[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Mine Hill 12-15-2005 by Ord. No. 11-05. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall apply to those persons owning or operating a taxicab or limousine regularly garaged or parked within the Township or operating a taxicab, limousine or livery service within the Township of Mine Hill which has its principal place of business within or conducts dispatching out of the Township.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person who drives or will drive a regulated vehicle.
- Any corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, association, or person in whose name any regulated vehicle is registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles and/or who operates or will operate any regulated vehicle or who operates a taxicab, limousine or livery service within the Township of Mine Hill which has its principal place of business within or which conducts dispatching out of the Township.
- REGULATED VEHICLE
- Any vehicle engaged in the carrying of passengers for hire, including but not limited to taxicabs, limousines, vans, minivans, omnibuses and all similar vehicles, but not including those public conveyances regulated exclusively by state or federal law.
It shall be unlawful to operate any regulated vehicle which is garaged or parked when out of service within the Township of Mine Hill or which operates out of a business office located in the Township of Mine Hill unless said regulated vehicle and the driver thereof are licensed pursuant to this chapter.
All operator and driver licenses issued under this chapter shall be valid from the date of their issuance through the following January 1. Renewed licenses shall be valid from January 1 through December 31 of the succeeding year unless suspended or revoked.
Operators shall be required to pay the license fees set forth in Chapter 235, Fees, for each regulated vehicle and for each driver.
[Amended 11-6-2008 by Ord. No. 19-08]
The Township Clerk is authorized to issue licenses for regulated vehicles and drivers of regulated vehicles upon receiving notice of completeness of the application and approval of the application(s) as having complied with applicable regulations, ordinances and laws governing the drivers, ownership and licensing of taxicabs and limousines therefor from the Police Chief or his/her designee. Each regulated vehicle license shall set forth the dates such license will remain effective and the maximum number of passengers permitted in the vehicle. The maximum number will be determined by allowing one passenger in the front seat and two or three passengers in each additional row of seating depending upon the type of seating available. Each driver's license shall set forth the dates such license will remain effective and shall include a current and clear picture of the driver, the driver's full name, the operator's business name, and a brief description of the driver, including his or her age, height, complexion, color of hair and color of eyes.
If the Township Clerk refuses to issue a license, the application shall be forwarded to the Township Council for review and action in accordance with the terms of this chapter and applicable law. Nothing contained herein shall be interpreted to entitle anyone to the issuance of any license hereunder.
Operators, upon applying for a regulated vehicle license, shall furnish proof of an insurance policy covering each regulated vehicle and driver thereof in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:16-1 et seq., as amended and supplemented from time to time. However, minimum coverage requirements for each regulated vehicle are as follows: for taxicabs, at least $500,000 per occurrence; for limousines and all other regulated vehicles, at least $1,500,000 per occurrence. Operators must produce proof that the required insurance policy will be in effect and has been prepaid for the entire period the requested license will be effective (usually June 1 through May 31). Each owner shall also execute and deliver to the Township Clerk the required power of attorney in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:16-1 et seq., as amended and supplemented from time to time.
Operators must provide proof that each regulated vehicle has been inspected by a state-operated inspection facility for all required inspections after July 1, 2004. State-authorized private inspection facility inspections are no longer acceptable.
Operators must provide proof that each regulated vehicle has a garage or designated parking space located on private property where said vehicle will be stored when not in use. Written approval from the owner or renter of said private property must be produced. No more than one regulated vehicle may be stored at any single residential property location within the Township of Mine Hill.
All regulated vehicles must have permanently affixed signs on the driver and passenger doors setting forth the operator's business name, regulated vehicle license number, the maximum number of passengers allowed by said license, and the business office telephone number. The letters and numbers on said signs must be at least three inches tall and two inches wide and must be clearly visible from a distance of 50 feet.
The schedule of fares to be charged shall be clearly and prominently displayed in each regulated vehicle.
Each applicant for a regulated vehicle driver license shall, upon making application therefor, furnish his or her existing driver's license for a record check and three recent photographs of passport size, one of which shall be retained by the Township Clerk, another which shall be affixed to the driver license, and the third which shall be affixed to a card, suitably framed under any transparent covering such as plastic or other transparent nonbreakable glass covering approved by the Police Department and displayed in a prominent place in the interior of the regulated vehicle being driven. Said card must also contain a brief description of the driver, including his or her age, height, complexion, color of hair and color of eyes.
Each applicant for a license shall provide proof that he or she is at least 21 years of age and is either a citizen of the United States or has legal immigration status.
Each applicant shall be fingerprinted for a criminal history background check in accordance with N.J.S.A. 48:16-1 et seq., and specifically N.J.S.A. 48:16-22.3a.
Each applicant shall submit, with the initial application and each annual renewal thereafter, a certificate from a licensed practicing physician of this state, certifying that the applicant has been examined within the preceding 30 days and that he or she has no infirmity of body or mind which might render him or her unfit for the safe operation of a taxicab.
Every regulated vehicle licensed pursuant to this chapter shall be properly maintained and equipped at all times in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and the standards and regulations of the New Jersey State Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation Act and shall further comply with the following additional requirements:
The interior shall be clean and sanitary, meaning that the upholstery and carpeting shall be reasonably free from debris, tears, holes, cuts and stains. Maintaining the regulated vehicle in a sanitary condition means keeping the regulated vehicle free from defects which could adversely affect the health of passengers, such as the presence of volatile fumes, spoiled food or garbage, blood stains or any other items which could affect the health of passengers or the driver.
All doors shall open easily and close firmly. This provision requires the immediate repair of doors which cannot be closed by the standard handle for said door (i.e., closing the door with a piece of rope or wire). Furthermore, the door must not be able to be opened without using the door handle, and all locks on the vehicle must operate such as to prohibit the opening of any door while the lock is engaged.
Seat belts shall be fully functional and available for the driver and all passengers. Torn, damaged or missing seat belts must be immediately replaced.
The exterior shall be clean and free from rust and peeling paint, and all wheels shall be covered by hubcaps.
Dents shall not be larger than those that normally occur as a result of parking next to other vehicles; all dents larger than three inches must be repaired promptly. "Dents" shall be construed to cover damage on any portion of the regulated vehicle, including bumpers and any other exterior facets.
Each regulated vehicle in operation must be kept in proper operating condition at all times, including but not limited to a properly functioning muffler and emissions system, a clear and undamaged windshield and windows (no tinting of rear windows shall be permitted after July 1, 2004). The Police Department of the Township of Mine Hill may request an inspection or emissions test for any regulated vehicle if, in its sole discretion, cause exists to believe said regulated vehicle is not in compliance with the maintenance requirements set forth herein.
Upon application for a regulated vehicle license or upon application for renewal of a license, a member of the Mine Hill Township Police Department shall inspect each regulated vehicle for any violations of the requirements of this chapter. If any violations are found, the Police Department shall inform the Township Clerk that no license should be issued on the applicant's vehicle. Under such circumstances, the Police Department will inform the applicant what repairs need to be completed before issuance of a license can occur. In no way should the provisions of this chapter be interpreted as to prohibit an applicant from having a previously rejected vehicle reinspected after the required repairs are completed. An applicant aggrieved by any provisions of this section has an immediate right of appeal to the Township Council.
The schedule of fares shall be prominently posted in each regulated vehicle and shall be posted and available at all business offices.
The fare to be charged for the transportation of passengers to a location or at a distance not stated in the schedule of fares must be clearly agreed upon with all passengers prior to leaving the pickup location.
The drivers of all regulated vehicles must keep a written record of each trip, including the date and exact time the trip commenced and ended and the number of passengers carried. Trip records must be maintained by the operator for at least one year and must be made available for inspection by the Police Department of the Borough of Wharton or any other law enforcement agency upon request.
All drivers will be held fully responsible for compliance with all traffic, parking and safety regulations on the road. In addition, all passengers will be required to enter and exit all regulated vehicles through the door or doors closest to the curb where said passengers are waiting for pickup or are being dropped off.
Regulated vehicles that are registered with the state as limousines shall not be allowed to solicit fares on the road and may only pick up passengers who have prearranged said limousine transportation by telephone.
The Township Council may refuse to issue a license or suspend any license or revoke any license after notice and hearing if:
This chapter is violated in any particular.
The operator or driver has been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or a significant violation of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes of New Jersey.
The driver fails to render reasonably prompt and adequate service while driving a regulated vehicle, has contributed to injury to person or property, or for other good cause.
The regulated vehicle has become unsafe or unsanitary, or the policy of insurance provided for in this chapter has been allowed to lapse and no substitute has been furnished prior to the effective date of said lapse.
Except as required by N.J.S.A. 48:16-1 et seq., any operator and/or driver found to have violated the provisions of this chapter may have his or her license issued hereunder suspended or revoked by the Township Council, and repeat offenders are subject to revocation of all their licenses issued hereunder. Furthermore, upon conviction of said violations by the Municipal Court, any operator and/or driver shall be subject to the penalty in § 1-3, General penalty, of this Code.