Township of Eastampton, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Eastampton 8-13-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-10 (Ch. 90 of the 1974 Township Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 505.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 510.
Unlicensed motor-driven vehicles — See Ch. 521.

§ 487-1 Purpose and scope.

A. 
The purposes of this chapter are:
(1) 
To establish a requirement and procedure for the licensing of individuals and entities providing towing and storage services to the Township Police Department;
(2) 
To establish, in the interest of public safety, a uniform policy for the towing and storage of motor vehicles towed and stored at the request of the Township Police Department; and
(3) 
To establish uniform fees for towing and storage services.
B. 
This chapter shall apply to all motor vehicle towing and storage operations performed at the request of the Township of Eastampton Police Department.

§ 487-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONED VEHICLE
A motor vehicle of any type and in any condition that has been left on or along any highway or other public property or on private property without the consent of the owner or person in charge of the private property for a period of more than 48 hours or for any period without current license plates in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.5.
AUTOMOBILE
A private passenger automobile of a private passenger or station wagon type that is owned or hired 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 insured other than farming or ranching. An automobile owned by a farm family copartnership or corporation, which is principally garaged on a farm or ranch and otherwise meets the definitions contained in this section, shall be considered a private passenger automobile owned by two or more relatives resident in the same household.
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.
CLAIMANT
The owner, owner's authorized agent, or lienholder who makes demand for the release of a motor vehicle that is held in storage by the contractor and can demonstrate the proper authority for release.
CRUISING
The driving of an unengaged tow vehicle to and fro along a public street for the obvious purpose of soliciting business along the public street.
IMPOUND
Vehicles which are held at the direction of the Police Department for investigative purposes.
INCIDENT SCENE
The location of any event to which a tow operator is summoned by the police to provide any type of towing, storage or roadside service.
INSIDE BUILDING
A vehicle storage facility that is completely indoors, having one or more openings in the walls for storage and removal of vehicles, and that is secured by a locking device on each opening.
MOTOR VEHICLE
All vehicles propelled otherwise than by muscular power, except such vehicles as run only upon rails or tracks, or motorized bicycles (N.J.S.A. 39:1-1).
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 accident as to the insured even if they were caused by the intentional acts of a perpetrator where the perpetrator was not the insured or not otherwise involved with the insured.
OUTSIDE SECURED
An automobile storage facility that is not indoors and is secured by a sturdy 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 from dusk to dawn.
OUTSIDE UNSECURED
An automobile storage facility that is not indoors and is not secured by a fence, wall or other man-made barrier, and all other storage facilities not defined above as inside buildings or outside secured.
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.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Eastampton.
TOW VEHICLE or TOW TRUCK
Those vehicles equipped with a boom or booms, winches, slings, tilt bends, wheel lifts or under-reach equipment specifically designed by their manufacturer for the removal or transport of motor vehicles, including flatbed vehicles, employed for the purpose of towing, transporting, conveying and/or removing motor vehicles which are unable to be operated under their own power from one place to another for which a charge or fee is extracted.
TOW VEHICLE'S BASE OF SERVICE
The towing operator's principal place of business where the tow vehicle is stationed when not in use.
UNCLAIMED VEHICLE
A vehicle that has remained unclaimed at a storage facility beyond the time limitations established by the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1.
WAITING TIME
Time a tow operator spends at an incident scene in excess of the time required for actual recovery and/or towing. An example of waiting time would include but not be limited to EMS/fire service, police investigation, etc.

§ 487-3 License required; exceptions.

No person shall engage in the business of towing or storing motor vehicles at the direction of the Township of Eastampton Police Department without first obtaining a tow operator's license therefor. Nothing herein shall require licensing for the rendering of road service or for the provision of towing and storage services within the Township other than at the request of the Township Police Department. However, cruising, as defined herein, is strictly prohibited.

§ 487-4 Application for license; fee.

A. 
Applicants for a license under this chapter shall file with the Township Clerk a sworn application, on a form to be furnished by the Clerk, which shall include the following information and certification:
(1) 
The full name and address of the applicant. If the application is made for a corporation, it shall state the name and address of the officers and directors thereof, its registered agent, and the names and residential address of every stockholder owning more than 10% of the issued stock.
(2) 
The year, make and type of each tow vehicle used in said business, its serial number, registration number and registered owner.
(3) 
The address where the tow vehicle or vehicles shall be regularly garaged, the telephone number or numbers and the hours during which service is available at those numbers, and the names, addresses and New Jersey driver's license numbers of all operators.
(4) 
The location, size and security features of the storage lot or space in which towed vehicles will be stored, including the number of spaces available. The storage lot shall be designated either as:
(a) 
Inside building: a vehicle storage facility that is completely indoors, having one or more openings in the walls for storage and removal of vehicles, that is secured by a locking device on each opening.
(b) 
Outside secured: a vehicle storage facility that is not indoors and is secured by a fence, walls or other man-made barrier that is at least six feet high. The facility is to be lighted at night so that all vehicles may be plainly visible.
(5) 
The name and address of the insurance carriers, and the policy numbers of all insurance policies, as required by § 487-10.
(6) 
A copy of the deed of ownership or lease agreement for the storage location, together with zoning certification (issued by the Zoning Officer/Construction Official) and Fire Subcode certification issued by the Fire Official.
(7) 
A certification that on-call towing and storage services will be available 24 hours per day, every day of the year.
(8) 
A certification that the fees and procedures required by this chapter shall be complied with at all times.
(9) 
A statement that the Chief of Police or his or her designee may at any reasonable time conduct an inspection of the tow vehicles or storage facility of any applicant or licensee for the purpose of determining compliance with this chapter.
(10) 
A copy of the tow operator's current fee schedule for nonbasic towing services and storage of vehicles not defined herein as "automobiles."
(11) 
Such other information as the Chief of Police may reasonably prescribe.
B. 
All applications for a tow operator's license shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $100 to cover the Township's cost in processing the application.

§ 487-5 Application review.

A. 
The Township Clerk shall forward all complete applications to the Chief of Police, who shall conduct or cause to be conducted such investigation as he or she deems necessary to determine the truth and accuracy of the information contained in the application and whether the applicant meets the following minimum standards:
(1) 
Neither the applicant nor any tow vehicle operator has any criminal convictions, convictions for any offense involving dishonesty or prior motor vehicle infractions which might adversely affect public safety or welfare. The applicant and each operator shall authorize a police background check to ensure compliance with this section.
(2) 
The applicant has the ability to arrive at the scene in response to any request for assistance within 25 minutes after notification.
(3) 
The applicant can provide on-call towing services 24 hours per day, every day of the year.
(4) 
The applicant meets minimum standards of operator performance, including but not limited to standards concerning the adequacy of the applicant's equipment and storage facilities and availability.
(5) 
The applicant, at a minimum, shall maintain a fleet of tow vehicles described under § 487-9, Subsection B. Where more than one vehicle of a particular type is required, an applicant may satisfy this requirement, at the discretion of the Chief of Police, by demonstrating immediate access to the second vehicle.
(6) 
The applicant's tow vehicle is equipped with emergency lights conforming to the requirements of N.J.S.A. 39:3-50, which may not be utilized until the contractor has procured a permit issued by the Director of Motor Vehicles. Emergency lights may either be a commercially manufactured light bar or a combination of two double-faced flashing lights and one 360° rotating beacon. All emergency lights shall be mounted high enough to be seen over the towed vehicle.
(7) 
The applicant's tow vehicles are in good condition, in compliance with Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes and rules promulgated thereunder, and identified on each side with the name and address of the contractor and the gross vehicle weight rating of the tow vehicle. A method of communication from the tow vehicle to the home base is required.
(8) 
The applicant's tow vehicle is equipped with a shovel, broom and other equipment necessary to clean up and remove broken glass and debris from the scene of a tow to which they are assigned, as required by the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.8 and this chapter. Absorbent material shall be available for minor spills.
(9) 
All drivers for the applicant are at least 18 years old and have a valid New Jersey State driver's license with no restrictions or conditional endorsements, except the condition requiring eye glasses.
(10) 
Applicant owns or has a valid lease to a storage facility within three miles of the Eastampton Police/Court Facility, 7 Police/Court Facility, 725 Smithville Road, Eastampton, NJ 08060.
(11) 
The applicant is in compliance with and/or has the ability to comply with all other requirements and standards set forth herein.
B. 
In addition to the minimum standards of performance referred to in Subsection A, all applicants are subject to disqualification if found deficient in any one of the following areas:
(1) 
Provided false or inaccurate information on the application form.
(2) 
Lacks experience and/or does not have good references from prior customers of the applicant's towing and storage services or does not have a satisfactory Better Business Service Bureau report.
C. 
The Chief of Police shall endorse his approval or disapproval of the application within 30 days of receipt of same. If the application is disapproved, the reasons therefor shall be set forth in writing. The Township Clerk shall notify the applicant in writing that the application has been granted or denied. If the application is denied, the reasons for such denial shall be set forth in the notice, along with the applicant's right to appeal the denial to Township Council pursuant to § 487-8.

§ 487-6 Issuance of license; renewal; display; transferability.

A. 
A tow operator's license shall be issued by the Township Clerk to an applicant approved by the Chief of Police and upon provision of insurance certifications pursuant to § 487-10. The Township Clerk shall send a copy of the license to the Police Department for filing and shall keep a permanent record of all licenses issued.
B. 
All licenses issued under this chapter shall expire January 31. Applications for renewal shall be filed with the Clerk at least 30 days before expiration on forms provided by the Clerk. Renewal applications will be forwarded to the Chief of Police for review and any necessary investigation in accordance with the procedures and standards set forth in § 487-5A.
C. 
All licenses issued under this chapter, or certified copies thereof, shall be displayed prominently on all tow vehicles and at the tow operator's principal place of business.
D. 
Licenses issued under this chapter are nontransferable.

§ 487-7 License revocation and suspension.

A. 
Licenses issued under this chapter may be revoked by the Chief of Police after reasonable notice and hearing pursuant to Subsection C below for any of the following reasons:
(1) 
False or materially inaccurate information in the application, or a change of circumstances which would have caused disapproval of the application if existing at the time of approval.
(2) 
Failure to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter, any additional regulations promulgated by the Chief of Police, or any state, federal or local law relating to motor vehicle operation or storage.
(3) 
Violation of Department of Insurance rules governing towing and storage fees.
(4) 
Unsatisfactory service which jeopardizes public safety. More than three unexcused failures to respond and/or valid complaints (as determined by the Chief of Police after investigation) within a twelve-month period shall be considered grounds for suspension and/or revocation.
B. 
The Chief of Police may temporarily suspend a license for just cause, including conviction of crime or disorderly persons offenses involving moral turpitude.
C. 
Notice of suspension and/or revocation shall be in writing and shall include the reasons therefor and notice of the licensee's right to appeal to Township Council pursuant to § 487-8.
D. 
If a license has been revoked, the licensee shall be disqualified from reapplying for two successive licensing periods.

§ 487-8 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by the action of the Chief of Police or the Township Clerk in the denial of an application for a license, or in revocation thereof, or in the suspension from the Township's on-call towing list, may appeal to the Township Council by filing with the Clerk, within 14 days after notice of the action complained of has been mailed to such person's last known address, a written request for a hearing, setting forth fully the grounds for the appeal. The Council will set a time and place for a hearing on such appeal, and notice shall be served on or mailed to the applicant or licensee at least five days prior to the hearing. The Council's determination shall be made by resolution and shall become effective immediately.

§ 487-9 Responsibility of licensee.

A. 
Records. It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to maintain records of all services rendered under the terms of this contract for a period of seven years. Such records must be easily accessible at all times in the contractor's business office and shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) 
Vehicle impound and inventory form. This form shall be provided by the impounding officer to the tow truck operator at the time the tow service is rendered. This record documents the condition of the vehicle, lists the contents of the vehicle and indicates whether or not the keys were left with the vehicle at the time of the tow.
(2) 
Itemized invoice. This document must be detailed, complete and legible. It must contain thereon the time and date the services were rendered. It also must contain, or have securely affixed thereto, a schedule of rates for services that are authorized by this contract. A copy of each invoice, with respect to services rendered under the terms of this contract, shall be forwarded to the Eastampton Police Department by the contractor within 10 days after payment has been made to the contractor by the owner/agent of the vehicle. This document will be added to the original case file for inspection and/or audit purposes. Invoice numbers must be preprinted and sequential.
(3) 
Motor vehicle release form. This form is issued by the Eastampton Police Department to the owner of the vehicle or to the owner's agent. The contractor shall permit the inspection of records required by the terms of this contract by any authorized representative of the Township Manager or the Chief of Police.
B. 
Tow trucks/equipment.
(1) 
The contractor shall maintain and have accessible for use and Township inspection tow trucks and equipment capable of recovering and removing virtually any vehicle that is customarily and routinely found on the roadways within the Township.
(2) 
A contractor's tow trucks must be in compliance with all safety equipment requirements as listed in N.J.S.A. 39:3-43 et seq., including emergency lights, equipment, reflectors/flares and permits. Each tow truck shall have the contractor's name displayed in such manner and of such lettering as conforms to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-46.
(3) 
An inventory of tow trucks shall include, but not be limited to, the listed quantity of vehicles designated for each category, which are designed, built and rated to equal or exceed the tow truck class specifications that have been developed and published by the Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA), and which are described hereafter. (NOTE: It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to certify that his trucks meet the safe lifting ratings specified for each class of tow truck. Prior to the issuance of a license, the contractor shall allow representatives of the Township to physically inspect the contractor's tow trucks and facility for compliance with these specifications.)
(a) 
Light-duty tow truck, minimum ratings (quantity: two):
[1] 
Capable of towing vehicles as listed by the TRAA and DOT as Class I and II, which include passenger vehicles, light trucks, minivans, full-size pickups, sport utility vehicles and full-size vans. These vehicles should not exceed 10,000 pounds GVW and not have more than four tires.
[a] 
Gross vehicle weight ratings: 14,000 pounds.
[b] 
Boom capacity (minimum): eight tons.
[c] 
Cable size and length: 3/8 inch by 100 feet.
[d] 
Safety chains: three-eighths-inch-high test.
[2] 
NOTE: Flatbed car carriers may not be included in this category. (See car carrier category.)
(b) 
Medium-duty tow truck, minimum ratings (quantity: one):
[1] 
Capable of towing vehicles as listed by the TRAA and DOT as Class III through Class VI, which include a wide range of mid-sized vehicles, delivery trucks, utility vehicles, motor homes, parcel trucks, ambulances, small dump trucks, landscape trucks, flatbed and stake trucks, refrigerated and box trucks, small and medium school and transit buses. These vehicles range from 10,001 pounds to 26,000 pounds GVW and are equipped with at least six tires.
[a] 
Gross vehicle weight ratings: 23,000 pounds.
[b] 
Boom capacity (minimum): 12 tons.
[c] 
Cable size and length: 1/2 inch by 200 feet.
[d] 
Safety chains: five-sixteenths-inch alloy.
[2] 
NOTE: Flatbed car carriers may not be included in this category. (See car carrier category.)
(c) 
Heavy-duty tow truck, minimum ratings (quantity: two):
[1] 
Capable of towing vehicles as listed by the TRAA and DOT as Class VII and Class VIII, which include a wide range of heavy vehicles, large delivery trucks, motor coaches, refuse trucks, cement mixers and all tractor-trailer combinations, including double trailers.
[a] 
Gross vehicle weight ratings: 32,000 pounds.
[b] 
Boom capacity (minimum): 25 tons.
[c] 
Cable size and length: 5/8 inch by 200 feet.
[d] 
Safety chains (two each): half-inch alloy.
[2] 
NOTE: Flatbed car carriers may not be included in this category. (See car carrier category.)
(d) 
Car carrier, minimum ratings (quantity: two):
[1] 
Vehicles primarily designed and intended to transport other vehicles by loading the other vehicle entirely onto the carrier. These vehicles may be of a flatbed, slide bed, tilt bed or rail design.
[a] 
Gross vehicle weight rating (minimum): 14,500 pounds.
[b] 
Carrier (bed) telescoping to at least 17 feet.
[c] 
XIP wire rope: 50 feet; 3/8 inch; one five-foot chain used in the winching system and must be a minimum of Grade 7 chain with matching fittings.
[d] 
Snatch block: one.
[e] 
Tires on rear axle: dual.
[f] 
Four securing devices with a minimum working load limit of 3,900 pounds. The device may be chain (minimum Grade 4), wire rope, nylon strap, or steel strap. The tie-downs shall be attached to the axle or frame member of the transported vehicle, both front and rear. All ends shall be secured to the truck bed or rail in a manner that will prevent movement of the transported vehicle. Factory-style "T" hook tie-downs may also be used (front and rear).
[g] 
If used in a towing mode (as opposed to carrying), a sling, tow bar and/or wheel lift assembly can be used and must have a manufacturer's rating appropriate to the vehicle being towed.
[2] 
NOTE: It is suggested that contractors maintain at least one of the two car carriers with a nine-foot bed (GVW rated at least to 23,000 pounds).
C. 
Employees.
(1) 
It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to have available at all times a sufficient number of employees to provide towing and recovery service for the Eastampton Police Department, pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth herein.
(2) 
Drivers employed by the contractor shall be at least 18 years of age, shall maintain a currently valid driver's license and shall perform their duties in conformance with all applicable statutes and ordinances.
(3) 
It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to ensure that his or her employees, including drivers, are competent, efficient, courteous and knowledgeable in the legal and technical requirements of emergency towing and/or recovery of vehicles. A program of continuing in-service training for driver operators is encouraged.
(4) 
It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to ensure that all tow truck operators and employees, who respond to incident scenes, receive training in the recognition of and the response to hazardous materials. Such training must include, but not necessarily be limited to, the "First Responder Operations Level" training, as defined by the New Jersey Department of Health. Valid certificates of training must be supplied to the Township of Eastampton. Contractor employees shall be outfitted in a standard uniform and be equipped with DOT-approved safety vests while involved in a removal/recovery operation.
(5) 
Complaints of any kind against the contractor or an employee of the contractor, including, but not limited to, towing service, overcharging, theft, damage, discourtesy, etc., will be fully investigated by the Eastampton Police Department or referred by the Chief of Police to the contractor for resolution, as appropriate. Allegations of criminal violations shall be investigated by the Police Department.
D. 
General towing removal service.
(1) 
The contractor will be expected to have removal/recovery service available on a twenty-four-hour-per-day, seven-days-per-week basis to tow or otherwise remove vehicles at the direction of the Police Department that are disabled, recovered stolen, involved in a crime, involved in an accident, etc. The contractor will be expected to arrive at the incident scene within 25 minutes after notification by the Eastampton Police Department. Repeated failure to arrive at an incident scene within the time limit shall be cause for termination of the contract.
(2) 
It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to determine what equipment is necessary for the removal/recovery of any vehicle, based on the class of vehicle as reported by police dispatch.
(3) 
Service charges for vehicle removal/recovery at the direction of the Eastampton Police Department shall be billed to the registered owner of the vehicle in accordance with the fee schedule set forth in § 487-12 below.
(4) 
The contractor shall only be responsible for the removal of the vehicle itself. The contractor shall not be responsible for the removal of any commercial load that may have been carried in or on the vehicle prior to the incident or accident.
E. 
Towing/removal of abandoned vehicles.
(1) 
Abandoned vehicles shall be removed by the contractor at the direction of the Police Department on a twenty-four-hour-per-day, seven-days-per-week basis. The contractor must arrive on location within 25 minutes after notification by the Police Department.
(2) 
Charges for removing abandoned vehicles at the direction of the Police Department shall be billed to the registered owner of the vehicle. The Township shall not be liable to the tow operator for any of the services performed by the contractor. In the event the registered owner of the vehicle cannot be determined or located, the Township will conduct an auction pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1, and the tow operator's charges for towing and storage shall be paid from the proceeds of such auction. Each vehicle auctioned off shall be a separate item for purposes of this section. The Township shall not be liable for fees in excess of the bid price of the vehicle. The cost of title fees which the Township must pay to the State of New Jersey for title certificates shall be passed on to the purchaser at the time of the auction even if the contractor is the purchasing party and shall be in addition to the bid price of each vehicle. Should a vehicle not sell at auction, the junk title certificate or application for a certificate of ownership, whichever shall have been issued by the Motor Vehicle Commission, will be assigned to the contractor as recompense for services rendered and unpaid. A fee of $1 shall be paid to the Township by the contractor for each application for a certificate of ownership so issued.
(3) 
In those situations involving confiscation of automobiles, fatal accidents or any other situation where the Township initiated legal action or evidentiary evaluation is necessary, requiring storage of vehicles for protracted periods of time, the storage fees that are to be paid by the Township shall not exceed $3 per day per vehicle for the first 30 days of storage; $2 per day per vehicle for each day of storage thereafter; and a limit of $400 per vehicle, up to one year of storage, except as set forth herein. The Township, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.50, shall not be charged in excess of $400 for the storage of any towed vehicle. The Township reserves the right to have any such vehicle towed directly to the police/court facility for storage.
(4) 
In those situations involving confiscation of automobiles, fatal accidents or any other situation where the Township initiated legal action or evidentiary evaluation is necessary, requiring storage of vehicles for protracted periods of time, the storage fees that are to be paid by the owner shall not exceed $3 per day per vehicle for the first 30 days of storage. For each day of storage thereafter, the fee shall be equal to 50% of the prevailing storage rate. The Township, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.50, shall not be charged in excess of $400 for the storage of any towed vehicle. The Township reserves the right to have any such vehicle towed directly to the police/court facility for storage, or any other location.
(5) 
In confiscation and forfeiture cases where the vehicle is exposed for sale at public auction, the amount of storage fees shall be paid from the proceeds of the sale. Each vehicle auctioned off shall be a separate item for purposes of this section. The Township shall not be liable for fees in excess of the bid price of the vehicle. The cost of title fees which the Township must pay to the State of New Jersey for title certificates shall be passed on to the purchaser at the time of the auction even if the contractor is the purchasing party and shall be in addition to the bid price of each vehicle. Should a vehicle not sell at auction, the junk title certificate or application for a certificate of ownership, whichever shall have been issued by the Motor Vehicle Commission, will be assigned to the contractor as recompense for services rendered and unpaid. A fee of $1 shall be paid to the Township by the contractor for each application for a certificate of ownership so issued.
F. 
Recovery service.
(1) 
It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to provide recovery service to the Police Department on the occasion of a motor vehicle accident, fire, mechanical failure, natural disaster, off-road occurrence or any other situation that renders a vehicle incapable of being moved by conventional means.
(2) 
It is understood that recovery service may include rigging, stabilization procedures, winching, crane service, the use of inflatable devices and any other conventional or unique procedure that may reasonably be necessary to reclaim a damaged or disabled vehicle and to prepare the vehicle to be towed or otherwise removed from its original, post-incident place of rest. The cost of recovery is included in the removal fee.
G. 
Storage of towed/removed vehicles.
(1) 
Vehicles that are towed or otherwise removed at the direction of the Police Department must be taken directly to the contractor's storage facility, unless an alternative destination is agreed to by the contractor, the owner of the vehicle and the Police Department, in writing, or unless the Police Department directs that the vehicle be removed to another location.
(2) 
Vehicles that are towed and stored by the contractor must be secured at the contractor's storage facility. The use of satellite or remote land area for storage of vehicles that are removed at the direction of the Police Department is expressly prohibited.
(3) 
The contractor shall be responsible for the security of each vehicle stored under the provisions of this chapter, until final disposition and release, as authorized by the Eastampton Police Department. All vehicles, regardless of condition, must be stored singly, in side-by-side fashion, to permit complete inspection and removal. Adequate walkway space shall be provided around each vehicle at all times.
(4) 
The cost of storage shall be $30 for each twenty-four-hour period beginning at 12:00 midnight following the arrival of the vehicle at the storage facility. Storage fees shall be for each twenty-four-hour period or fraction thereof. "Fraction thereof" shall be to the nearest quarter hour. A new twenty-four-hour period begins at 12:01 a.m. Should a vehicle be towed on any given day and turned over to the owner on the same day prior to 12:00 midnight, no storage fee shall be charged.
H. 
Claiming/releasing stored vehicles.
(1) 
The contractor must provide a means for vehicles to be released to an authorized claimant between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays, and between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on Saturdays, at the contractor's business address. The area must have someone on duty at all times. The contractor shall not impose a release fee, except as provided by the terms of this chapter.
[Amended 1-28-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-02]
(2) 
An authorized agent must obtain a vehicle release form from the Eastampton Police Department and present this form to the contractor in order to take possession of his or her vehicle. The vehicle release form shall be retained by the contractor. The vehicle release form must be in possession of the contractor before the claimant is permitted to retrieve personal belongings from the vehicle, whether or not the vehicle is being reclaimed at the same time. Reasonable access to a stored vehicle shall be granted by the contractor at no charge to the claimant for the purpose of retrieving personal belongings during normal business hours.
(3) 
The contractor shall not charge a service fee to the claimant for:
(a) 
The retrieval of personal belongings from a towed/stored vehicle.
(b) 
Permission for claimant to visually inspect the vehicle.
(c) 
Relocation of the vehicle from the contractor's possession to the claimant's possession at the contractor's place of business.
(d) 
Any other service that is not specifically authorized by this chapter.
I. 
Debris removal.
(1) 
It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to provide for the cleanup and removal of debris from the scene of any incident that requires towing and/or recovery service, with the understanding that the debris to be removed must be a direct result of the incident that necessitated the services of the contractor.
(2) 
The term "debris," as defined herein, shall include but not be limited to glass, sheet metal, fiberglass, fluids, vehicle components and other material that may be on a roadway incident site or extended incident site as a result of the incident.
(3) 
The contractor shall be responsible for cleanup of all fluids contained on a paved roadway which are discharged from a damaged vehicle with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less. Such cleanup shall include gasoline, diesel fuel, oil, antifreeze solution, and hydraulic, brake, transmission and other such fluids which can reasonably be anticipated to discharge from a damaged vehicle. Fluid cleanup and removal shall be in accordance with the applicable state and federal regulations for cleanup and remediation. The contractor shall carry on each tow truck heavy-mil bags for the removal of debris, as well as oil dry for fluid spills.
(4) 
Debris removal shall be completed prior to tow truck departure.
J. 
Notification to vehicle owner. It shall be the responsibility of the Police Department to make written notification, within 72 hours of removal, to the registered owner, if known, of any vehicle that is placed into storage under the terms of this chapter. Such notification shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) 
Description of the vehicle.
(2) 
Date of removal.
(3) 
Location of vehicle.
(4) 
Fee schedule for services rendered.
(5) 
Procedure for claiming vehicle.

§ 487-10 Insurance requirements.

A. 
Every licensee shall carry insurance as follows:
(1) 
Comprehensive automobile liability in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limits.
(2) 
Workers' compensation coverage as required by state law.
(3) 
Garagekeeper's 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 limits.
(5) 
Comprehensive general liability coverage in an amount not less than $1,000,000 for each person and $3,000,000 for each accident.
(6) 
Endorsements providing for collision coverage for vehicles in tow.
(7) 
Endorsements incorporating the indemnification provisions set forth in Subsection B of this section.
(8) 
Endorsements naming the Township as an additional insured in all insurance policies (except workers' compensation policies) for licensees on the Township's on-call towing list.
B. 
All licensees shall hold harmless and indemnify the Township, its officers, employees and agents from any and all liability claims, losses or damages arising or alleged to arise from the performance of the towing services requested of or rendered by the licensee. The foregoing indemnification language shall be incorporated in the general comprehensive liability policy required by Subsection A of this section.
C. 
All insurance policies shall be written by insurance companies acceptable to the Township and authorized to do business in the State of New Jersey.
D. 
No license shall be issued or renewed until the applicant has filed with the Township Clerk certificates of insurance evidencing the insurance coverage and endorsements required in Subsection A of this section. All certificates must provide for 30 days' prior written notice to the Township of policy cancellation or material change.
E. 
Any license issued under this section will be automatically revoked upon expiration or cancellation of the required insurance or material change in coverage which renders that coverage not in compliance with the requirements of Subsection A of this section.

§ 487-11 On-call towing list.

A. 
The Chief of Police shall maintain a list of those tow operator's licensed by the Township to respond to calls from the Township Police Department. In order to be included on the on-call towing list, an applicant must meet all of the requirements of this chapter and shall enter into an agreement with the Township for a term of one year, said agreement to be prepared by the Township Attorney.
B. 
Calls to tow operators on the on-call list shall be made on a nondiscriminatory rotating basis, pursuant to procedures established by the Chief of Police. Nothing herein shall prohibit the Chief of Police or his or her designee from calling a tow operator out of sequence or seeking the services of a tow operator not on the on-call list if the circumstances require specialized equipment or if the interests of public safety so require. If the tow operator selected does not respond to the scene within 25 minutes after notification, the Chief of Police or his or her designee shall be permitted to summon the next available tow operator. When any unusual situation occurs which may be dangerous to the safety of the public, such as a spill of toxic material or other dangerous cargo, the Township Police Department may select any qualified tow operator.
C. 
The fees to be charged for the towing and storage services of automobiles shall be as set forth in § 487-12. The Township shall not be liable for the cost of towing and/or storage services unless those services are performed on a municipal vehicle.
D. 
Inclusion on the on-call towing list shall be automatically revoked upon expiration or revocation of the tow operator's license. The Chief of Police may also suspend a licensed tow operator's inclusion on the on-call towing list, for such period of time as he or she considers appropriate, for violations of this chapter, after a hearing on such violations. Suspensions may be appealed pursuant to the procedures set forth in § 487-8.
E. 
Nothing in this section shall prohibit a motorist or motor vehicle owner from summoning a tow operator of his or her own choosing, except that any Township police officer at the scene of an incident requiring towing services shall be responsible for making the final determination as to when towing shall take place and which tow operator shall be called.
F. 
The use of emergency lights is restricted to operation at the scene of the tow while preparations are being made for vehicle removal from the tow scene to a place of storage or repair. Operation of emergency lights is not permitted while a tow vehicle is responding to the scene of a tow or road service. Disposal of a tow vehicle by the contractor for which a light permit is issued immediately invalidates the permit, and it must be returned to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
G. 
All vehicles towed at the request of the Township Police Department must be removed to an approved storage facility unless the owner or operator of the vehicle specifically requests that it be towed to another destination. Any Township police officer at the scene shall be responsible for making the final determination as to the towing destination.
H. 
No vehicle shall be released by the tow operator until the owner, owner's agent, lienholder or lessor of the vehicle produces a release form from the Police Department. No verbal releases are to be accepted. The Township is not responsible for any costs, compensation or damage which a tow operator may suffer by reason of the Township agreeing that a vehicle be released. Up to 10 vehicles towed at the request of the Township Police Department must be stored together at the approved storage facility in side-by-side fashion.
I. 
No tow operator shall dispose, destroy, remove, sell or otherwise transfer any vehicle towed at the request of the Township Police Department, unless the vehicle has been transferred to the contractor in accordance with § 487-9E(5).
J. 
Prior to commencing any tow, the tow operator shall sign the tow report prepared by the officer on location acknowledging receipt of the vehicle.
K. 
Upon request of the Township Police Department, the tow operator shall store a motor vehicle in an inside building, as defined. Vehicles designated by the Police Department as impounds shall be stored in a separate space for the exclusive use of the Police Department and shall not be released without the written permission of the Chief of Police or his or her designee.
L. 
The storage facility must provide a minimum of eight hours per day (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except legal holidays, and between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on Saturdays for reclaiming towed vehicles.
[Amended 1-28-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-02]
M. 
In addition to any requirements set forth elsewhere in this chapter, all approved towing services must have in writing an employment nondiscrimination statement prior to the issuance of said approval and must agree to comply with all state and federal laws and regulations concerning wages, hours and terms of employment.
N. 
The owner of any vehicle towed, upon proper proof displayed, shall have the right to remove any nonattached personal property belonging to the owner from the stored vehicle unless a "police hold" is indicated on the tow form. The vehicle owner or representative shall have the right to take photographs of the vehicle for insurance purposes.
O. 
The tow operator shall submit to the Police Department the names, addresses and driver's license number of all proposed employees who will render services on behalf of the tow operator. This information shall be kept current to the Police Department by the licensee. No driver shall perform services unless listed by the tow operator with the Police Department.
P. 
The service, equipment and personnel are subject to periodic inspections and approval by the Police Department.
Q. 
Employees of an approved towing service shall in no way be deemed to represent or be employed by this municipality, and all such towing services shall be responsible for the conduct of their employees.
R. 
All towing and storage fees shall be disclosed in an appropriate notice on the front or top page of all invoices and receipts. Additionally, adequate public posting of such fees must be made at the storage area, in easy view of the public.

§ 487-12 Fees and charges.

A. 
No person shall be liable to any tow operator who tows or stores an automobile, including but not limited to any automobile which was damaged in an accident or recovered after being reported stolen, for any fees in excess of the following:
(1) 
Basic towing service fees: days, nights, weekends and holidays (fees include waiting time, towing, mileage, on-site cleanup and administrative fees): $95.
(2) 
Storage fees: inside or outside (begins at 12:01 a.m. following the arrival of the vehicle at the storage facility): $30.
(a) 
Storage fees shall be for each twenty-four-hour period or fraction thereof. "Fraction thereof" shall be to the nearest quarter hour. A new twenty-four-hour period begins at 12:01 a.m.
B. 
In no event shall any tow operator charge a towing or storage fee for private passenger vehicles damaged in an accident or recovered after being stolen in excess of the fees established by the Department of Insurance as set forth in N.J.A.C. 11:3-38.1 et seq., or any amendments or supplements thereto. It shall be the responsibility of the tow operators to comply with all applicable Department of Insurance rules and regulations.
C. 
This chapter is not intended to set fees for nonbasic towing services and the storage of vehicles not defined herein as "automobiles." For all towing services not defined as "basic towing service," the contractor shall set fees reasonable and customary for the Burlington County area for the towing and storage of such vehicles. The contractor shall submit as part of its application or renewal thereof its fee schedule for the towing and storage of all motor vehicles other than automobiles which shall be subject to the review and approval of the Township Council. Council shall have sole discretion in determining reasonable prevailing rates.
D. 
It shall be the contractor's responsibility to comply with all rules and fee regulations.
E. 
No person shall be liable to any tow operator for any other towing or storage services for any fees in excess of the licensee's approved fee schedule. Current fee schedules shall be submitted for approval on an annual basis at the time of application for license renewal.
F. 
When basic towing services are rendered for any automobile, there shall be no additional charges other than those provided for in Subsection A above, including but not limited to flatbedding, waiting time, winching, cleanup costs and additional labor.
G. 
Tow vehicles transporting multiple vehicles at one time may charge the applicable fee for each vehicle transported.
H. 
Prior to hookup or flatbedding of a motor vehicle, the tow operator shall present a copy of its fee schedule to the owner or operator of the vehicle. The fee schedule shall also contain the name, address and telephone number of the tow operator and a statement of the hours when the motor vehicle may be claimed. In the case of an unattended vehicle, the fee schedule shall be left in a conspicuous area of the vehicle.
I. 
The tow operator shall prepare a written bill for the charges pertaining to the towing and/or storage services and present it to the claimant of the vehicle when reclaimed. The bill shall be itemized in detail as to actual services rendered. The Township shall not be liable to the tow operator for any of the services performed by the operator, unless those services are performed for municipal vehicles. The operator shall proceed directly against the consumer. However, the Township agrees to conduct an auction of all unclaimed vehicles pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1, and the tow operator's charges for towing and storage shall be paid from the proceeds of such auction. Each vehicle auctioned off shall be a separate item for purposes of this section. The Township shall not be liable for fees in excess of the bid price of the vehicle. The cost of title fees which the Township must pay to the State of New Jersey for title certificates and the auction fees shall be passed onto the purchaser at the time of the auction even if the contractor is the purchasing party and shall be in addition to the bid price of each vehicle. Should a vehicle not sell at auction, the junk title certificate or application for a certificate of ownership, whichever shall have been issued by the Motor Vehicle Commission, will be assigned to the operator as recompense for services rendered and unpaid. A fee of $1 shall be paid to the Township by the contractor for each application for certificate of ownership so issued.

§ 487-13 Regulations and procedures.

The Chief of Police shall promulgate such rules, regulations and procedures, not inconsistent with this chapter, as may be reasonable and necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter. Copies thereof shall be provided to all licensed tow operators and shall be made available to the public, along with copies of current fee schedules, during normal business hours. Failure to comply with applicable rules, regulations and procedures may be the cause of revocation of a tow operator's license.

§ 487-14 Enforcement.

The Chief of Police is hereby designated to enforce the provisions of this chapter and any applicable rules and regulations.

§ 487-15 Violations and penalties. [1]

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalty set forth in Chapter 1, Article II, Penalties for Violations, of the Township Code, and each day any such violation shall continue shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).