[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006:01. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Parking — See Ch. 285.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 401.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 405.
Impounded vehicles — See Ch. 409.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 385, Towing, adopted by Ord. No. 2000:24, as amended.
[Amended 4-28-2009 by Ord. No. 2009:14; 12-17-2019 by Ord. No. 2019:71]
The purpose and intent of this chapter is to provide criteria and standard operating procedures that are reasonable, nonexclusionary and nondiscriminatory in the selection and use of towing operators for nonconsensual towing, as defined in the Predatory Towing Prevention Act, N.J.S.A. 56:13-7 et seq. Towing operators will, on a rotational basis, provide towing, repair and storage services for vehicles that are abandoned, disabled, illegally parked or stolen, involved in accidents and/or suspected or identified by the Township as being involved in criminal activities or motor vehicle offenses.
The terms listed below shall be defined as follows for the purposes of this chapter:
- ABANDONED VEHICLE
- A vehicle that the owner or operator leaves on a public roadway, and the owner or operator fails to notify the police and does not attempt to repair and remove the same within a reasonable amount of time.
- ADMINISTRATIVE FEE
- A one-time fee per vehicle for the purpose of compensating the licensee for inspecting the vehicle, allowing owners to retrieve personal property from the vehicle, and for the preparation of additional paperwork beyond the initial towing bill.
- BASIC TOWING SERVICE
- The removal and transportation of a vehicle from a highway, street or other public or private road, parking area or from a storage facility, but does not include recovery of a vehicle from a position beyond the right-of-way or berm or recovery of a vehicle that is impaled upon any other object within the right-of-way or berm.
- DISABLED VEHICLE
- A vehicle which has been abandoned, disabled, impounded or otherwise rendered inoperable as a result of a mechanical failure, involvement in an accident or which is required to be removed by the police for any other reason. A vehicle, the location of which constitutes a hazard to the motoring public, shall be deemed disabled for the purposes of this chapter.
- HEAVY-DUTY OUTSIDE SECURED STORAGE FACILITY
- A storage facility that is not completely indoors and that is secured by a fence, wall or other man-made barrier that is at least six feet in height and is protected with on-site security. The facility is to be lighted at night with continual or motion-detection-actuated lighting. The facility must be capable of storing a minimum two complete tractor-and-trailers.
- HEAVY-DUTY ROAD SERVICE
- Minor maintenance, such as changing a tire, supplying fuel or water or jump starting of a vehicle with a registered gross weight of 15,001 pounds or more.
- A. A tow truck with dual wheels, capable of towing large trucks and which shall meet the following minimum requirements as set forth in the New Jersey State Police Application and Minimal Requirements for Vehicular Towing:
- (1) Commercially manufactured wrecker and chassis: 26,001 pounds minimum gross vehicle weight (GVW).
- (2) Meeting state and federal DOT requirements governing commercial motor vehicles.
- (3) Air brakes.
- (4) Air transfer system — means of controlling the brakes of the towed vehicle.
- (5) Axle lift with minimal lift capacity of 25,000 pounds and tow capacity of 80,000 pounds.
- (6) Two safety chains, one-half-inch-by-ten-foot alloy.
- (7) Two tow chains, five-eighths-inch-by-ten-foot alloy.
- (8) Axle lift safety straps or equivalent retention device.
- (9) Amber emergency lights with proper amber light permit.
- (10) Two flood lights or work lights to the rear of the wrecker.
- (11) Tow light bar or magnetic tow lights.
- (12) Two-way radio or cellular phone.
- (13) Assortment of wood blocks and boards.
- (14) Assortment of tools.
- (15) Flashlight.
- (16) T-Bolts/maxi release pins.
- (17) Angle iron.
- (18) First aid kit.
- (19) Fire extinguisher.
- (20) Broom and shovel.
- (21) Road flares, triangles or road cones.
- HEAVY-DUTY WRECKER SERVICE
- The towing and/or removal of a vehicle with a registered gross weight of 15,001 pounds or more.
- The act of storing and confining a vehicle upon an order of the Police Department at either the towing operator's storage facility or at the Police Department impound location as a result of abandonment, involvement in an accident or suspected criminal activity.
- INSIDE BUILDING VEHICLE STORAGE FACILITY
- A storage facility that is completely indoors, having one or more openings or storage bins for the storage of vehicles and that is secured by a locking device on each bin or opening.
- The additional work done at the scene by the tow truck operator that is beyond that which is required to perform a basic tow or any additional manpower needed to complete a recovery, winching or towing of a vehicle. Labor charges for additional manpower shall be based on a per-man, per-hour basis.
- LEASED VEHICLE
- A vehicle leased by the towing operator, through a leasing company, and showing the licensee on the registration as the owner or lessee. If the registration is such that the lessee is not listed, the towing operator will be required to show lease agreement.
- A. A car carrier of the roll back or tilt type, with dual wheels, capable of removing and transporting passenger cars damage free and shall meet the following minimum requirements as set forth in the New Jersey State Police Application and Minimal Requirements for Vehicular Towing:
- B. Light-duty flatbed shall meet the same requirement as a light-duty wrecker plus the following requirements:
- (1) Commercially manufactured flatbed and chassis of 14,500 pounds GVWR minimum.
- (2) Seventeen feet or longer hydraulically operated slide back or tilt bed.
- (3) Three-eighths-inch-by-fifty-foot cable or OEM specifications.
- (4) Four safety chains, three-eighths-inch-by-ten-foot high test minimum.
- (5) One bridle chain high test with "J" and "T" hooks and grab hooks.
- (6) One four-ton snatch block.
- (7) Assortment of wood blocks and boards.
- C. Light-duty flatbeds shall have the following equipment as specified by the Township:
- (1) Environmentally safe drying compound, minimum of 50 pounds.
- LIGHT-DUTY ROAD SERVICE
- Minor maintenance, such as changing a tire, supplying fuel or water or jump starting of a vehicle with a registered gross weight of 15,000 pounds or less.
- A. A tow truck with dual rear wheels, capable of removing and transporting passenger cars damage-free and shall meet the following minimum requirements as set forth in the New Jersey State Police Application and Minimal Requirements for Vehicular Towing:
- (1) Minimum gross vehicle weight (GVW) commercially manufactured wrecker and chassis of 10,000 pounds.
- (2) Dual rear wheels.
- (3) Minimum chassis lift/under-reach of 3,000 pounds.
- (4) Minimum winch capacity of 8,000 pounds.
- (5) Hydraulic-operated boom of 8,000 pounds minimum.
- (6) Cable size and length, 3/8 inch and 100 feet or OEM specifications minimum.
- (7) Two safety chains, three-eighths-inch-by-ten-foot high test.
- (8) Two tow chains, three-eighths-inch-by-ten-foot high test with "J" and "T" hooks and grab hooks.
- (9) Wheel lift safety straps or equivalent retention device.
- (10) One three-ton snatch block.
- (11) Trailer ball hitch attachment.
- (12) Motorcycle towing equipment.
- (13) Amber emergency lights with proper permit.
- (14) Two flood lights or work lights to the rear of the wrecker.
- (15) Assortment of tools.
- (16) Jumper cables.
- (17) Flashlight, first aid kit, fire extinguisher.
- (18) Gas can.
- (19) Lug wrench and jack.
- (20) Broom and shovel.
- (21) Road flares, triangles or road cones.
- B. Light-duty wreckers shall also have the following equipment as specified by the Township:
- (1) Environmentally safe drying compound, minimum of 50 pounds.
- LIGHT-DUTY WRECKER SERVICE
- The towing and/or removal of a vehicle with a registered gross weight of 15,000 pounds or less.
- OUTSIDE SECURED STORAGE FACILITY
- A storage facility that is not completely indoors and that is secured by a permanent fence, wall or other man-made barrier that is at least six feet in height and is protected with on-site security. The facility is to be lighted at night with continual or motion-detection-actuated lighting. The facility must be capable of storing a minimum of four passenger-sized vehicles.
- A person, firm, corporation, company, or partnership that owns and/or operates a vehicle on the roads and highways within the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, which vehicle, by reason of being abandoned, disabled or unlawfully on said roads, requires towing services.
- PERSONAL PROPERTY
- As used in § 385-8 of this chapter shall mean personal property of the vehicle owner or operator that, if removed from the vehicle, does not detract from the salvageable value of the vehicle.
- RECOVERY DUTY
- Service for all accidents, recovery, and winching incidents for any vehicle weighing over 15,000 pounds GVW; removal of vehicle from an off-road location to a towable position while preserving the condition of the vehicle.
- RECOVERY UNIT
- A tow truck with dual wheels, capable of recovering large trucks and shall meet the following minimum requirements:
- A. Commercially manufactured wrecker and chassis 26,001 pounds minimum gross vehicle weight (GVW).
- B. Meeting state and federal DOT requirements governing commercial motor vehicles.
- C. Minimum gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 80,000 pounds.
- D. Hydraulic-operated boom of 50,000 pounds minimum or equivalent of a Holmes 750 Mechanical.
- E. Minimum winch capacity of 50,000 pounds.
- F. Minimum chassis lift/under-reach rated of 35,000 pounds.
- G. Cable size and length: 5/8 inch and 200 feet or OEM specifications minimum.
- H. Air brakes.
- I. Air transfer system.
- J. Two safety chains, one-half-inch-by-ten-foot Grade 10 alloy.
- K. Two tow chains, one-half-inch-by-ten-foot Grade 10 alloy and four chain binders.
- L. Four winching chains, one-half-inch-by-eight-foot Grade 10 alloy.
- M. Four tie-down chains, 5/16 inch by 10 feet and four chain binders.
- N. Two recovery straps, minimum of six inches by 20 feet.
- O. Axle lift safety straps or equivalent retention device.
- P. Two scotch blocks or recovery stiff legs mounted into body of the truck.
- Q. Two twelve-ton snatch blocks.
- R. Amber lights with proper permit.
- S. Two flood lights or work lights to the rear of the wrecker.
- T. Tow light bar or magnetic tow lights.
- U. Assortment of wood blocks and boards.
- V. Assortment of tools.
- W. Flashlight.
- X. T-Bolts/maxi release pins.
- Y. Hydraulic bottle jack.
- Z. Angle iron.
- AA. First aid kit.
- BB. Fire extinguisher.
- CC. Broom and shovel.
- DD. Road flares, triangles or road cones.
- EE. Environmentally safe drying compound, minimum of 50 pounds.
- FF. Additional equipment, either owned or subcontracted:
- (1) Air cushion recovery system, including starter cushions, with motor-driven air pump, with a lifting capacity of 100,000 pounds.
- (2) Semi-tractor with fifth wheel.
- (3) Lowboy or Landoll-type trailer with minimum hauling capacity of 40,000 pounds.
- (4) Relief trailer or truck capable of transferring loads off damaged trucks.
- An approved Township wrecker service used to supplement the needs of a wrecker service under extraordinary circumstance.
- TOTAL TOW CHARGE
- As used in the Fee Schedule, shall mean the total of the basic towing service, excluding any mileage charge imposed by the towing operator, for towing within the Township borders. Mileage charges, if any, are only allowed for vehicles towed out of the Township at the request of the vehicle owner.
- TOWING OPERATOR
- A person, firm, corporation, company or partnership engaged in the business of providing towing, road and storage services for vehicles towed pursuant to this chapter.
- TOWING/WRECKER VEHICLE
- A vehicle driven by mechanical power and employed for the purpose of towing, transporting, conveying or removing any and all kinds of vehicles or parts of vehicles which, by reason of being disabled, abandoned or unlawfully on the roads, require towing and/or storage.
- A device in, upon or by which a person or property is or may be transported upon a highway, except devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks or motorized bicycles.
- WAIT TIME
- Additional time a tow operator spends at the scene other than the time required for the actual tow and/or recovery. Examples of wait time may include but are not limited to EMS services which must be performed and/or police investigations.
- The process of moving a vehicle by the use of the tow cable from a position that is not accessible for direct hook up by conventional means for loading onto a tow vehicle. Winching shall not mean pulling a vehicle onto a flatbed or carrier or lifting a vehicle with a conventional tow truck.
The Chief of Police or any member of the Police Department designated by him is authorized to administer and enforce all provisions of this chapter.
Application procedures for police-initiated towing.
No towing operator shall participate in the police towing rotational list within the Township without first submitting an application for inclusion on the rotational duty list and receiving written approval from the Chief of Police.
Application to participate in the rotational duty list shall be made on the official application form available from the Police Department and submitted, together with an application fee in the amount of $50 payable to the Police Department.
The applicant shall complete a request for criminal history form for each individual associated with the applicant who will provide services pursuant to this chapter and shall submit the form(s), along with a certified check or money order in the amount of the current state rate for each form, made payable to NJSBI. The request for criminal history forms shall be obtained from the Chief of Police.
Applicants are required to comply with the requirements of N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 17:27-1.1 et seq. with regard to affirmative action employment.
All rotational list approvals will be issued by the Chief of Police under this chapter and shall remain valid for the calendar year and shall expire on the 31st day of December next succeeding the date of issuance unless sooner suspended or revoked by the Chief as hereinafter provided. If, during the term of a towing operator’s approval, the towing operator relocates its business, the towing operator may request in writing to the Chief of Police that its rotational list approval be transferred to the new business location. The Chief of Police or his designee may approve such transfer if the new business location satisfies all of the criteria required under this chapter. The term of any such transfer approval shall expire on the date upon which the towing operator’s approval would have expired had no transfer occurred.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by Ord. No. 2007:17]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(6), regarding the maximum number of listed towing operators, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 4-28-2009 by Ord. No. 2009:14.
The Chief of Police, or his designee, shall be responsible for approving all applications by towing operators for inclusion on the rotational list when the Chief determines that the following requirements have been met by the applicant:
All applicants shall have a storage facility, the address of which shall be the same as the business address on the application, which shall be within the Township boundaries. The storage facility shall accommodate a minimum of four medium-sized vehicles. The facility shall be lighted, and have a fenced, secure area as defined in § 385-2 of this chapter.
All applicants doing heavy-duty towing and recovery shall have a storage facility, the address of which shall be the same as the business address on the application, which shall be within the Township boundaries. The storage facility shall accommodate a minimum of two complete tractor trailers. The facility shall be lighted, and have a fenced, secure area as defined in § 385-2 of this chapter.
All towing operators must own or lease and have available at least one conventional tow truck and one flatbed truck, as defined in § 385-2, in addition to other equipment which is necessary for the safe performance of towing, emergency road and storage services. Only one company can utilize the same tow vehicles. There can be no common ownership or sharing of towing vehicles.
Each light-duty driver must obtain a Level 1, National Driver Certification from a tow truck operator's course or equivalent. New hires must obtain a certificate within nine months from the start of employment. Certificates must be available for inspection.
The towing operator must provide a detailed listing of the equipment to be utilized. The listing shall include the following information:
All wreckers must be properly licensed and inspected by the State of New Jersey having the necessary stickers affixed.
All heavy-duty towing operators must own or lease and have available at least one conventional heavy-duty wrecker, as defined in § 385-2, in addition to other equipment which is necessary for the safe performance of towing, emergency road and storage services. Only one company can utilize the same tow vehicles. There can be no common ownership or sharing of towing vehicles.
Heavy-duty drivers must obtain a Level 2, National Driver Certification from a tow truck operator's course or equivalent. New hires must obtain a certificate within nine months from the start of employment. Certificates must be available for inspection.
Heavy-duty tow operators must have available one employee who has obtained a Level 3, National Driver Certification from a tow truck operator's course or equivalent and have training from an industry-recognized recovery course. Certificates must be available for inspection.
Heavy-duty drivers must have a CDL endorsement on their license. When applicable they shall also have the following endorsements for (H) hazardous material, (N) tanker vehicle and (T) double/triple trailers. They must have proof of medical clearance and medical card in possession.
The towing operator must provide a detailed listing of the equipment to be utilized. The listing shall include the following information:
All wreckers are to be properly licensed and inspected by the State of New Jersey having the necessary stickers affixed.
All towing operators' trucks must be equipped with either two-way radios and/or mobile telephone communications equipment with the ability to communicate with the towing operator's principal place of business, including their garages and/or facilities, to ensure the proper availability of services and equipment on behalf of the Township and motorists.
All towing operators' trucks shall be equipped with brooms, shovels and other street sweeping equipment for the purpose of clearing and removing debris off the roadways. Such trucks shall also be equipped with but not limited to large plastic bags and a minimum of 50 pounds of environmentally safe drying compound for the purpose of absorbing and removing fluids that have discharged from a damaged vehicle.
All towing operators' wreckers and all other vehicles shall be owned or leased, as defined in § 385-2, in the towing operator's name and shall be properly licensed and registered with the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles. All towing operator vehicles shall display commercial license plates.
The towing operator's company name, address and telephone number(s) shall be prominently displayed on both sides of all wreckers and other tow vehicles.
All drivers of towing/wrecker vehicles shall have the proper New Jersey driver's license or commercial driver's license as may be appropriate.
All drivers of towing/wrecker vehicles shall furnish their social security number and necessary information needed to conduct criminal background checks.
At the time of the application or at any time a new tow truck driver is added or assigned, the towing operator shall submit to the Police Department the name, driver's license number, social security number and date of birth of the tow truck driver prior to the driver's operation of any tow truck pursuant to a Township Police Department request. Fifty percent of all principals and employees of the towing operators will be subject to random drug testing by a controlled substance testing facility annually. The cost will be borne by the towing operators.
All drivers of towing/wrecker vehicles shall be required to wear clothing upon which shall be contained the name of the business and the name of the driver.
Certificate of insurance. All towing operators shall submit a certificate of insurance to the Chief of Police, quarterly, which certificate shall name the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department as additional insured. The certificate shall provide evidence that the towing operator carries the following insurance coverage:
Comprehensive general liability: a minimum amount of $1,000,000 combined single limits.
Automobile liability: coverage in a minimum amount of $50,000 combined single limits. Coverage shall include nonowned and hired automobiles.
Insurance must also include adequate coverage to protect the owners of private vehicles that are in the care, custody and control of the towing operator. Said coverages must provide at least $10,000 in minimum coverage per vehicle for damages or losses arising out of theft of the vehicle's contents, the vehicle itself or losses due to fire or explosion.
Workers' compensation: coverage in accordance with the statutory limits for each company, if more than one is owned.
Indemnification. The towing operator agrees that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, it shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Township from and against any and all:
Claims, suits, judgments and demands whatsoever, including, without limitation, costs, litigation expenses, counsel fees and liabilities with respect to injury to or death of any person or persons whatsoever; and
Damage to property of any kind arising out of or caused in whole or in part by the acts or omissions of the towing operator or any other person directly or indirectly employed by the towing operator while in the performance or rendering of any services pursuant to this chapter.
Information from the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs and similar sources can also be utilized for qualification purposes.
All towing/wrecker vehicles shall be equipped with flashing amber lights. The lights shall be utilized in accordance with the standards established in the amber light permit that is issued separately for each towing/wrecker vehicle that is listed on the application to participate in the rotational duty list as required in this section.
All towing operators on the rotational duty service list shall comply with all applicable zoning and land use ordinances and/or property maintenance codes in effect within the Township.
All vehicles towed under this chapter shall be taken immediately to either the tower's listed storage facility or location specified by the investigating officer at the scene or the vehicle's owner with police approval.
Towing operators shall have available enclosed areas with a telephone and rest room for the use of vehicle owners/operators to arrange for transportation when necessary.
Towing operators shall provide access to vehicle owners/operators for removal of a vehicle six days a week during normal business hours. Business hours are set at 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon Saturday. Storage fees shall not be charged on days when a stored vehicle is not accessible to the owner/operator.
All towing operators appointed to the rotational duty list shall:
Maintain a record showing all vehicles impounded at the request of the Police Department. Those vehicles may include abandoned vehicles, recovered stolen vehicles, or vehicles held for investigation by the Department. This record shall be made available to any police officer for inspection upon request and shall contain the following information:
The date, time, location and name of the wrecker driver who towed the vehicle at the Department's request;
The physical location of the vehicle after being towed;
Identification of the impounded vehicle after being towed;
All charges relating to the vehicle after being towed;
Identification of the police officer authorizing release of an impounded vehicle, the employee that released the vehicle, and the person to whom the vehicle is released.
All towing companies shall be responsible for ensuring the proper and safe storage of all motor vehicles pursuant to this chapter, and shall be liable for any damage incurred by such motor vehicles while in transit to or while stored in the storage facilities. All outside storage facilities shall be secured and lighted.
[Added 12-17-2019 by Ord. No. 2019:71]
At the time of removing any motor vehicle, the towing operator shall remove debris or material that is in the area surrounding the motor vehicle as a result of the incident that necessitated the removal of the vehicle. The removal of debris shall be performed by the towing operator without charge to the Township or the vehicle owner or operator. The towing operator may also clean up all fluids contained on a paved roadway that were discharged from the vehicle to be removed. A one-time fee of $20 may be charged, plus the cost of material used. If more than one bag of environmentally safe drying compound is used, the towing operator may charge at the rate of $18 per fifty-pound bag. A towing service shall not be required to remove any debris or material which may be hazardous, such as oil, gasoline, kerosene or other petroleum or chemical products, or debris or material which the service is not equipped to remove. If, at the time of vehicle removal, a police officer is not present and a hazardous material is involved, it shall be the tow operator's responsibility to notify the Police Department immediately of the condition and its location.
All towing operators serving on the rotational duty service list must guarantee the availability of all services to the Police Department seven days a week, 24 hours a day. A towing operator, in this respect, shall immediately respond to any type of towing, emergency road service or storage call with the appropriate vehicle and/or equipment and shall arrive at the scene as soon as possible. Failure to respond to the scene within 20 minutes after receipt of telephone notification by the Police Department dispatcher/desk officer shall be considered a breach of this chapter unless heavy or unusual traffic conditions prevent a towing operator from responding within this time frame. In the event that a towing operator fails to respond within 20 minutes from the time of the call, the Police Department reserves the right to contact the next available tow operator on the rotational list.
If the towing operator is wholly or partially unable to respond due to failure of any equipment or personnel insufficiencies, the towing operator will immediately notify the Police Department, which will contact the next towing company in the rotation to handle the request. If such an incident occurs, the towing operator will furnish, in writing, within five business days, the details of the circumstance which caused the failure to respond to the Township Police Department's Traffic Section, which will make a determination if a follow-up investigation and/or inspection of the tow operator's facility and/or equipment is required.
The Township reserves the right to contact other towing operators, who may not be on the rotational list, in times of emergencies and/or natural disasters.
The owner of a vehicle to be towed under this chapter shall have the right, if he/she so desires, and the investigating officer approves, to designate a towing operator of his/her choice, provided the response time of said towing operator is not greater than 20 minutes. If the towing operator is not on the Township rotational duty list, that operator is still responsible for clearing debris from the scene.
Employees of the towing operator, in responding to a call, shall request and be afforded police assistance during the course of providing towing, emergency road service or removal of abandoned or accident vehicles.
A towing operator shall not permit a vehicle to be removed from the site of an accident, the scene of a crime, or any other instance or situation without the prior approval of the investigating officer at the scene.
Any towing operator who tows an abandoned vehicle from private property must notify the Police Department of the vehicle information and where the vehicle was towed from. The Police Department will check the vehicle through N.C.I.C.
The fees set forth in the schedule below for towing and storage rates are the maximum permitted charges that shall apply to the towing and/or storage of all vehicles. Towing operators transporting multiple vehicles at one time shall receive the applicable fees for each vehicle transported.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by Ord. No. 2007:17; 8-18-2009 by Ord. No. 2009:30; 12-17-2019 by Ord. No. 2019:71]
The following towing and storage fees shall apply for passenger vehicles and other vehicles as indicated. Charges for all trucks and recovery equipment are inclusive of the driver, and there will be no separate charge for an operator that drives or operates the truck or recovery equipment. After the first hour, all hourly billable rates will be charged in half-hour increments. The above fees are set forth in the New Jersey State Police schedule approved by the Division of Law, State of New Jersey. These fees may be adjusted from time to time by resolution of the Council of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, in accordance with revisions of the New Jersey State Police fee schedule for these services:
In the event that the towing operator has been summoned by the Township for the purpose of towing an abandoned vehicle, and if the owner or the operator appears on the scene before the vehicle is hooked to a tow truck, then the towing operator will make no charge in that instance.
Vehicles that are towed under this chapter and that subsequently become the target of a police investigation (criminal, fatal accident, etc.) and become the responsibility of the Township to pay the tow charged, shall be charged at the current rate for towing of Township-owned vehicles.
Storage fees start after the first 12 hours of storage; that is, there shall be no charge for the first 12 hours of storage. Thereafter, storage shall be charge on the basis of twenty-four-hour periods. The fees set forth for storage are the maximum storage charges per twenty-four-hour period, and same shall apply to a vehicle that is stored as a result of accident, abandonment, repairs or suspected criminal activity.
Road repair services. It shall be the responsibility of the tow operator to first inform the owner/operator of the vehicle in need of road repair services of the hourly labor rates set forth herein and the estimated total cost for parts and/or materials, and receive written consent from the owner/operator, prior to the performance of such additional road repair service.
The tow operator shall be responsible to provide all motorists utilizing the tow operator's services with a written schedule of fees, issued by and printed on Police Department stationery, which lists in full the maximum fees to be charged for towing, road service, and storage within the Township when the towing, road service, or storage is initiated under this chapter. All towing vehicles must carry a copy of the rate schedule. Towing operators shall not exceed the maximum charges set forth on the fee schedule for towing and the storage of vehicles regulated under this chapter.
The towing operator shall be required to accept as payment currency, and any credit or charge card that the operator generally accepts during the normal course of business. Impounds must be paid in cash.
The towing operator shall, in no instance, request payment from the Township for any services rendered to the owners of private vehicles; except, however, in those cases where the Police Department authorizes the removal of a Township-owned vehicle or a vehicle that is related to criminal activity.
[Amended 4-28-2009 by Ord. No. 2009:14]
The Chief of Police, or his designee, shall be responsible to establish towing operators' rotational duty lists, which may include separate lists for light-duty and heavy-duty towing, following approval of applications. He shall also be responsible for establishing towing sections within the Township as necessary, the locations of which shall be determined to provide the most rapid response by tow operators.
The Police Department shall call the towers on each rotational duty list in sequential order, as set forth by the Chief, so that each towing operator will be given the opportunity to respond to individual calls as received by the Police Department.
The Police Department shall be authorized to call the next towing operator on the rotational duty list should a towing operator fail to respond to a call within 20 minutes.
The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to establish rules and regulations for the supervision, operation, inspection, safe operation of tow vehicles, retrieval of personal property by vehicle owners, and subsequent applications for title to vehicles that have been towed at the direction of the Police Department. The rules and regulations shall be incorporated within the Police Department policy titled "Wrecker Service Calls."
The Chief of Police, or his designee, shall have the right, at all times, to inspect all towing vehicles and related equipment used by tow operators performing services pursuant to this chapter.
At any time, should the Chief, or his designee, determine that the vehicles and/or equipment being used are unsafe, he shall have the power and authority to direct the immediate correction or repair of any automotive defect, malfunction or violation of motor vehicle regulations within a specified period of time to be determined by the Chief.
The Chief of Police is authorized and empowered to establish from time to time, and transmit to all towing operators on the rotational duty list, such additional rules and regulations not inconsistent herewith as may be reasonable and necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, including a procedure to receive complaints and resolve disputes arising from the towing and storage of motor vehicles required by the Township without the consent of the owner.
The Chief of Police shall have the power to suspend a towing operator from the rotational duty service list for a period up to 30 days for failure to comply with any section of this chapter or rule or regulation established under authority of the chapter. A subsequent violation may result in the removal of a towing operator from the rotational duty service list for up to 12 months, except that a violation that is more than three-years-old shall not serve as a basis for determining a subsequent offense.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by Ord. No. 2007:17]
Failure to comply with applicable zoning, land use, property maintenance codes, or any other local ordinances may subject any towing operator to suspension from the rotational duty service list upon request to the Chief of Police from the appropriate Construction Code Official, Zoning Officer, Property Maintenance Officer, or other Township official. Any towing operator suspended from the rotational duty service list for violation of applicable zoning, land use, property maintenance codes or any other local ordinances shall be indefinitely suspended until corrections are made and approved by the applicable Township official, and communicated to the Chief of Police in writing.
The Chief of Police shall have the power to suspend or remove a towing operator from the rotational duty service list if that operator or any employee thereof has been convicted of a crime of the fourth degree or higher in this or any other jurisdiction.
Any person, firm or corporation who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to the following:
For the first offense, a fine not to exceed $250 and suspension from the rotational duty list for one month.
For the second offense, a fine not to exceed $500 and suspension from the rotational duty list for six months.
For the third offense, a fine not to exceed $1,000 and suspension from the rotational duty list for one year.
For the fourth offense, permanent revocation from the rotational duty list.
Each and every violation of this chapter and each and every day that any violation shall continue shall be construed as a separate and distinct violation.
The Police Department is specifically designated as the enforcement agency, which shall serve and execute process for violations of this chapter in accordance with law.