall have sufficient equipment, either owned or by subcontract, to tow any size vehicle utilizing the highways, streets and roads in the City of Bordentown. The minimum requirements are one thirty-ton capacity large wrecker, one medium-duty ten-ton capacity wrecker and two four-ton capacity small wreckers (flatbed or wheel lift optional). The specifications are as follows:
Thirty-ton capacity wreckers.
Minimum 1,000 by 20 tires with dual rear wheels.
Air fittings for releasing air pressure lock and/or brakes on dump trucks and tractor trailers.
All required ICC safety equipment must be carried.
Portable safety lighting to be installed on rear of towed vehicle.
Offside truck winching.
Four-ton capacity wreckers.
Chassis requirements should be 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight and dual rear tires.
Steering wheel lock on each wrecker for towing vehicles from the rear.
Tow sling type bar, rubber strap, to lift the car so that no part of metal touches car.
Optional flatbed or wheel lift tow truck plus four-ton wrecker.
At the time of the submission of the application, the tower shall submit proof satisfactory to the City and the Police Department of ownership of the aforementioned vehicles. Adequate proof shall be proof of ownership by recorded title of the required number of vehicles necessary to meet the chapter requirements or executed lease/rental agreement for the equipment required extending six months beyond the length of the contract. Failure to submit the aforementioned satisfactory proof shall result in the disqualification of the tower.
The tower shall have sufficient number of employees available to comply with the minimum operational requirements of this chapter. The tower shall indicate in his application the number of employees who will be on the day shift, the number assigned to the night shift, seven days a week.
No person shall be employed by the tower unless the City has obtained a records check and has been approved by the Chief of Police.
All drivers of the tower shall be over the age of 18 years and must have a valid, current New Jersey driver's license with no restrictions or conditional endorsements except condition requiring glasses and shall be in good health and of high moral character.
The tower shall submit with the application to the City the names and addresses of all proposed drivers and employees who will be rendering service under this contract on behalf of the tower. This information will be kept current to the City by the tower.
No driver shall perform services under this contract unless previously listed by the contractor to the City.
Availability; response time. The tower shall be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the use of the City at the direction of the authorized representatives of the Police Department as per the rotation requirements hereinafter set forth. During the rotation that the tower has exclusive rights to tow vehicles on behalf of the City of Bordentown, said tower shall be called or dispatched first by the Police Department. In the event said tower is unavailable with respect to a particular incident, then the next tower shall be called or dispatched to the scene, the next tower to be as set forth on the rotation list established by the City Commission upon the recommendation of the Director of Public Safety and Affairs. The rotation list shall be as a result of the receipt and review of the approval of the aforementioned applications and the award of a contract with respect thereto. In the event that none of the towers set forth on the rotation list are available or are able to provide the appropriate services as requested by the City, or if an emergency exists, the City may request such services from any other available source. During adverse weather conditions, heavy traffic conditions or emergency conditions, the tower set forth on the rotation list shall give priority to requests from the City over any other request which may be received by the tower. Notwithstanding the establishment of a rotation list by the City Commission, no tower shall be called until the Chief of Police or his designee has ascertained that the following requirements have been met:
The insurance policies, as required, have been procured and supplied.
The vehicle to be used for towing has been properly licensed and inspected by the State of New Jersey and has the necessary stickers affixed. No vehicle shall be licensed as a wrecker which is using dealer license plates or which has failed inspection.
The requirements of this chapter and all other laws, statutes and ordinances have been met.
Storage location. The vehicles must be towed to a location containing a minimum storage area of a least 10,000 square feet. The applicant shall submit as part of the application process proof that he owns or can lease the aforementioned minimum storage area. For the convenience of the public and for investigative purposes, the storage area must be located within a four-mile radius of police headquarters located on Farnsworth Avenue in Bordentown, New Jersey. If the tower has an option to lease the required storage area, he shall submit with his application a copy of the option agreement, containing the legal description, together with a copy of the survey of the land. The lease shall extend to at least six months after the termination of the contract. The surveys as required herein shall have set forth thereon a certification by the surveyor to the City as to the square footage within the storage areas as surveyed. The storage area shall meet the following requirements:
The land used for the storage of vehicles shall be zoned for such use and meet all applicable municipal codes. In addition, it shall be in an area reasonably accessible to the public so that stored automobiles may be claimed.
No towed vehicle may be parked upon the public street and shall be stored by the tower within the storage area as hereinafter defined.
The storage area must be accessible 24 hours per day by the police.
The storage area shall accept all types of cars and trucks and be able to hold at least 75 vehicles of any type.
The entire land area shall be enclosed by a fence of sturdy construction of at least six feet in height and shall be secured with lighting.
All the land proposed to be utilized by the tower for storage shall be level and clear of all debris and must be clearly marked.
The storage area shall be used for the storage of vehicles awaiting a claimant or an auction sale only. The land shall not be used for the storage of vehicles owned by the tower even if the tower purchases same at an auction held on the premises. Any vehicles purchased by the tower at an auction shall be removed from the site of the auction within the time specified in the advertisement.
The tower shall be responsible for each vehicle in his area until final disposition and removal, as ordered by the City. All vehicles, regardless of conditions, shall be stored singly and so arranged to permit inspection and subsequent removal. Adequate walkway inspection space shall be provided at all times.
If a tower is in violation of any of the terms of this chapter or the contract, the Chief of Police shall notify the City's Director of Public Safety and Affairs, and the Director of Public Safety and Affairs shall notify the tower in writing. If the violation is not corrected within 48 hours of the receipt of said written notice, the Director of Public Safety and Affairs, upon recommendation of the Chief of Police, shall revoke the contract. Adequate grounds for a revocation of the contract shall include but not be limited to a violation of the terms of this chapter, fraudulent or inaccurate application information, unsatisfactory service or the violation of the New Jersey Department of Insurance Rules and Regulations or any statute or regulation. The tower has the right to appeal to the City Commission within 10 days of the receipt of the Director of Public Safety and Affairs' written decision and shall receive a hearing within 30 days of the receipt of the notice. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the City Commission shall determine whether to affirm, reverse or modify the Director of Public Safety and Affairs' decision.
Complaints of any kind relative to service, overcharging, theft of parts, damage to towed or stored vehicles, discourteous treatment and the like shall be referred to the Chief of Police for investigation and recommendation to the Director of Public Safety and Affairs, if necessary. Such complaints may be cause for termination of the contract by the Director of Public Safety and Affairs.
Records, inspection; release of vehicle. The tower shall maintain records of all vehicles towed, stored and released by him pursuant to this chapter. Records shall be kept for a seven-year period. The tower shall maintain a record provided by the police of all property found anywhere in a towed vehicle, including trunk and glove compartment, if opened or key available, and the tower shall be responsible to safeguard and release the contents to the owner.
Only the Chief of Police or his designee shall have access to any part of the storage area at any time of the day or night for inspection purposes, including both indoor and outdoor areas. Authorized representatives of the Police Department or the Director of Public Safety and Affairs or their designees shall have access to any of the records required to be kept by the tower.
The tower shall not release vehicles towed under this contract without the claimant's first obtaining a release from the Police Department.
The service, equipment and personnel are subject to periodic inspections and approval by the City. The City reserves the right to have a qualified person or agency make such inspections.
Disputes and adjustments.
Any disputes over the interpretation of the contract, including the reasonableness of any fees assessed, shall be settled amicably, if possible, through negotiations between the tower, the Police Department and the Director of Public Safety and Affairs.
In cases where the City has been at fault in wrongfully directing that a vehicle be towed, the tower may petition the City Commission for reimbursement of costs incurred in the towing and storage of said vehicle.
In addition to the service requirements of this chapter, the tower shall be required to furnish extra towing equipment and service during storm periods, periods of snow emergencies, traffic emergencies, disasters, any acts of God and for any other reason when so designated by the Director of Public Safety and Affairs and/or Chief of Police, or their duly authorized representatives. During such periods, which are herein referred to as "standby service periods," the tower shall be required to furnish adequate equipment and service to be held ready to remove all types of vehicles.
Standby service will begin when the Chief of Police or his authorized designee calls the tower initially and will end when he terminates the standby status by calling the tower.
The City reserves the right, during any emergency, to designate temporary areas owned or leased by the City for the storage of disabled vehicles in said area at the direction of the Chief of Police or his designee.
Removal. Vehicles shall be removed as follows:
Abandoned vehicles as defined in Title 39 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes shall be removed under the direction and supervision of the Police Department on a twenty-four-hour-a-day basis. All calls with respect thereto shall be answered within 20 minutes from the time of notification under normal conditions seven days a week anywhere within the City limits, unless the Police Department determines it is not a threat to vehicle, traffic or persons, and could be removed during business hours. Abandoned vehicles shall be towed without charge to the City to the aforementioned required storage area and stored thereon for no longer than 90 days without any charges or liens accruing against the City. Abandoned vehicles remaining after 90 days may be removed from the secured area, provided that a junk title has been applied for pursuant to the provisions of Title 39, said application to be by the tower.
The tower may be penalized $150 per day for each abandoned vehicle not removed and towed within a reasonable amount of time after notification by the Police Department and may be grounds for termination of the contract.
The requirement to tow abandoned motor vehicles shall only apply to public rights-of-way, easements, avenue and places, including public parks and playgrounds, and all quasi-public areas. The owner of private property shall be responsible for the removal of any unattended or disabled vehicles in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.6 and shall employ a tower of his choice.
The City retains the right to require that the abandoned vehicle shall be towed to municipal property and to retain any moneys realized from the sale of such vehicles. Otherwise, it shall be the responsibility of the tower to provide for the disposition of abandoned vehicles and the issuance of junk motor vehicle titles in accordance with the provisions of Title 39. The City Police Department shall assist in providing any information needed for the proper disposition of such vehicles.
Vehicles not abandoned.
All vehicles involved in accidents, disablements, stolen vehicles, vehicles involved in suspected crimes and the like shall be towed and stored under the direction and supervision of the Police Department 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Vehicles shall be available for release between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Saturdays and Sundays, except legal holidays. Sunday hours are optional. However, no storage charge for Sunday shall be assessed if a vehicle is picked up on Monday. The tower shall arrive at the scene of the accident within 20 minutes under normal conditions after police notification. Repeated late arrivals at the scene of accidents may result in the termination of the contract as otherwise provided in this chapter.
In the event that the tower has been summoned by the City for purposes of towing a vehicle and the owner of the vehicle has also summoned his own tower and said tower arrives on the scene prior to the removal of the vehicle by the City tower, then the owner is entitled to remove his own vehicle at no cost or expense to the owner or to the City. There shall be no charge to the City for the tower appearing at the scene under said conditions.
The tower shall, at no cost to the City, be responsible for the changing of patrol car tires when disabled and the towing of disabled police vehicles when required by the Police Department. The tower shall, without charge to the City, complete any inspections of motor vehicles, including garage reports and fatal motor vehicle accidents, as determined by the Police Department.
Storage. The tower shall store the abandoned and nonabandoned vehicles in the storage area as required in this chapter. The vehicles shall be stored until claimed by the owner or until auctioned by the City in compliance with state law or as otherwise to be disposed of pursuant to state law. Vehicles to be removed shall be towed to the tower's storage area or to City property at the discretion of the City Police.
[Amended 9-13-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-20; 12-10-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-17]
The tower shall indemnify and hold harmless the City of Bordentown against any loss due to injuries, accidents or damages of any character whatsoever, where any such damage is the result of any act or omission of the tower, his agents or employees in or due to the execution of the work called for under this chapter.
A towing company shall carry general liability or garage liability coverage with minimum limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence/$2,000,000 aggregate. This policy shall include contractual liability coverage and shall also name the City of Bordentown as an additional insured for ongoing and completed operations.
A towing company shall carry workers' compensation insurance in accordance with the requirements of New Jersey State law. If the tower is a sole proprietor, partnership, or limited liability partnership or limited liability company, the individual, partners or LLC members must be included for workers' compensation coverage. In case of any such work sublet, the contractor shall require the subcontractor to similarly provide workers' compensation insurance for all of the latter's employees to be engaged in such work unless such employees are covered by the protection afforded by the contractor's workers' compensation insurance.
The tower shall carry commercial automobile liability insurance with a combined single limit of not less than $1,000,000.
A towing company shall also secure and maintain, for every tow truck, insurance that covers garage keeper legal liability in the amount of $100,000, and "on-hook" coverage, either as an endorsement on the insurance required by Subsection B(1) above or in the amount of $100,000.
Certificates of insurance showing the City of Bordentown named as an additional insured, in conformance with the above, shall be furnished to the City Purchasing Agent, subject to approval of the City Solicitor, and filed with the City Clerk. The certificate of insurance shall be delivered to the City Clerk and Purchasing Agent.
Such policies shall contain a provision that 30 days' notice of change or cancellation shall be given to the City by the insurance company. All insurance required hereunder shall remain in full force and effect for the period of the appointment.
The insurance required by this section shall be obtained from an insurance company authorized to do business in New Jersey.
[Amended 5-24-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-15; 12-10-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-17]
Towing and storing charges and fees shall be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. All charges and fee amounts permitted under this chapter are set by the City of Bordentown and are consistent with such rates charged by the New Jersey State Police in performing the same vehicle towing and storage services statewide. Except as otherwise provided herein, the charge and fee for towing and storage of vehicles within the City of Bordentown shall be in accordance with the provisions of the rules and regulations promulgated by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. The City shall not be responsible for the collection or payment of any charges for the towing or storage of vehicles. The charges and fees and rates applicable to services performed pursuant to this chapter shall be posted in a conspicuous place visible to the public at the tower's storage area and shall be posted on each and every vehicle. The towing company shall prepare a bill for charges pertaining to each vehicle and present the same to the claimant of a vehicle. The bill shall be itemized in detail as to the actual services rendered and shall contain a statement that the claimant may complain with respect thereto to the City. The City will not be responsible for charges due and owing from a claimant of a vehicle, nor will it assist the tower in collecting such charges. Vehicles impounded as a result of police investigations involving stolen vehicles or fatal accidents will not result in storage charges.
In the event the City conducts an auction of unclaimed abandoned vehicles pursuant to Title 39, the tower's bill for towing and storage shall be an expense of possession and sale and shall be paid from the proceeds of such auction. Each vehicle auctioned shall be a separate item for purposes of this subsection. The title fee for which the City must pay the State of New Jersey for title certificates shall be paid by the purchaser at the auction even if the tower is the purchaser and shall be in addition to the bid price of each vehicle. In the event the City determines to utilize the provisions of Title 39 with respect to unclaimed vehicles, the tower shall receive no compensation for its services.
The fee for towing a vehicle shall include the service rendered from the scene where the vehicle is located to the storage area and from the storage area to the curbline of the property on which is located the storage area. There shall be no additional charge for towing a vehicle from the storage area to the curbline for the purpose of an owner of a vehicle towing the vehicle to a service station or other vehicle repair shop or the person's home or any location. The charge for towing includes any incidental and related costs as permitted by this chapter and/or N.J.A.C. 13:45A-31.4.
After the first hour of service, all hourly billable rates shall be charged in half-hour increments.
Charges and fees. A towing company that engages in private property towing or other nonconsensual towing may charge fees for the following services:
In the case of a motor vehicle involved in an accident, the following additional services may be assessed, if actually performed:
Waiting time in excess of 15 minutes, which shall be calculated based upon each 15 minutes spent at the site from which a motor vehicle will be towed, with fewer than 15 minutes rounded up to 15 (waiting time fee may not exceed $15 for each additional 15 minutes of waiting time or any part thereof);
Brush cleaning, including collection of debris that can be picked up by hand, which shall be a flat fee not to exceed $75;
Accident site clean-up;
Winching, which shall be based upon each hour spent performing winching (charges for winching services in the case of a light/medium-duty vehicle shall not exceed $350 per hour; charges for winching services in the case of a heavy-duty vehicle shall not exceed $600 per hour);
The use of window wrap, which shall be a flat fee not to exceed $50;
Tarping, which shall be a flat fee not to exceed $75 for a light-duty vehicle, and a flat fee not to exceed $200 for a medium-or heavy-duty vehicle;
Transmission disconnect, a flat fee not to exceed $25, which shall be charged only if a motor vehicle is locked and the towing company is unable to obtain the keys for the motor vehicle;
Use of a flatbed tow truck, a flat fee not to exceed $225, which shall be charged if a motor vehicle can be transported only by a flatbed tow truck;
Use of special equipment other than the first tow truck to recover a motor vehicle that cannot be recovered by winching or pieces of a motor vehicle that cannot be moved by hand, which may include both a labor and an equipment charge billed as follows:
Specialized recovery equipment:
Rotator/crane recovery unit: rate not to exceed $1,200 per hour.
Tractor with landoll trailer or detach trailer: rate not to exceed $450 per hour.
Tractor/transport hauler only: rate not to exceed $250 per hour.
Forklift: rate not to exceed $300 per hour.
Dump truck: rate not to exceed $350 per hour.
Air cushion unit: rate not to exceed $1,000 per hour.
Traffic management equipment: rate not to exceed $250 per hour.
Any other specialized equipment: rate not to exceed $250 per hour.
Labor (Minimum charge of one hour).
Accident clean-up and disposal of debris: rate not to exceed $75 per hour, plus the cost of absorbent material used.
Recovery supervisor: rate not to exceed $200 per hour.
Certified towing operator: rate not to exceed $125 per hour per operator.
Manual laborers: rate not to exceed $100 per hour per laborer.
Decoupling (if tow is not performed), which shall be a flat fee not to exceed $75 as to all types of motor vehicles;
Storage at a towing company's storage facility (per calendar day or any part thereof):
More than three trips to the motor vehicle in storage, which may be invoiced as an administrative fee, which shall be a flat fee not to exceed $50 for light-duty vehicles, and shall not exceed $200 medium- or heavy-duty vehicles; and
Releasing a motor vehicle from a towing company's storage facility after normal business hours or on weekends, which shall be a flat fee not to exceed $75.
A towing company that engages in private property towing or other nonconsensual towing shall not charge for the use of a flatbed tow truck if a motor vehicle can safely be towed in an upright position by another type of tow truck, even if the private property towing company chooses to use a flatbed tow truck for the tow.
A towing company that engages in private property towing or other nonconsensual towing may charge for the tolls it incurs driving to the site from which a motor vehicle will be towed and while towing the motor vehicle from that site to the towing company's storage facility.
A towing company that engages in private property towing or other nonconsensual towing shall calculate storage fees based upon full twenty-four-hour periods a motor vehicle is in the storage facility. For example, if a motor vehicle is towed to a storage facility at 7:00 p.m. on one day and the owner of the motor vehicle picks up the motor vehicle before 7:00 p.m. the next day, the towing company shall charge the owner of the motor vehicle only for one day of storage. If a motor vehicle is stored for more than 24 hours, but less than 48 hours, the towing company may charge for two days of storage.
If a towing company charges a consumer a fee for a private property or other nonconsensual towing service that is disputed by the consumer, the parties shall use good faith efforts to resolve the dispute. If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute and the Director determines the fee to be unreasonable under N.J.A.C. 13:45A-31.5, the Director may order the towing company to reimburse the consumer for an amount equal to the difference between the charged fee and a reasonable fee, plus interest, as calculated pursuant to Subsection G below.
The interest rate imposed pursuant to Subsection F above shall be based on the average rate of return, to the nearest whole or one-half percent, for the corresponding preceding fiscal year terminating on June 30, of the State of New Jersey Cash Management Fund (state accounts) as reported by the Division of Investment of the Department of the Treasury.
A towing company performing a private property tow or other nonconsensual tow shall take the motor vehicle being towed to the towing company's storage facility having the capacity to receive it that is nearest to the site from which the motor vehicle is towed.
A bill for a private property tow or other nonconsensual tow shall include the time at which a towed motor vehicle was delivered to a towing company's storage facility.
A bill for a private property tow or other nonconsensual tow shall include a list of all services provided to a person for which the towing company is charging.
A bill for a flat fee rendered for a private property or other nonconsensual basic tow shall enumerate the towing services actually performed as part of the basic tow.
Unreasonable fees. A fee for private property towing or other nonconsensual towing services, and storage services, shall be presumed unreasonable if it is:
More than 25% higher than the fee charged by the towing company or storage facility for the same services when provided with the consent of the owner or operator of the motor vehicle; or
More than 50% higher than the fee charged for such other nonconsensual towing or related storage service by other towing companies or storage facilities operating in the municipality from which the vehicle was towed.