[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Borough of Avon-by-the-Sea 11-13-95 by Ord. No 25-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this section:
- AUTHORIZED STORAGE FACILITY
- Any auto body repair shop or service station which has a temporary storage facility for disabled or abandoned vehicles in accordance with the Borough of Avon-by-the-Sea or other municipalities Land Use Ordinance.
- The person, firm or corporation which owns or leases and operates or causes to be operated a tow truck and includes the word "owner" and "permittee."
- POLICE OFFICER
- Any regular police officer, Class One or Class Two special police officer, any state police officer, and/or the Code Enforcement Officer, Zoning Officer or their designee.
- STORAGE RATE CHARGES
- Begin at 12:01 a.m. of the next day and each day shall end at 11:59 p.m.
- TOW TRUCK
- A motor vehicle employed for the purpose of towing, transporting or otherwise carrying other motor vehicles. Referred to in this chapter as "tow truck/wrecker."
This chapter shall apply to any operators seeking to be enrolled on the rotating call list described herein.
No operator shall be eligible for inclusion on the rotating call list described in this chapter unless such operator shall obtain a permit from the Chief of Police of the Borough of Avon-by-the-Sea for each tow truck/wrecker which will respond to towing calls.
Applications for permits under this chapter shall be made on forms secured from Avon Police Department. The application shall include the following information:
The full name and address of the operator, and if a corporation, names and addresses of all officers and shareholders.
The description by make, model, license number, year, gross vehicle weight, vehicle identification number and color of each tow truck/wrecker for which a permit is required.
The address at which each such tow truck/wrecker will be principally kept.
The address and tax map lot and block number of the authorized storage facility to which towed vehicles will be taken and at which they will be stored. In the event that the application does not own or control such an authorized storage facility, the applicant shall present an agreement (lease) by a person who does own or control such an authorized storage facility that the applicant has permission to store towed vehicles at that facility; the agreement (lease) shall be for a term of not less than the period of validity of the permit or permits sought. No towed or impounded vehicles are to be stored at any time on any streets, lanes, or roadways whatsoever.
The names, addresses, and driver's license numbers of all drivers of the tow trucks/wreckers.
The telephone numbers at which the Police Department may summon a tow truck/wrecker at anytime of the day or night.
Copies of required insurance policies or certificates of insurance.
Applications for permits under this chapter shall be made to the Chief of Police. All permits shall be effective for a period of one (1) year commencing January 1 annually. Applications for permits shall be filed not later than December 1 of the year preceding the year for which a permit is sought.
The Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made of each applicant, his business location, authorized storage facility and the vehicles for which permits are sought. A permit shall not be issued for any tow truck/wrecker owned, leased, managed, or operated by a person convicted of a crime of moral turpitude. Upon completion of the local investigations and inspections called for in this section, the Chief of Police shall either issue the permits applied for or, if any such permit is refused, the Chief of Police shall inform the applicant of the denial and the specific reason therefor. The permit shall be issued by the Chief of Police when he/she finds that the applicant has complied with the following requirements:
All requirements of this chapter and other ordinances of the Borough and other municipalities and the laws of the State of New Jersey.
The tow trucks/wreckers have been properly licensed and conform to the laws of the State of New Jersey.
The tow trucks/wreckers to be approved meet the required minimum standards set forth herein.
The following are the minimum standards for tow trucks/wreckers for which permits are sought under this section:
A regular duty tow truck/wrecker shall be able to tow or carry all makes of passenger cars and small trucks, including pickup and small panel trucks and must have or be equipped with the following:
All tow trucks/wrecker shall be a minimum of one (1) ton registered gross weight according to the manufacturer's specifications and shall have dual rear wheels or the equivalent.
A power take-off controlled winch with a mini-mum cable thickness of three-eighths (3/8) inch or the equivalent.
Registered gross weight equal to the vehicles to be towed, with a minimum of ten thousand (10,000) pounds registered gross vehicle weight.
A three-eighths (3/8) inch safety chain. The life chain and the safety chain are not to be attached in any form or manner to the same part of the tow truck/wrecker.
Front and rear flashing hazard lights.
A three hundred sixty (360) degree rotating amber beacon light mounted over the cab or an approved light bar.
All lights shall be of such candlepower and intensity as to be visible one-fourth (1/4) of a mile away.
The company name, address, and telephone number permanently affixed on both sides of the tow truck/wrecker. The letters and numbers shall be a minimum of three (3) inches in height.
A portable car dolly.
Approved towing slings.
Broom and shovel and sufficient equipment to clean up any debris on the roadway. The operator must clean away the debris at the scene.
Commercial motor vehicle plates.
Heavy duty tow trucks/wreckers shall be used for the hauling of trucks, buses or vehicles over ten (10) tons: heavy duty tow trucks/wreckers shall comply with subsections 156-7A(7), (8), (10), (11), and (12) of this section pertaining to requirements for regular duty tow trucks/wreckers and shall also have or be equipped with the following:
Dual rear wheels.
Power take-off controlled winch with a minimum cable thickness of five-eighths (5/8) inches.
Four (4) doubled-faced rear flashing amber lights mounted high enough to be seen over the vehicle.
One-half (1/2) inch safety chain. The lift chain and safety chain are not to be attached in any form or manner to the same part of the tow truck/wrecker.
Connecting air lines for connection with the air compressor and air brake lines of the towed vehicle.
Detachable amber flashing bar lights to be attached to the rear of the towed vehicle.
Two (2) speed rear axle and differential or dual transmission of five (5) speed transmission.
The operator must clean away debris at the scene.
Each permittee shall execute an indemnification agreement indemnifying the Borough and holding it harmless from any and all claims arising directly or indirectly from the actions of the permittee. Each permittee shall obtain and keep in effect the following policies of insurance naming the Borough as an additional insured. The agreement must be accepted by the Borough's insurance company as to form and content:
Garage keeper's policy. A garage keeper's liability policy covering vehicles while stored against loss by fire or other casualty in the minimum amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
Liability policy for vehicles while being towed. A policy covering the operation of the applicant's equipment, vehicles and wreckers for any bodily injury or property damages in the minimum amount of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) per person, five hundred thousand dollars ($500,00) per incident and one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) property damage. Each policy described herein shall contain an endorsement providing for ten (10) days' notice to the Borough in the event of cancellation thereof. If an operator to whom a permit has been issued fails to keep the required insurance in effect, the Chief of Police shall immediately suspend the permit and any device identifying the permit.
The Chief of Police shall issue for each approved tow truck/wrecker a permit in such form as may be determined by him or her, which shall at all times be displayed on the driver's side door of each vehicle. The permit shall bear the name of the operator of the tow truck/wrecker, the license number of the tow truck/wrecker, the expiration date of the permit and the signature of the Chief of Police.
The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to establish reasonable rules and regulations consistent with this chapter for the inspection of tow trucks/wreckers and facilities required under this section. The Chief of Police shall also have the right to inspect approved tow trucks/wreckers facilities from time to time to determine that there is ongoing compliance with the requirements of this chapter. If the Chief of Police determines that the terms of this chapter are being violated by a permittee or if he or she receives notice from the Land Use officer that a permittee is storing towed vehicles at an unauthorized location, he or she may order immediate correction of any noncompliance, specifying a reasonable period within which such corrections are to be made, failing which he or she may revoke or suspend permits. Notice of such suspension or revocation shall be given to the permittee and, if requested, a hearing shall be conducted by the Chief of Police or his or her designee, at which the permittee shall be entitled to produce arguments and evidence as to why any suspension or revocation should not be effective against such permittee.
An appeal of the ruling by the Chief of Police concerning the suspension or revocation of a permit shall be filed with the Borough Commissioners within fourteen (14) days of the date of service of a copy of the Chief's decision upon permittee. The Borough Commissioners shall conduct a hearing within thirty (30) days of filing or modify a revocation or suspension imposed by the Chief of Police.
The Chief of Police shall keep a record of the names and addresses of all persons owning or operating tow trucks/wreckers and the date and complete record of inspection made of each vehicle.
The vehicle owner shall pay charges for transportation, hauling or service of disabled vehicles. Any unoccupied vehicle parked or standing in violation of any provisions of this Code shall be deemed a nuisance and a menace to the safe and proper regulation of traffic, and any police officer may provide for the removal of such vehicle by an approved tow truck/wrecker or operator of any approved tow truck/wrecker. The owner of the vehicle shall pay the costs of the removal and storage before regaining possession of the vehicle according to the following rates:
For towing any passenger automobiles, a maximum fee of fifty dollars ($50) may be charged. A maximum fee of seventy dollars ($70) may be charged for this paragraph (1) between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Motorcycles, station wagons, pickup trucks and panel trucks shall be considered the same as passenger automobiles for the purpose of determining rates.
[Amended 2-12-07 by Ord. No. 1-2007]
For every day of dead outdoor storage, twenty dollars ($20) per day may be charged for passenger automobiles, trucks and omnibuses and thirty dollars ($30) per day may be charged for tractor trailers.
[Amended 2-12-07 by Ord. No. 1-2007]
If a flat bed truck must be used for towing, the maximum fee of sixty-five dollars ($65) may be charged for the tow during daytime and eighty-five dollars ($85) from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
[Amended 2-12-07 by Ord. No. 1-2007]
Waiting time and/or winching time for wreckers may be charged at a flat rate fee of twenty dollars ($20) per one-half (1/2) hour. Waiting time charges shall not begin until at least one-half (1/2) hour after the time of arrival of the tow truck/wrecker at the scene.
If a heavy-duty wrecker is required for towing, the charge shall be one hundred dollars ($100) per vehicle plus two dollars ($2) per mile for towing to the authorized storage facility. If a heavy-duty wrecker must be used for removal of vehicles from accidents, the minimum charge shall be one hundred fifty dollars ($150).
Every operator of a tow truck/wrecker shall give the owner of the vehicle a written, itemized receipt for the fee paid. Copies of receipts shall be maintained by the operator for two (2) years and shall be available for inspection by authorized Borough officials. Each receipt shall have imprinted on the reverse side, a Schedule of Fees and Charges. The Schedule of Fees and Charges shall be posted in the area where these transactions normally take place.
Rates specified herein will be reviewed by the Finance Committee of the Borough Commissioners on a yearly basis. Operators are permitted to petition the Borough Commissioners, in writing, as to prevailing rates.
The above rates shall comply with any promulgation of the Commissioner of Insurance as per N.J.S.A. 17:33B-47 regarding towing and storage fee schedule for the reimbursement of towing charges and storage charges for private passenger automobiles that are damaged in accidents or are recovered after being stolen.
Vehicles impounded by the Police Department. All permittees on the towing list shall maintain a record regarding vehicles notified by a police officer of the Borough to have been impounded. This record shall be made available to the Chief of Police or his/her designee for inspection upon request and shall contain the following information:
The date, time, location, and name of the tow truck/wrecker who towed the vehicle at the department's request.
The location of the vehicle after being towed.
Identification of the impounded vehicle; to include make, year, model, color, license number and vehicle identification number, and name of registered owner if known.
After towing of an impounded vehicle to an authorized storage facility, the permittee, upon request, shall make the vehicle available to any authorized police officer of the Borough for a search and inventory of any and all property. A copy of that inventory will be provided to the permittee as well as to the Chief of Police.
Any vehicle impounded by the police shall not be released without a written order from the Police Department.
A written record shall be kept or maintained by the permittee indicating the name of the person receiving the vehicle, the type of proof of ownership presented, and the name of the person releasing the vehicle.
It shall be the responsibility of the permittee to obtain proper proof of ownership and identification prior to the release of any vehicle. Release of any vehicle to an unauthorized person by the permittee may result in suspension or revocation of permits.
No towed or impounded vehicle shall be stored on any street, lane, or roadway at any time whatsoever.
The Chief of Police is hereby directed to establish a system of rotation in the assignment of a tow truck/wrecker called the rotating call list. The system shall be designed to provide a fair opportunity for all permittees to participate in the towing and storage of vehicles as authorized by this chapter. Where a permittee owns or is otherwise interested in separate motor vehicle businesses which employ tow truck/wreckers, the Chief may include each separate business on the towing list notwithstanding common ownership or interest, provided that each separate business is conducted on a separate lot as shown on the tax map, each such business has its own tow truck and is otherwise capable of providing the towing and storage services described in this chapter, and provided further the intent of this section to provide a fair opportunity for all permittees to participate in the program as described herein. The maximum number of businesses eligible for inclusion on the list where permittee has common ownership or interest shall be two (2). Tow truck/wreckers shall be called to provide services by the Avon Police Department from the rotating call list only. No operator shall respond to the scene until requested by the Avon Police Department.
The owner of the disabled vehicle must be informed, if possible, of the tow truck/wrecker service to be summoned prior to the call. Should the owner decline the service of the tow truck/wrecker service given from the rotation call list, the owner may request an alternate service of his/her own choosing which will be permitted if that service can respond within a reasonable time.
Each application for a permit shall be accompanied by a fee of one hundred dollars ($100) per business and a registration fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) per vehicle for the year 1996. For all applications for a permit to be effective for the 1997 and all other years, the fee shall be one hundred fifty dollars ($150) per business with a registration fee of twenty-five ($25) per vehicle. If the application is rejected, one-half (1/2) of the application fee and all of the vehicle registration fees shall be refunded by submitting a properly executed voucher.
If, at the end of thirty (30) days the registered owner of the motor vehicle has not claimed his/her vehicle, then the operator shall be permitted to request that the Chief of Police submit the appropriate application for a salvage permit for the vehicle. This provision applies only to motor vehicles directed to be towed by the Police Department.