Borough of Chesilhurst, NJ
Camden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Chesilhurst 9-10-1992 by Ord. No. 92-5. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Junkyards; abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 280.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 456.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 465.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AUTOMOBILE
A motor vehicle of a private passenger or station wagon type that is owned or leased and is neither used as a public or livery conveyance for passengers nor rented to others with a driver; and a motor vehicle with a pickup body, or delivery sedan, a van, or a panel truck or a camper-type vehicle used for recreational purposes owned by an individual or by husband and wife who are residents of the same household, not customarily used in the occupation, profession or business of the owner(s).
BASIC TOWING SERVICE
The removal and transportation of an automobile from a highway, street or other public or private road, or a parking area, or from a storage facility, and other services normally incident thereto, but does not include 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.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
An occurrence in which a private passenger automobile comes in contact with any other object for which the private passenger automobile must be towed or removed for placement in a storage facility. This includes all situations which are accidental as to the owner or operator of the motor vehicle even if they were caused by the intentional acts of a perpetrator where the perpetrator was not the owner or operator of the motor vehicle.
OUTSIDE SECURED
An automobile storage facility that is not indoors and is secured by a fence, wall or other man-made barrier that is at least six feet high and is installed with a passive alarm system or a similar on-site security measure. The facility is to be lighted at night.
STORAGE CHARGES FOR TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR PERIOD
The maximum allowable amount to be charged by a storage facility for a twenty-four-hour period or fraction thereof. A new twenty-four-hour period begins at 12:01 a.m.
TOW VEHICLE
Only those vehicles equipped with boom or booms, winches, slings, tilt beds, wheel lifts or under-reach equipment specifically designed by its manufacturer for the removal or transport of motor vehicles.
TOW VEHICLE'S BASE OF SERVICE
The towing operator's principal place of business where the tow vehicle is stationed when not in use.
The governing body of the Borough of Chesilhurst shall appoint persons or companies meeting the criteria set forth in this chapter and engaged in the business or offering service of a motor vehicle towing or wrecker service, whereby damaged or disabled motor vehicles are towed or otherwise removed from the place where they are damaged or disabled, by use of a tow vehicle, defined in this chapter. Such persons or companies shall be known as "official towers."
A. 
Official towers shall furnish adequate and proper wrecking, towing, storage and emergency repair services to motor vehicles damaged or disabled within the limits of the Borough, when requested to do so by an authorized Borough official.
B. 
No official tower shall subcontract any work to be performed pursuant to this chapter without having first obtained prior written approval from the governing body. 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.
A. 
Applications for inclusion on the official towers' list shall be made to the Mayor and Council upon a form provided by the Borough Clerk 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 Mayor and Council concerning the personnel, vehicles, equipment and storage facilities of such applicant, as hereinafter provided, showing the applicant meets the minimum standards of performance.
(3) 
A certificate or certificates of insurance evidencing adequate insurance coverage as hereinafter provided.
(4) 
A fee of $25 to cover the administrative expenses incurred by the Borough in processing the application.
(5) 
The names and addresses of two business references who have known the applicant for at least two years.
B. 
Upon receipt of a complete application, the Borough Clerk 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 drivers' licenses suspended or revoked within the past year. Conviction of a criminal offense or suspension of driver's license within the past year shall be a cause for disqualification from inclusion of 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. 
An application may be included on the official towers' list by the Mayor and Council, by resolution adopted at a regular public meeting, when, from a consideration of the application and from such other information as may otherwise be obtained, they find that all of 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 in this chapter and has furnished the required hold harmless agreement and certificate(s) of insurance.
(3) 
Neither the applicant nor the applicant's personnel have been convicted of a criminal offense or had their driver's license suspended within the past year.
D. 
The Chief of Police shall conduct his review and render a report to the Mayor and Council, recommending either approval or denial of the application within 21 days of receipt of the application from the Borough Clerk. The Mayor and Council shall take action with regard to the application 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 Mayor and Council will consider the application and shall be permitted to appear and be heard at that time.
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 Mayor and Council.
F. 
If the Mayor and Council fail to take action within 60 days of receipt of a complete application, the application shall be deemed to have been denied.
[Amended 5-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4]
The agreement between towers and the governing body shall be for one year and shall be renewed every year. The governing body shall have the right to renew or terminate any and all towers for any of the following reasons:
A. 
If it is 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;
B. 
Violation of any federal or state law or municipal ordinance or regulation relating to the operation of a motor vehicle or the provision of towing services;
C. 
Violation of any rule or regulation promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Insurance;
D. 
Unsatisfactory service provided pursuant to this chapter.
A. 
Every official tower shall maintain an outside secured storage area meeting the following requirements:
(1) 
The storage area shall be capable of storing a minimum of 10 passenger vehicles and one tractor and trailer. The area shall have facilities to hold and protect police-hold vehicles.
(2) 
The location of the storage area shall be either within the limits of the Borough or at such location outside of the Borough as to facilitate reasonable towing distances.
(3) 
The storage area shall be fully enclosed by a sturdy fence having a minimum height of six feet, with a least one lockable gate for ingress and egress and shall be lighted from dusk to dawn.
(4) 
The storage area shall be in an area legally zoned for such use.
(5) 
The storage facility shall be available 10 hours a day, 365 days per year, and shall be open to the public on weekdays during normal business hours and for limited hours on weekends. The towers shall specify the hours on which the facility will be open on weekends.
(6) 
The official tower shall have an employee on duty all hours in which the storage facility is open.
(7) 
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.
B. 
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 liable for any damage incurred by such vehicles while in transit to or while stored in the storage areas.
A. 
The Borough shall request wrecking, towing and storage services from each official tower. When called, the tower shall advise the dispatcher if a vehicle is available and the estimated time of arrival. If no tower vehicle is available or if, in the discretion of the Borough official making the request, 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 service.
[Amended 5-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4]
B. 
All requests for service shall be made by the Borough Clerk, Superintendent of Public Works or any member of the Police Department or Fire Department.
C. 
The Borough shall request service only from official towers; provided, however, that if no emergency or road hazard exists, the Borough shall request such service from such other person as the owner of the motor vehicle in need of such services may request; and provided further that, if none of the official towers are available or able to provide such services as are requested by the Borough, or if an emergency exists, the Borough may request such services from any other available source.
D. 
During adverse weather conditions, heavy traffic conditions or emergency conditions, official towers shall give priority to requests from the Borough over any other request which may be received by the official towers.
Applicants shall agree, in writing, to assume the defense of and indemnify and hold harmless the Borough, its elected officials, boards, commissions, officers, employees and agents, from all suits, actions, damages or claims to which the Borough may be subjected of any kind and nature whatsoever resulting from, caused by, arising out of or as a consequence of the provision of towing, wrecking, storage and/or emergency services provided at the request of the Borough pursuant to this chapter. Official towers shall enter into a hold harmless agreement in a form to be prepared by the Borough 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 Borough 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 limit.
(2) 
Workers' compensation as required by law.
(3) 
Garage keepers liability in an amount not less than $75,000 per location.
[Amended 5-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4]
(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 Borough from any liability, loss or damages arising out of the activities to be conducted. Such insurance shall be in the minimum amount of $300,000 for each person, and $300,000 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 Borough and have at least a B+ rating by a recognized rating service.
D. 
The Borough of Chesilhurst shall be named as an 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 Borough.
E. 
Policies of insurance required by this chapter shall be maintained in full force and effect at all times. In the event 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 for towing and storage of private passenger vehicles, damaged in an accident or recovered after being stolen, may not exceed the fees established by the New Jersey Department of Insurance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 56:13-1 et seq. Those towing and storage fees, which are set forth in N.J.A.C. 11:3-38.1, are incorporated herein by reference:[1]
(1) 
The following is the fee schedule for towing services:
Region
1
2
Days
First mile or less
$35
$40
Each additional mile
$1.75
$1.75
Nights, Weekends and New Jersey State Holidays
First mile or less
$45
$50
Each additional mile
$1.75
$1.75
(2) 
The following is the fee schedule for storage services:
Outside Secured:
Region
Storage Facility Capacity
1
2
21 or more spaces
$9
$10
10 to 20 spaces
$11
$12
Less than 10 spaces
$13
$15
(3) 
Pursuant to law, the fee schedules shall be reviewed by the New Jersey Commissioner of Insurance on an annual basis and may be revised if necessary. In the event the above schedules are revised by the Commissioner of Insurance, the revised fees shall be the maximum fees that may be charged by official towers, and this chapter shall be amended accordingly.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Fees for towing and storage of private passenger vehicles, other than those damaged in an accident or recovered after being stolen, may not exceed the fees set forth below:[2]
Tow/Recovery
Day
Night/Weekends/Holidays
Light duty
Tow
$125
$150
Recovery
$150
$200
Medium duty
Tow
$150
$200
Recovery
$250
$350
Heavy Duty
Tow
$400
$450
Recovery
$450
$500
Storage
  
Light duty
Outside
$40
Inside
$65
Medium duty
Outside
$75
Inside
$200
Heavy duty
Outside
$100
Inside
$300
Trailer
Outside
$150
Inside
$400
Cargo
Outside
As per job
Inside
As per job
Small cleanup
$45
Yard charge/tow
$65
Road service
Light duty
$75
$100
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
The region used to determine the proper fee set forth on the schedules shall be determined as follows:
(1) 
For towing services, the fee shall be based on the region in which the tow vehicle's base of service is located.
(2) 
For storage services, the fee shall be based on the region in which the storage facility is located.
(a) 
Region 1, as used in this chapter, consists of the Counties of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean and Salem.
(b) 
Region 2, as used in this chapter, consists of the Counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.
D. 
The fees set forth on the schedules 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, winching, cleanup cost, and additional labor when only basic towing services as defined are provided.
(1) 
The towing rates shall be calculated based on the total distance travelled 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 automobile accident, the day rate shall apply when the time of 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.
(4) 
When towing services are otherwise required, the day rate shall apply when the vehicle is transported (pickup to delivery) entirely between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except New Jersey State holidays. The night, weekend and holiday rate shall otherwise apply.
E. 
The fees set forth on the schedule for storage fees are the maximum storage charges per twenty-four-hour period that shall apply to a private passenger automobile that is stored by a person.
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 at the Borough Hall. Copies shall also be made available to the public at each official towers' place of business.
B. 
All official towers shall post, in a prominent place at each storage area clearly visible to the public, a schedule of the fees that may be charged for all services provided pursuant to this chapter.
C. 
The Borough 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 Borough 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 Borough 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 Borough 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 paragraph are met.
A. 
In the event a complaint is received by the Borough involving the improper or unsatisfactory performance of services by an official tower, excessive charges or damage to a motor vehicle while in the custody of the tower, written notice of same shall be provided by the Borough Clerk 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 Borough Clerk to the Mayor and Council.
C. 
The Mayor and Council 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. 
After considering the matter, the Mayor and Council may determine that it constitutes a reason for which the governing body may terminate its agreement with the tower, as set forth in § 439-5 of this chapter.
E. 
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.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, or hearing by Borough Council, be removed or punished by a fine not to exceed $4,000; 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.