[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Holland 12-18-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-15. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is (1) to provide a uniform set of procedures for administering the issuance, renewal and revocation of all licenses issued under this chapter in the interest of fair and equitable treatment of the motoring public and towing operators; (2) to establish standards for the operation of towing businesses by licensees; and (3) to set the rates for services performed by licensees.
This chapter shall apply to all motor vehicle towing and storage operations performed at the request of the Township of Holland.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- ABSORBENT MATERIAL
- Material such as sand or 'speedy dry' used to collect liquids such as radiator fluid, oil, gasoline or diesel fuel spills.
- BASIC TOW
- Private property towing and other nonconsensual towing as defined in this section and other ancillary services that include the following: arriving at the site from which a motor vehicle will be towed; thirty-minute waiting time; hooking a motor vehicle to, or loading a motor vehicle onto, a tow truck; transporting a motor vehicle to a storage facility; unhooking or unloading a motor vehicle from the tow truck; and situating the motor vehicle in the space in which it will be stored. "Basic tow" also includes issuing documents for release of a motor vehicle to its owner or other person authorized to take the motor vehicle; issuing an itemized bill; three trips to the motor vehicle in storage, which, if applicable, include making a vehicle available to an insurance appraiser or adjuster; issuing documents for the release of a motor vehicle to its owner or other person authorized to take the motor vehicle; and retrieving a motor vehicle from storage during the hours in which the storage facility is open.
- CATEGORY I VEHICLE
- All vehicles 0 to 6,000 pounds GVW.
- CATEGORY II VEHICLE
- All vehicles 6,0001 to 26,000 pounds GVW.
- CATEGORY III VEHICLE
- All vehicles 26,001 pounds GVW or greater.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- Shall refer to the Chief of Police of the Holland Township Police Department.
- Removal and/or disposal of any debris left on the roadway or property as a result of a motor vehicle accident or recovery.
- CONSENSUAL TOWING
- Towing a motor vehicle when the owner or operator of the motor vehicle has consented to have the towing company tow the motor vehicle.
- CONVENTIONAL WRECKER
- A vehicle used to tow or remove other vehicles via a hydraulic beam or winch beam, capable of handling passenger cars and small trucks, such as pickup and small-panel trucks.
- Driving an unengaged wrecker to and fro on a public street in a manner primarily calculated to solicit business.
- DECOUPLING FEE
- A charge by a towing company for releasing a motor vehicle to its owner or operator when the vehicle has been, or is about to be, hooked or lifted by a tower, but prior to the vehicle actually having been moved or removed from the property.
- DEPARTMENT or POLICE DEPARTMENT
- Shall refer to the Holland Township Police Department.
- FIFTH WHEEL
- A device towed behind a heavy wrecker containing dual wheels with a hinged pivot hitch used to replace a tractor connection to a towed trailer. The wheels of the "fifth wheel" shall have a tire size of not less than 10 inches by 20 inches.
- FLATBED WRECKER
- A tow truck designed to transport a motor vehicle by means of raising the motor vehicle from road level up onto a hydraulic bed for transporting purposes, capable of handling all types of passenger cars and small trucks, such as pickup or small-panel trucks, up to 1 1/2 tons load capacity.
- HEAVY WRECKER
- A wrecker of either of the types set forth in the definitions of this chapter, designed to be capable of towing heavy vehicles.
- The entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.
- LOAD CAPACITY
- The load capacity rating which is equal to one-third of the total weight of the vehicle to be towed.
- NONCONSENSUAL TOWING
- The towing of a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or operator of the vehicle. "Nonconsensual towing" includes towing a motor vehicle when law enforcement orders the vehicle to be towed whether or not the owner or operator consents.
- A person or other legal entity engaged in the business of providing wrecker services and storage services for vehicles towed.
- POLICE TOW
- The nonconsensual towing of a vehicle at the request of the Police Department via the tow list or otherwise requested.
- PRIMARY WRECKER OPERATOR
- A Township-licensed wrecker operator who responds to the scene of a police tow.
- PRIVATE PROPERTY TOWING
- Nonconsensual towing from private property or from a storage facility by a motor vehicle of a consumer's motor vehicle that is parked illegally, parked during a time at which such parking is not permitted or otherwise parked without authorization or the immobilization of or preparation for moving or removing of such motor vehicle, for which a service charge is made, either directly or indirectly. This term shall not include the towing of a motor vehicle that has been abandoned on private property in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.5, provided that the abandoned vehicle is reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency prior to removal and the vehicle is removed in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.6.
- PRIVATE PROPERTY TOWING COMPANY
- A person offering or performing private property towing services.
- SECURE STORAGE FACILITY
- A storage facility that is either completely indoors or is surrounded by a fence, wall or other man-made barrier that is at least six feet high and is lighted from dusk to dawn.
- A Township-licensed wrecker operator called to the scene by the primary wrecker operator to assist.
- Covering a motor vehicle to prevent weather damage.
- TOW OPERATOR'S LICENSE
- A license issued to a tow operator allowing the tow operator to be placed on the Police Department tow list.
- TOW VEHICLE
- A vehicle, such as a flatbed wrecker or conventional wrecker that is equipped with a boom, winches, slings, tilt beds, wheel lifts, or under-reach equipment specially designed by its manufacturer for the removal and transport of private passenger automobiles and small trucks up to 1 1/2 tons load capacity.
- TOWING BUSINESS
- A business, located in the Township and/or another municipality, with a building or enclosed area in which motorcars can be sheltered or stored, and which owns or operates tow vehicles as defined in this section. At a minimum, each business must have at least two wreckers with a minimum of one flatbed wrecker in order to be maintained on the towing list. Such business must also have gasoline available for disabled vehicles.
- TOWING LIST
- A list of the licensed towing businesses, maintained by the Police Department and used for the purpose of calling the appropriate towing service for all police needs and for removing vehicles from accidents where the operator has not selected a towing service.
- Shall refer to Holland Township, Hunterdon County.
- TRANSMISSION DISCONNECT
- Manipulating a motor vehicle's transmission, so that the motor vehicle may be towed.
- WAITING TIME
- Any time a towing company spends at the site from which a motor vehicle will be towed, during which the towing company is prevented from performing any work by another individual, beyond the time included as part of a basic tow.
- An operation by which a vehicle is moved onto a roadway from a position off the roadway or other operation in which substantial work is required to prepare a vehicle for normal towing (i.e., lifting, dragging, uprighting a vehicle, etc.).
To be placed on the Police Department towing list, an operator must possess a tow operator's license. A maximum of four tow operator's licenses shall be available from the Township. When a license becomes available, it shall be sold at public auction to the highest bidder upon authorization of the Township Committee. A minimum bid may be established by the Township Committee. The successful bidder shall not be awarded the tow operator's license until satisfactory completion of a license application investigation as described in Subsection E below.
All tow operator's licenses issued under this chapter will commence on January 1 and shall expire on December 31 of each year following the date of issuance. Tow operator's licenses shall not be transferable. If not renewed by the holder thereof, they shall automatically revert to the Township for resale at the discretion of the Township Committee.
Application for issuance or renewal of a tow operator's license will be made on forms prepared by the Chief of Police and shall contain the following information, together with such other information as the Chief of Police may find reasonably necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of this chapter:
The name and address of the towing company's principal owner or owners; and
The address of the principal business office of the towing company; and
The location of any garage, parking lot, or other storage area, where motor vehicles or other objects moved by the towing company may be stored or placed; and
A valid certificate of insurance at the minimum amounts set forth in § 159-6 hereunder and a schedule of insured vehicles that are to be utilized by the towing company; and
Documentation of the identifying and describing each of its towing vehicles, including vehicle registration number, weight, and number of wheels. All towing vehicles shall meet the requirements of § 159-4.
Copies of the equipment manufacturer's specification for each piece of equipment that the applicant intends to use for towing services; and
The one telephone number which will be called by the police dispatcher on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week basis; and
A description of the security features of the vehicle storage lots.
Name, address and driver's license number of the applicant and all employees of the applicant that are expected to be involved in the operation of the applicant's vehicular equipment for the towing of motor vehicles. All drivers for the applicant shall be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid New Jersey driver's license for the operation of the towing equipment.
Authorization to perform a criminal background check of the applicant and all of its employees and agents, including the obtainment of a New Jersey driver's abstract.
The applicant shall disclose whether the applicant, or any of its employees or agents, is subject to any of the disqualifications specified in § 159-5.
Written proof of a minimum of five years' towing experience;
Minimum of three references of the applicant's towing experience.
Copies of all certifications for its employees as follows:
Each "light duty" driver must obtain a certification for such operation from a nationally recognized organization.
Each "heavy duty" driver must obtain a certification for such operation from a nationally recognized organization.
Each "recovery supervisor" must obtain a certification for such operation from a nationally recognized organization. The nationally recognized organizations that are acceptable for the Township are: i. Towing and Recovery Association of America (800-728-0136); ii. Wreck Master (800-267-2266); and iii. Garden State Towman's Association (732-530-4782)1.
The applicant shall furnish any additional information concerning the personnel, vehicles, equipment and storage facilities of the applicant as may be required by the Township Clerk or Chief of the Township Police Department during the review of the application.
If any of the information required in the application changes, or if additional information should be added after the filing of the application, the applicant shall provide that information to the Township Clerk, in writing, within 30 calendar days of the change or addition.
A certified statement of the willingness of the towing operator to be available on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-per-week basis, and to abide by the instructions and directions of the Chief of Police, his subordinates, and the provisions of this section. Such towing operators shall further provide the telephone number or numbers available on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-per-week basis, and the names, addresses and New Jersey Motor Vehicle driver's license numbers of all the towing operator's employees.
Application fees for the initial license shall be $150 and application fees for renewal of a tow operator's license shall be $100; payable to the Township. Any application to add an additional driver during the contract term shall be accompanied by a fee of $35 plus the costs incurred by the Township in performing a criminal background check.
The tow operator's license applications, fees and documents outlined in Subsection (C)(1) through (7) above, shall be filed with the Township Clerk. The applicant shall be investigated and a recommendation shall be made as follows:
After the filing of a fully completed application and payment of the fee, the Chief of Police shall cause to be conducted an investigation to determine the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in the application as well as an investigation as to the towing business's prior record of compliance with the intent, purpose, and regulations established under this chapter. All driving abstracts and background check documents are to be forwarded to the Chief of Police in a sealed envelope.
Upon completion of all investigations and inspections, the Chief of Police shall return a copy of the application to the Township Clerk, indicating approval or disapproval of the application. Any disapproval will be accompanied by a written explanation of the reasons for the disapproval.
After approval of a tow operator license application, the towing business shall be licensed.
The following shall serve as a guide for minimum standards as they apply to tow vehicles and heavy wreckers:
Each wrecker shall comply with the insurance requirements of N.J.S.A. 39:1.1 et seq.
Garages must maintain light permits for all wrecker emergency lighting.
No towing business on the Township tow list shall operate a flatbed or conventional wrecker that is more than 20 years old for Township-sanctioned towing services. No towing business on the Township tow list shall operate a heavy-duty wrecker that is more than 30 years old for Township sanctioned towing services. All towing businesses on the Township tow list will have a grace period of one year from January 2, 2018 to comply with this requirement.
All vehicles must be equipped with a communication device (cellular phone), cab-mounted amber emergency warning lights (conforming to New Jersey Motor Vehicle law standards and all light permits being obtained), tow sling type bars with rubber straps and/or wheel lift capability with safety straps to prevent damage to towed vehicles, and with steering locks for towing vehicles from the rear.
The Township may deny, suspend or revoke any contract for municipal towing services upon the recommendation of the Chief of Police, or upon other proof that the towing operator, or any of its employees or agents:
Has obtained a registration through fraud, deception or intentional misrepresentation;
Has engaged in the use or employment of dishonesty, fraud, deception, misrepresentation, false promise or false pretense;
Has engaged in gross negligence or gross incompetence;
Has engaged in repeated documented acts of negligence or incompetence;
Has had a towing operation registration or license revoked or suspended by any other state agency or authority for reasons consistent with this section;
Has violated or failed to comply on more than three occasions with the schedule of tariff or fee regulations herein; or
Has been convicted of:
A crime under Chapter 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes;
Motor vehicle theft or any crime involving a motor vehicle under Chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; or
Any other crime under Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes relating adversely to the performance of towing services or the storage of motor vehicles as determined by the Chief of Police.
A final refusal to register, or the suspension or revocation of a registration by the Township shall not be made except upon reasonable notice to the applicant, and an opportunity for the applicant to be heard by the Township Committee. The hearing is at the option of the applicant.
The minimum amounts of insurance a towing company shall secure and maintain are:
Motor vehicle liability for a tow truck capable of towing a motor vehicle that is up to 26,000 pounds, for the death of, or injury to, persons and damage to property for each accident or occurrence in the amount of $750,000, combined single limit; and
Motor vehicle liability for a tow truck capable of towing a motor vehicle that is more than 26,000 pounds, for the death of, or injury to, persons and damage to property for each accident or occurrence in the amount of $1,000,000, combined single limit.
Commercial crime coverage in the amount of $1,000,000 per loss.
A towing company shall also secure and maintain, for every tow truck, insurance that covers garage keeper legal liability in the amount of $100,000, and "on-hook" coverage, either as an endorsement on the insurance required by Subsection A above or in the amount of $100,000.
A towing company shall also secure and maintain workers' compensation insurance as required by law, including, without limitation, statutory New Jersey workers' compensation benefits, and employers' liability of at least $100,000.
All insurance policies required under this chapter must remain in full force and effect throughout the license period. If any licensee, for whatever reason, ceases to have the insurance coverage required by this chapter, the Chief of Police shall immediately cause that licensee to be removed from the towing list.
Towing: All vehicles shall be towed to the towing company's storage facility having the capacity to receive it that is nearest to the site from which the motor vehicle is towed.
Category I vehicles shall be $175 per wrecker dispatched and $4 per mile after the first mile from the scene for any type of service call.
Category II vehicles shall be $250 per wrecker dispatched and $4 per mile after the first mile from the scene for any type of service call.
Category III vehicles shall be $350 per wrecker dispatched performed and $6 per mile after the first mile from the scene for any type of service call.
If the vehicle is towed to police headquarters and subsequently towed to the towing service storage facility, a second towing fee for the tow from headquarters to the storage facility may be charged pursuant to the fees set forth in Subsection A(1) and (2) of this section. Storage charges will commence on the day the vehicle is towed from headquarters to the storage facility.
Storage: Storage fees are based on full twenty-four-hour periods a motor vehicle is in the storage facility in accordance with N.J.S.A. 13:45a-31.4(d).
Storage of any passenger motor vehicle: $40 per day for outdoor storage; $60 per day for indoor storage.
Storage of trucks 18,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or less: $40 per day for outdoor storage; $60 per day for indoor storage.
Storage of trucks over 18,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR): $2 per running foot, per day for outdoor storage; $4 per running foot per day for indoor storage.
Storage of tractors and/or trailers: $2 per running foot, per day.
Storage of motorcycles: $30 per day.
Storage of mopeds, ATVs and snowmobiles: $30 per day.
More than three trips to the motor vehicle storage, which may be invoiced as an administrative fee $25 per occurrence.
Release from storage facility after normal business hours or on weekends, $50.
Clean-up fee for the clean-up of debris on the highway or at the scene of an accident and application of absorbent material may be charged at the rate of $45 per vehicle.
The fee for absorbent material shall be $15 per bag.
Winching fees $50 per half hour.
Window wrap $25 per vehicle.
Tarping $25 per window.
Transmission disconnect $75 per vehicle.
Decoupling $25 per vehicle.
Use of special equipment other than first tow truck to recover a motor vehicle or pieces of a motor vehicle $85 per half hour.
Tolls as incurred driving to the site from which the motor vehicle will be towed while towing the motor vehicle from that site to the towing company's storage facility.
Tow operators may charge $50 per quarter hour for winching fees.
A fee for towing and storage services shall be presumed unreasonable if it is:
More than 25% higher than the fee charged by the towing company or storage facility for the same services when provided with the consent of the owner or operator of the motor vehicle; or
More than 50% higher than the fee charged for such other nonconsensual towing or related storage service by other towing companies or storage facilities operating in the municipality from which the vehicle was towed.
Every tow operator shall provide the owner or operator of the motor vehicle being serviced with a business card and a written receipt of all the charges collected, with an explanation of each such charge.
The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to establish a rotating system for calling towing services. The rotating system shall equitably distribute the calls to the listed towing businesses.
The police will summon a wrecker from the established rotating list.
If it becomes apparent that a licensed towing service cannot handle a job exigent in nature, or if a separate law enforcement authority directs, the officer in charge may at his discretion forgo the towing list and summon a towing service with proper equipment. If fees cannot be agreed upon or negotiated at the scene, the towing service may be directed, by police, to perform the required services with reasonable fees to be paid by the owner.
The Chief of Police or designee may institute additional reasonable rules, regulations, requirements or standards if deemed necessary and under emergency or exigent circumstances may suspend rotation.
The following shall apply to the conduct and requirements of towing businesses pursuant to this chapter:
No licensed tow business shall permit any wreckers to engage in cruising.
All licensed tow businesses shall provide twenty-four-hour-per-day, seven-day-per-week service.
No person shall solicit or attempt to divert prospective customers of another garage to any other garage or towing service other than in accordance with the rotating provisions of this chapter.
No person shall solicit, demand or receive from any person any commission or fee other than the appropriate fee under this chapter for the transportation or storage of any vehicle.
Any towing business called must confirm that it is responding within 10 minutes of the call or its turn will be forfeited on the rotational list.
Any towing business which does not answer its phone within 10 rings, or which is unable to respond for any reason, shall forfeit its turn on the rotation list.
A towing business on the Township tow list that confirms a response to a service call, but never arrives at the call more than one time in a calendar month, shall be subject to the penalties set forth in this chapter.
All licensed towing businesses shall in accordance with N.J.S.A. 56-13-15:
Have business office hours open to the public between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. at least five days a week, excluding holidays; and
Is secured and, if it is an outdoor storage facility, lighted from dusk to dawn; and
Shall provide reasonable accommodations for after-hours release of stored motor vehicles.
Response time to the scene of a tow must be within 30 minutes of the time of confirmation of the assignment or else the towing business forfeits its turn.
A towing business must have space available for properly accommodating and protecting all vehicles towed. Towed vehicles will not be stored or allowed to remain on or along any property which is not zoned for such storage or on public property.
Police-impounded vehicles shall be stored at the business premises of the towing operator and shall not be released without a properly signed release form. Vehicles may, in certain circumstances, be towed to headquarters for investigative purposes upon the request of a police officer.
Every operator shall keep a log with required details, as determined by the Chief of Police or designee, of any vehicle towed. All towing-related documents and receipts shall be available to the police for inspection.
Towing operators shall be responsible for the actions of employees, subcontractors, agents and/or assigns.
Towing operators will comply with instructions given by the officer in charge.
No tow vehicle operator shall respond to the scene of an accident or any scene requiring a police tow except upon notification by police headquarters.
All tow vehicle operators shall be required to clean up debris on the highway or at the scene of an accident and apply sand or absorbent material to normal radiator fluid, oil, gasoline, or diesel fuel spills in accordance with state law.
No person owning or operating a tow vehicle or other automobile, while waiting for employment, shall stand at any public street or intersection or on any public or private property, other than his own, without first obtaining the consent of a police officer or the owner of the property.
No person shall pay any gratuity, tip or emolument to any third person not involved in the accident or to any police officer for any information as to the location of any accident or for soliciting the employment of the licensee's services, nor give any gratuities, fees or other compensation or gifts to any members of the police department.
Towing operators shall comply with the requests of the police officer in charge. When specific types of wreckers are requested, those types will be dispatched.
The towing company making application to tow for the Township shall submit a list of its employees who will be operating the wreckers providing service. In addition, the towing contractor will be required to submit photocopies of the driver's licenses of those employees who will be operating tow vehicles providing service. Those driver's licenses may be checked periodically by the Chief of Police or his designee to ensure valid status.
The towing company shall conspicuously post the towing/storage rates at its business in a location visible to all customers.
All towing businesses which are on the Township tow list must accept all forms of payment from motorists.
Once a wrecker is requested from the Township tow list, the service call shall belong to that wrecker regardless of any other towing business that may show up at the service call location, unless exigent circumstances exist as may be determined by conditions at the scene.
Disposition of vehicles towed pursuant to this chapter shall be in compliance with state law.
The towing business shall maintain an accurate inventory of all nonconsensual vehicle tows stored in their facility. The Police Department will periodically inspect and compare the impound storage list to ensure accuracy. Discrepancies will be investigated by the Police Department.
The towing business shall maintain a nonconsensual impound file which is identical to that maintained by the Police Department. A sample file will be provided by the Police Department.
The towing business shall maintain all records in a manner that can be retrieved in an expedient and efficient manner to retrieve all tow-related information. These records shall be kept for a three-year period in accordance with N.J.S.A. 13:45A-31.9.
As per N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1, the Police Department will report the taking of possession of an abandoned motor vehicle to (1) the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission on a form prescribed by the administrator; and (2) the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Upon receipt of the verification of ownership of the vehicle, the Police Department shall within three business days, provide notice of possession of the vehicle to the owner of record and the holder of any security interest filed with the administrator by telephone, mail, facsimile or electronically as per N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1. The Police Department also within three business days of receiving verification of ownership of the vehicle from the administrator, will notify the towing business of the name and address of the owner of record and the holder of any security interest, filed with the administrator. Upon receipt of this notice from the Police Department to the towing business, the towing business shall immediately provide notice as per N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1(5)a through e.
The towing business shall maintain accurate records of owner notification(s) and attempted notification(s).
At the direction of any Police Department law enforcement officer, the towing business shall remove junk and/or abandoned vehicles from the roadway or any other public property, including but not limited to Township parking lots, parks and playgrounds. The towing business shall also remove any vehicles related to lawful seizes by the Police Department.
A junk vehicle is defined as per N.J.S.A. 39:10A-3 that such motor vehicle is incapable of being operated safely or of being put in safe operational condition except at a cost in excess of the value thereof. If the vehicle is unclaimed by the owner or other person having legal right thereto, for a period of 15 business days the towing operator shall notify the Chief of Police or designee that the vehicle has been held for the statutory time and that the vehicle is ready for sale.
An abandoned vehicle shall be defined as a motor vehicle which cannot be certified for a junk title certificate pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:10A-3. If the vehicle is unclaimed by the owner or other person having legal right thereto for a period of 20 business days, the towing business shall notify the Chief of Police or designee that the vehicle has been held for the statutory time and that the vehicle is ready for sale. All rates and fees charged shall be as set forth herein.
Proceeds from auction sale of junk or abandoned vehicles shall be used to satisfy any towing or storage charges which may have accumulated on the vehicles in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.50. A detailed receipt of charges shall be presented upon delivery of vehicle to the auction site and approved by the Police Department prior to all charges being satisfied by proceeds of the auction sale. Excess proceeds shall be remitted to the Treasury of the Township of Holland as its sole property as per N.J.S.A. 39:10A-5. If the proceeds are insufficient to cover the accumulated costs due to no acceptable bid or no bid at all was obtained at the time of the auction, such excess costs shall be waived by the towing business in exchange for the auctioned vehicle being relinquished to the towing business. This waiver does not apply to the owner or other person entitled to the vehicle that shall remain liable for the towing business bill. This section will be administered in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1 et seq.
Nothing in this Chapter shall abrogate or in any way diminish the rights of the vehicle owner or operator to make his own selection of tow vehicles, except where it presents a real or immediate hazard to safety or would in any way interfere with a police investigation.
Applicable sections of this chapter may in certain circumstances be superseded by state statute and the New Jersey Administrative Code.
The Chief of Police or his designee shall have the power to suspend a towing business license if he is satisfied by clear and convincing evidence that there has been a violation of this chapter or violations of the rules promulgated by the State of New Jersey.
Penalties for violations shall be as follows:
First offense: suspension of the towing license not to exceed 30 days and/or a fine not to exceed $150.
Second offense: suspension of the towing license not to exceed 90 days and/or a fine not to exceed $500.
Third offense: suspension from the wrecker list for a period not to exceed one year and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.
Any suspension will be a suspension of police towing privileges only. The towing business will remain licensed during the suspension period and will be bound by the rules and regulations governing licensed towing business.
A towing operator's license may be revoked and the tow business removed from the rotational list by resolution of the Township Committee.
A towing business terminated from the tow list shall be considered unlicensed and must reapply for a license at the conclusion of the termination period. The terminated towing business will be responsible for towing rates, storage charges and service fees as set forth in this chapter for police-towed vehicles remaining on the lot during the termination period.
If a towing business is suspended or terminated from the rotational list, the remaining towing businesses will be notified of the suspension and to ascertain if they can cover the vacancy.
The Township Clerk shall make available all fee schedules and regulations applicable to towing for public inspection during normal business hours.
Unattended vehicles cannot be towed from private parking lots, unless:
There is a sign posted at vehicular entrances to the property stating:
The purpose for which parking is authorized;
The times when parking is permitted;
That unauthorized parking is prohibited and unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense;
The name of and the contact information for the towing company and the address of the storage facility, which must be secure and located within a reasonable distance of the property, to which the vehicle will be towed;
The charges for the towing and storage and the times during which the vehicle may be redeemed; and
Contact information for the Division of Consumer Affairs (1-800-242-5864 prompt #4).
The property owner and the tow company have a contract for the towing and the property owner has authorized the towing company to remove the particular vehicle.
The requirements do not apply to a single-family home or an owner-occupied multiunit structure, and the signage requirements are different for a residential community with clearly marked assigned spaces for residents.
The Predatory Towing Prevention Act and this section further prohibit towing companies from the following:
Failing to release a vehicle hooked or lifted, but not actually removed from private property, upon request of the vehicle's owner;
Paying for information about vehicles parked without authorization;
Refusing to accept an insurance company check or a debit card, charge card, credit card or personal check for towing or storage services; if the towing company ordinarily accepts such payment at its place of business.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 56:13-7 et seq.