Borough of Oaklyn, NJ
Camden County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Oaklyn 7-8-2014 by Ord. No. 13-14. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Municipal parking lots — See Ch. 95A.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 120.
Storage of vehicles — See Ch. 122.
A. 
The purpose of this chapter is to secure towing, recovery, and storage services for motor vehicles that are:
(1) 
Standing in violation of current laws or ordinances, and/or that pose a safety hazard or a security risk, under circumstances where the owner or the operator is incapable of or unwilling to relocate the vehicle; or
(2) 
Abandoned on public or private property; or
(3) 
Recovered stolen, and unable to be immediately claimed by the rightful legal owner; or
(4) 
The instrument or fruits of a crime; or
(5) 
Otherwise determined by the Police Department to require lawful removal and/or storage.
B. 
The community caretaking function, which is administered by the Police Department, requires a high degree of competence, integrity, reliability, expertise, and responsible business ethics on the part of the towing operator (hereinafter, "operator"). Accordingly, the specifications contained herein are designed to secure the services of a professional, emergency towing/recovery contractor, at a competitive and reasonable cost, while protecting the property rights and financial interests of vehicle owners.
A. 
As used in this chapter and unless otherwise indicated by the context, the words or terms herein shall have the meanings indicated. When not consistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future tense; words in the plural number shall include words in the singular number and words in the singular number include the plural number.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOROUGH
The Borough of Oaklyn.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of the Police of the Borough of Oaklyn.
CRUISING
The operation of an unengaged wrecker along a public street at a slow rate of speed or in any fashion calculated, designed or having the effect of soliciting towing business on a public street.
IMPOUND AREA
The fenced-in area specifically used by a tower, on the approved towing list of the Borough, for storage of towed vehicles. Not more than two "impound areas" may be contained with each 1/2 acre of any one storage facility.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
SHALL
"Shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
STORAGE FACILITY
A storage lot or storage area, and shall mean the location within two miles of the geographic boundary of the Borough of Oaklyn, consisting of a minimum of 1/2 acre and used for storage of vehicles towed by towing operators on the list approved by the Borough.
TOWING LIST
The list of towing operators and wreckers maintained by the Police Department under the direction and supervision of the Chief of Police to provide, on a rotating basis, towing service and storage at the request or call of authorized personnel or members of the Police Department in cases of emergency, accidents involving motor vehicles and for disabled, abandoned or illegally parked, operated vehicles.
TOWING OPERATOR
A person engaged in the business of offering towing services, whereby damaged, disabled, illegally parked, operated or abandoned motor vehicles are towed or otherwise removed from the places where they are damaged, disabled, impounded or abandoned by use of a wrecker, tow truck or other vehicles designed for that purpose.
TOWING SERVICE
That service performed, rendered or provided by towing, removing, transporting or conveying any kind of vehicle which is or has been damaged, abandoned, impounded, disabled or otherwise unable to be moved under its own power, for which a charge is made against the owner or operator of the vehicle.
WRECKER
A vehicle designed and equipped for removing and transporting wrecked or disabled vehicles. This term shall also include a flatbed, tow truck or other vehicle used for or to perform towing services.
The Chief of Police shall establish and maintain a list of qualified towing operators who shall be issued licenses to provide, on a rotating basis, towing services at the request of the Oaklyn Police Department. Towing operators on the list will be scheduled and treated equally and fairly.
To be placed on the towing list, towing operators shall be qualified and required to apply for and hold a license to perform towing services at the request or call of the Police Department. The license shall be issued to all qualified towing operators approved by the Chief of Police to be placed on the towing list. Said license shall be subject to annual renewals by the Chief of Police on April 1 of each year. Prior to issuance of any license or renewal, the Chief of Police shall cause an inspection to be made of the required storage facility and towing equipment to verify compliance with this chapter and all other applicable federal, state and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations.
A. 
Applications for licenses hereunder shall be submitted to the Chief of Police upon forms prepared and made available by the Borough. The application form shall be properly completed, signed and accompanied by the application and license fee. The Chief of Police shall investigate and review all applications for compliance with the terms of this chapter and minimum standards of operator performance mandated by statute. The background and driving records of all applicants and employees shall be checked by the Police Department.
B. 
Among other things, the applications shall contain:
(1) 
The name of the applicant, with both the home and business address of the applicant as well as home and business telephone numbers.
(2) 
A statement whether the applicant is an individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or other type of entity.
(3) 
The names and addresses of all persons owning an interest in the applicant and, if a corporation, the names and addresses of all officers and stockholders with the interest held by each.
(4) 
The names of all employees, with their drivers' license and social security numbers.
(5) 
The description of all vehicles and equipment to be used in providing towing service, setting forth the year, make, model, serial number, license and registered owner of each vehicle.
(6) 
The location within five miles of the geographic boundary of the Borough of Oaklyn wherein the equipment is maintained and stored; the name and address of the owner, lot and block number and size of storage facility or impound area.
The application and license fee under this chapter shall be $100. The annual renewal fee shall be in the amount of $50.
The following minimum standards shall be required of all operators seeking to be placed on the towing list with the Borough for towing and storage services:
A. 
Equipment.
(1) 
The operator must maintain the following equipment:
(a) 
One heavy-duty wrecker: minimum twenty-five-ton capacity.
(b) 
One medium-duty wrecker: twenty-ton capacity.
(c) 
One light-duty wrecker: ten-ton capacity.
(d) 
One flatbed truck.
(2) 
Wreckers used by the operator must be of such construction to tow any type of vehicle and to pass inspection of the Borough Police Department.
(3) 
Each vehicle shall be equipped with a shovel, broom and any other equipment necessary to clean up broken glass, oil and other fluids and any other debris from the scene of an accident. It shall be the operator's responsibility to clean up such debris if requested to do so by any officer of the Borough Police Department at the scene of the accident, at no cost to the vehicle owner, driver or representatives.
(4) 
Wreckers shall be maintained in good condition, comply with all applicable provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:1-1 et seq., be available 24 hours a day and be identified on each side with the name and address of the operator. There shall be no marking on wreckers indicating affiliation with Police Department, such as "official police towing."
(5) 
At the time of submission of its bid, the operator shall submit to the Borough satisfactory proof of ownership of the required number of wreckers necessary to meet the Borough's requirements.
A. 
Abandoned vehicles. Any vehicle of any size, in any condition, left anywhere within the Borough limits upon any street or public right-of-way, public easement, public avenue, alley, thoroughfare, or public or quasi-public places, including parks and playgrounds, without a current registration, vehicle identification plates, insurance, determined abandoned by the Police Department pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.5, etc., and all vehicles as defined by N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1. When the Borough obtains a court order from a Municipal Judge to remove a vehicle from private property, the vehicle will be deemed to be abandoned for purposes of this section, and the requirements of this section shall apply.
B. 
Disabled vehicle. Any vehicle left anywhere within the Borough limits due to its inability to operate resulting from motor vehicle accident or mechanical failure.
C. 
Impounded vehicle. Any suspected stolen, unregistered, unsafe vehicle or a vehicle involved in criminal investigation on which a "HOLD" has been placed by the Police Department.
D. 
Otherwise determined by the Police Department to require lawful removal and/or storage.
E. 
General procedures.
(1) 
The operator shall be notified by the Department of Police for the removal of all vehicles whether considered abandoned, disabled or impounded. The operator must arrive prepared to remove all vehicles within 20 minutes of notification, unless otherwise specified by the Police Department. If the operator fails to respond within the allotted time, the Borough may, within its discretion, notify another vendor to effect immediate removal and towing of vehicles. Any towing charges assessed by the vendor to the Borough shall be passed on to the operator.
(2) 
The operator must be available for removal and storage of vehicles 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including the removal of abandoned vehicles.
(3) 
In the event that the owner of a vehicle also arrives at the scene to which the operator has been summoned, with approval of the Police Department the owner shall be allowed to remove the vehicle at no expense to himself or the Borough.
(4) 
In the event the operator is required to perform additional unspecified services in furtherance of its obligations hereunder, such services shall be provided at reasonable cost. Such services shall not affect the basic towing and storage charges outlined in these specifications. Such services and the costs to be charged therefore shall be reported and supplied to the Borough 48 hours before the performance of these services. The Borough shall have the right to discontinue any additional unspecified service it deems not to be in furtherance of this chapter.
(5) 
The Borough shall have the exclusive right to define what constitutes "motor vehicle" for purposes of this chapter. Anything deemed by the Borough at its sole discretion not to be a "motor vehicle" may be removed or in any other way dealt with by the Borough without compensation to the operator.
(6) 
The Borough shall have the exclusive right to determine what constitutes a "salvage" vehicle for the purpose of this chapter. The Borough shall have the exclusive right to determine what constitutes a "scrap/shredder" vehicle for the purpose of this chapter.
(7) 
In the event that a vehicle has been wrongfully removed pursuant to this chapter, the vehicle shall be returned to the owner at no charge. On occasion, the operator will be required to tow certain wrongfully removed vehicles back to the initial towing site. In the event the Police Department authorizes the impounding of any vehicle for investigation from the "victim" of a crime or offense, said vehicle shall be returned to the owner upon completion of the investigation at no charge to the victim.
(8) 
Any municipal-owned vehicles shall be towed free of charge.
(9) 
The operator shall change flat tires on any Borough-owned vehicle, free of charge, when requested by the Borough.
(10) 
The operator must accept all major credit cards for all towing services and associated costs.
A. 
All vehicles removed pursuant to this chapter must be stored at the operator's storage facilities, with the following exception: On occasion, the operator will be required to tow certain vehicles, which are involved in criminal investigation, or other investigations, to a designated facility for further investigation, at no charge to the Borough.
B. 
All vehicles removed pursuant to this chapter shall be stored in a separate holding area of the operator's storage facilities. Only vehicles towed pursuant to this chapter shall be stored in said holding area and there shall be no commingling of these with any other vehicles. Within this designated area, abandoned or disabled vehicles shall be separated from impounded vehicles. Impounded vehicles shall be stored in a separate, enclosed, secure facility which shall be able to provide space for a minimal of two vehicles towed for criminal investigation. There shall be no additional charge for inside storage, if required.
C. 
All vehicles removed pursuant to this chapter shall be stored according to the month in which they were towed and shall be marked appropriately on the windshield.
D. 
The operator shall be responsible for each vehicle in his storage area, including but not limited to damage or theft, until final disposition or removal is ordered by the Borough. All vehicles, regardless of condition, must be stored singly and so arranged to permit inspection and subsequent removal if necessary. Adequate walkway inspection space must be provided at all times.
E. 
The owner of any vehicle towed shall have the right to remove property belonging to him from the stored vehicle at no cost to the owner unless a "Police Hold" is marked on tow form. The vehicle owner or his representative shall have the right to take photos of a stored vehicle for insurance purposes at no cost to the vehicle owner or his representative. Any property removal disputes will be referred to the Police Department.
F. 
All valuables found in vehicles, such as jewelry or currency, shall be turned in to the Police Department. After-market items such as audio equipment, auto accessories shall be stored and inventoried by the operator.
G. 
All vehicles and/or property stored pursuant to this chapter shall be produced no later than two hours upon demand by the Police Department.
A. 
Release of vehicles to owners or lien holders.
(1) 
No vehicle shall be released to either owners or lien holders without a "Police Release" form. Vehicles shall be available for release between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Saturday, except for legal holidays. It shall be the responsibility of the Borough Police Department to notify the owners of vehicles, when known, when vehicles are turned over to the operator for removal and storage. Additionally, the operator shall notify in writing, the owner(s) and lien holder(s) of the location of the vehicle and all costs associated with its removal.
(2) 
Upon the release of a vehicle to its owner or lien holder, all ownership rights and responsibilities shall revert to the owner or lien holder. The Borough shall not be liable for daily storage fees for any day following the date of release, whether or not the owner actually reclaims possession of the motor vehicle from the operator. The operator shall not impose any additional charges upon an owner or lien holder which are not expressly indicated. All vehicles shall be released by the operator upon receipt of a police/vehicle release form from the Police Department.
(3) 
The Borough Police Department shall notify the operator of all released vehicles stored at the operator's storage facilities pursuant to this chapter. However, any failure to provide such information cannot be used as a basis for liability against the Borough.
(4) 
The operator shall notify the Borough of any released vehicle which remains unclaimed by the owner by way of a monthly written report.
B. 
Disposal by public sales.
(1) 
Pursuant to state law, abandoned and disabled vehicles may be disposed of after remaining unclaimed for a period of 30 days and may be sold at public auction. Impounded vehicles must be held for a period of at least 90 days prior to sale at public auction.
(2) 
Prior to each sale, all vehicles to be sold shall be numbered by the operator for identification purposes.
(3) 
The operator shall be required to complete all necessary documents to obtain the appropriate titles for the vehicles. Each sale shall be advertised as required by law and the advertisement shall state the date of the sale, the lowest minimum bid for each vehicle and the towing and storage fees accrued up to the date of sale. The operator shall be responsible for all costs associated with advertisement fees and any fees necessary to obtain junk titles.
(4) 
It shall be exclusively within the authority of the Borough of Oaklyn to determine which vehicles are exposed to public sale. The operator is required to have all vehicles advertised for sale available for inspection and sale in accordance with the public advertisement. The operator shall make said sale vehicles available to the public for inspection one hour prior to the scheduled sale time.
(5) 
The operator shall be entitled to reimbursement, from the successful purchaser, for the towing fee plus accrued daily storage fees in accordance with the fee schedule as set forth in the corresponding resolution. The daily storage fees shall commence the day of the tow and shall end the day of the public sale of the vehicle.
(6) 
The operator shall furnish the Borough in advance of each public sale, the amount of the operator's lien calculated to the date of the sale. Failure to do so shall be deemed a waiver by the operator of the right to enforcement of said lien.
(7) 
Each successful purchaser at the public sale shall reimburse the operator for accrued towing and storage fees for the vehicle he/she purchases. The remainder of the purchase price, if any, shall be paid to the Borough by the successful purchaser. All monies will be collected by the operator and turned over to the Borough.
(8) 
The operator may participate in the public sale as a bidder.
(9) 
The Borough will not be responsible for charges due and owing the operator from a claimant or purchaser of a vehicle, nor will it assist the operator in collecting such charges.
(10) 
Any monies received by the Borough upon sale of any property pursuant to law shall be the property of the Borough and shall not be subject to any charges, claims or liens by the operator, his agent, or servant.
(11) 
The Borough reserves the right to retain possession of any vehicles or vehicle parts, ownership of which the Borough has obtained pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-157 and N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1, needed for municipal purposes. The Borough shall not be assessed any towing or storage charges for these vehicles.
(12) 
It shall be exclusively within the authority of the Borough to sell some, or all, vehicles in multiple lots rather than individually. Salvage vehicles shall be sold as a lot only auction.
(13) 
The Borough shall hold public sales at its discretion and shall not be liable for any expenses incurred by the operator as a result of failure to hold sales.
C. 
Disposal of scrap/shredder vehicles. The operator shall dispose of all vehicles which have been determined to be scrap/shredder vehicles by the Borough of Oaklyn shall not be reimbursed by the Borough for any towing and storage fees for any scrapped/shredder vehicle and/or stored pursuant to this chapter.
A. 
The operator shall maintain a record of all property found anywhere in a towed vehicle, including the trunk and glove compartment, if open or key available, and shall be responsible until claimed by owner.
B. 
The operator shall maintain records of all vehicles towed, stored, and released by him under this chapter, as well as all services rendered pursuant to this chapter, including additional unspecified services performed in furtherance of the operator's obligations hereunder. Records shall be kept for a period of seven years.
C. 
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 area.
D. 
Authorized representatives of the Department of Police, shall have access to any of the records required to be kept by the operator. These representatives will include the Chief of Police, Detective Sergeant, or any other person designated by the Chief of Police or Mayor.
The fee schedule or charges established for the towing and road services by towing operators on the rotating Borough list maintained by the Borough of Oaklyn Police Department under the direction of the Chief of Police, and for storage in conjunction therewith, shall be adopted by resolution of the Borough Council of the Borough of Oaklyn, with reference to this section of Chapter 118A.
A. 
In addition to the other services herein outlined, the operator will be required to furnish extra towing equipment and service during storm periods, periods of snow emergencies, traffic emergencies, disasters, etc., and for any other reason when so designated by the Mayor and/or Chief of Police, or their duly authorized representatives. During such periods which are herein referred to as standby periods, the operator shall be required to furnish adequate equipment and service to be held ready to remove passenger vehicles, trucks, tractor trailers and other heavy vehicles and equipment.
B. 
Standby service will begin when the Chief of Police, or his authorized designee, calls the operator initially and will end when he terminates the standby status by calling the operator.
C. 
The Borough reserves the right, during any emergency, to designate temporary areas owned or leased by the Borough for the storage of disabled vehicles to said area at the direction of the Chief of Police.
D. 
During said emergencies, the operator shall be entitled to make regular charges to the owners of the vehicles so removed and where storage space is made available by the operator, the operator shall be entitled to charge the owner of the vehicle the lawful daily storage charge in addition thereto.
Every licensed towing operator called by the Police Department shall keep a record of the name and address of the owner of the towed vehicle and shall file reports as required by the Chief of Police which shall include but not be limited to itemized towing and storage charges per vehicle.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter may be removed from this towing list and, in addition, shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable for penalties or any combination thereof as set forth in Chapter 1, § 1-14 of the Code of the Borough of Oaklyn, in the discretion of the Judge of the Municipal Court before whom such violation is heard and conviction made, but in no event shall the fine be less than $250. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation, subject to the penalty provisions of this chapter.
Any towing operator on the towing list who fails to properly respond to calls in the established response time, fails to provide adequate service or otherwise violates the terms and provisions of this chapter, falsifies any information with regard to his application or violates the Department of Insurance rules shall be subject to license termination by the Chief of Police.
Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, § 118A-3 of this chapter shall be rendered inoperative during the term of a contract awarded for towing services by the Borough Council of the Borough of Oaklyn, pursuant to the process as set forth in the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A 40A:11-1 et seq. During the term of the contract, the successful bidder under the contract awarded for towing services shall be subject to all of the terms and conditions of all other sections of this chapter.