Any individual wishing to operate a truck for the purpose of towing vehicles within the confines of the City of Wildwood at the request of a private person or entity other than the owner or operator; shall apply to the City Clerk for a towing license. No towing business or service station operating solely for the purpose of towing vehicles at the request of the owner or operator shall be required to obtain a towing license.
The application for a towing license shall include the provision of the following information: description of each vehicle to be used for towing, including model, year, gross vehicle weight, license plate number, vehicle identification number, type of towing mechanism.
Upon approval each vehicle shall be issued a license for towing and a sticker which must be displayed on the driver side rear window of the vehicle. Each license shall be assigned to a single vehicle and may not be interchanged with other vehicles. Each vehicle can only be registered to one place of business.
Each application for towing license shall be accompanied by the fee provided for in the schedule of mercantile licenses fees for the City of Wildwood.
Each tow truck operator shall maintain general liability insurance for his business in the amount of seven hundred fifty thousand ($750,000.00) dollars per incident and seven hundred fifty thousand ($750,000.00) dollars aggregate and garage keepers legal liability insurance in the amount of five hundred thousand ($500,000.00) dollars for comprehensive and collision per incident.
Every towing service operator shall keep a log of all vehicles towed by his trucks. The log shall be in a bound book, and shall contain, with respect to each tow, the date, time, location of from where the vehicle was towed, license plate number and state of the vehicle, make and model, and notes of any defects noticed in inspecting the vehicle.
Each tow truck shall be equipped with the following: amber emergency flashing lights (strobe or revolving); shovel and broom for cleaning debris and all necessary tools and implements for properly and safely towing vehicles.
Each tow operator shall store each towed vehicle in an area which provides appropriate security, protection, and minimum security of fenced yard with lighting. Any storage area charging in excess of twenty-five ($25.00) dollars per day shall be deemed not to comply with the terms of this paragraph. Storage fee will be charged after the first 24 hours of storage.
Each tow operator shall provide a form to release a vehicle to its owner or its representative upon demand and a receipt for payment of services.
Each tow operator shall deposit towed vehicles only at a facility providing 24-hour-a-day service for the owner to recover his vehicle. An owner recovering their vehicle after normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., shall pay an additional late fee of fifty ($50.00) dollars.
All vehicles towed under the provisions of this chapter must be stored in the City of Wildwood for a minimum of ten days. If the owner does not recover the vehicle after ten days, tow operator shall notify the City Wildwood Police Department and at no additional cost may transfer said vehicle to a storage facility controlled by the tow operator which complies with all regulations in paragraph c of this section, until appropriate disposition of the vehicle.
Each vehicle used to tow shall be identified on the driver and passenger side front doors with the following information in at least three inch letters: name of the operator, city of business, and phone number.
No tow operator shall use a tow vehicle or other means to obstruct vehicles from leaving an area, except for the one vehicle he may be preparing to tow, for which a "call-out" or "hook-up" fee may be charged if the owner arrives before the vehicle is towed.
No tow operator shall pay a commission to any person who requests towing service.
A copy of the city's towing regulations shall be posted and available to the public at the tow operator's place of business and at any separate storage area operated by the licensee.
The tow operator shall notify the City of Wildwood Police Department within seven calendar days if a vehicle has not been claimed within five calendar days of the time it was towed.
As per N.J.S.A. Title 40:48A2.9 all units of government which utilize a private concern to perform public tow operations must set up a procedure to handle citizen complaints regarding the cost of towing. Further, all tow operators must post in a conspicuous place the fees approved by the governing body of the City of Wildwood. This procedure shall only be utilized to deal with the question of the price of tow operators.
Should a person feel they are being incorrectly charged for a vehicle tow they are to obtain a form designed for the reporting of such incidents as attached as Exhibit A to this document. A copy of the approved fees shall also be made available at that time. Said form shall be available from the Police Desk, Office of the Mayor, Information Desk at City Hall, or Information Bureau on the boardwalk.
Said form shall be completed as required and submitted to any of the four locations.
The employee receiving such completed report shall cause the form to be delivered to the office of the purchasing agent personnel director who will investigate said claim and issue a written decision and response explaining the reasons for said decision.
Either party may appeal this decision to the commissioner of public safety whose decision shall be final and without appeal.
Former Section 18-7, Towing List, previously codified herein was deleted in its entirety by Ordinance No. 985-13.
Upon submission to the city of the appropriate forms by the tow operator after a vehicle has been held for seven days, the city shall make all necessary arrangements for the filing of said forms with the state and the holding of a public auction sale of the vehicle in accordance with law. Auctions will take place, if practical, every six months.
When a vehicle is sold, the minimum bid price shall be a total of towing and storage fees accumulated on the vehicle as of the date of the sale. Should there be no bid on the vehicle, the tow operator shall be assigned ownership of the vehicle by the City of Wildwood pursuant to the forms filed by the operator for a certificate of ownership as liquidated damages for the accumulated fees. If bids are received, the City of Wildwood shall receive the fee and will then pay the tow operator the total of the accumulated fees. No other payment shall be made by the City of Wildwood or an owner.
For the purpose of this chapter, all licensed operators shall charge the following fees:
Standard towing: $125.
Call out fee: $50.
Accident tows: $125.
Rollovers or vehicle crash into structure: $200.
Towing of city vehicle: $40.
Vehicles over 18,000 pounds: $150.
There shall be no surcharges or service charges applied to any vehicles for whatever reason.
All properties that meet the following definitions shall post towing signs as described herein.
PUBLIC PARKING LOTS — Lots for which a mercantile license is required to charge for the privilege of parking a vehicle.
SEMI-PUBLIC LOTS — Any vacant or otherwise unused lot for which parking is prohibited to the general public and only to those receiving permission of the owner or agent that holds more than four vehicles.
PATRON/EMPLOYEE PARKING LOTS — Lots reserved for the use of the patrons or employees of a business establishment.
No tow operator may remove any vehicle from private property unless he insures that the property from which he tows has the proper signs posted in accordance with city regulations authorizing towing from that property.
General Requirements. Each lot must be posted with signs at the entrance and about the location where visible to entering or parking of vehicles from any location on the facility, with the following specifications:
Location of Signs. Each shall be posted at entrance to facility. If posting at the entrance is not sufficient to provide adequate notice due to the largeness of lot then posting about the location where visible to entering or parking of vehicle from any location on the facility.
Maximum Height of Signs. Towing signs no higher than eight feet.
Classification of Signs; Information Required.
Primary Sign — "UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES WILL BE TOWED"; the name of towing company, the address and phone number of the towing company and the fee for towing individual boxed underneath the prohibitory reading.
Secondary Sign — "NO PARKING, TOW AWAY ZONE," with name of towing company and phone number, or "UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES TOWED," with name of towing company and phone number.
Professional painted letters in warning phrases three inches in visible contrasting colors. The director of public safety or his designee shall determine the appropriateness of the specific color combinations on a case by case basis.
Company name boxed seven inches by 12 inches lined area, logo coloring.
Address and telephone number boxed seven inches by 12 inches lined area, logo coloring.
Fee in a four inch by four inch boxed lined area in red. The letters shall be at least three inches tall "Minimum Charge ___________."
The director of public safety is hereby empowered to promulgate and adopt rules and regulations to implement the intent of this chapter.
Any person who violates any section of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days and/or a fine of not less than one hundred ($100.00) dollars. Each day that any violation of any section of this chapter shall exist shall constitute a separate offense and shall be charged as a separate offense by the issuance of additional process.