[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the Town of Boonton by Ord. No. 5-92; amended in its entirety 9-17-2007 by Ord. No. 16-2007. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. Further, within these definitions are requirements that all towing operators shall comply with.
- ADMINISTRATIVE FEE
- A one-time-per-vehicle fee for the purpose of compensating the tow company for its personnel's inspection of the vehicle, allowing owners to retrieve personal property from the vehicle, and for preparation of additional paperwork beyond the initial towing bill.
- A private passenger automobile, station wagon or pickup truck, van, motorcycle, moped or any similar-sized vehicle which would not need a heavy-duty wrecker.
- AUTOMOBILE LIST
- At a minimum, each operator on the automobile list must have
one flatbed-style tow truck and one hoist-type tow truck available
to respond to calls from the Police Department.[Added 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
- CANCELED RESPONSE
- In the event a tow operator is called for the purpose of
towing a vehicle, if and when the owner or operator appears on the
scene before the vehicle is hooked up to a tow truck, then the towing
operator shall make no charge in that instance. The police will make
every effort to ensure a tow is necessary prior to requesting a tow.
They will make every effort to contact the tow operator to cancel
its response, prior to arriving on the scene. Once the tow company
is requested by the Police Department or en route to scene, the tow
company will receive payment in full for responding to the call by
the owner of the vehicle. (Canceled responses will be honored up until
one minute after receiving the call to cancel the driver and truck).[Amended 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
- DEBRIS CLEANUP
- Debris such as glass, plastic or rubber parts commonly on
the roadway or in areas as the result of a motor vehicle crash. Reasonable
amounts of debris shall be swept and picked up by the tow truck operator
who is utilized for the removal of the vehicles involved, at no additional
cost. Tow truck operators shall also have an absorbent available for
use on small quantities of fluids commonly found in motor vehicles.
Larger spills of such fluids shall require a response from the appropriate
emergency services such as Fire Department, Haz-Mat or Road Department
units. There shall be a reasonable labor rate for cleanup for glass,
plastic, rubber parts and small fluid spills, including the use of
absorbent material. All absorbent material and garbage bags are at
a cost to the towing company, plus disposal of garbage.[Amended 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
- EMERGENCY WARNING LIGHTS
- All towing vehicles must have amber emergency warning lights
to warn approaching traffic of their presence. The size and location
of these lights must conform to New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicle
standards.[Added 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
- All tow vehicles shall be equipped with and must carry the following: shovel, fire extinguisher, jumper cables, tire changing equipment and portable air tank, jack and hammer, pry bar or similar tool, push broom and two-way radio or cell phone
- HEAVY-DUTY BASIC TOWING SERVICE
- The removal and transportation of a vehicle, which is, by size and weight, not an automobile as described above, in need of removal from a highway, street or other public or private road, or a parking area, or from a storage facility and other services normally incident hereto, but does not include recovery of said vehicle from a position beyond the right-of-way or berm, or from being impaled upon any other object within the right-of-way or berm.
- HEAVY-DUTY WRECKER/TOW TRUCK
- At a minimum, contractors on the truck list shall meet the
following requirements:[Amended 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
- A. Vehicles must have a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 40,000 pounds.
- B. Heavy-duty hydraulic tow truck classification shall be 26,500 pounds up to 80,000 pounds.
- C. Each heavy-duty contractor must have available at least one flatbed truck, one landall or equivalent trailer, and one recovery trailer equipped with air cushion/air bag recovery, recovery straps, broom and shovel, regular saw, and K-12 saw/chain saw.
- D. All drivers involved in heavy-duty/rescue towing must have a New Jersey CDL Class "A" license with hazardous material, tank, and double and triple trailer endorsements. All drivers must also have TRAA Levels 1, 2 and 3 towing certificates.
- INSIDE BUILDING
- A vehicle storage facility that is completely indoors, having one or more openings in the walls for storage and removal of vehicles and that is secured by a locking device on each opening.
- LIGHT-DUTY BASIC TOWING SERVICE
- The removal and transportation of an automobile from a highway, street or other public or private road, or a parking area, or from a storage facility, and other services normally incident thereto, but does not include recovery of an automobile from a position beyond the right-of-way or berm, or from being impaled upon any other object within the right-of-way or berm.
- LIGHT-DUTY WRECKER AND FLATBED TOW TRUCK
- A vehicle driven by mechanical power which has a hydraulically operated boom and cable or flatbed with winching capability, employed for the purpose of towing, transporting, recovering or removing of automobiles as described above.
- MEDIUM-DUTY HYDRAULIC TOW TRUCK
- Being able to handle any vehicle 12,500 pounds to 26,500
pounds.[Added 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
- An automobile storage facility that is not indoors and is not secured by a fence, wall or other man-made barrier, and all other storage facilities not defined above as "inside building" or "outside secured."
- SNOW REMOVAL
- Tow operators shall be responsible to remove snow by means
of shoveling, when necessary, from around a vehicle to be towed which
has been plowed in by road plowing crews. Tow operators may charge
an additional $50 per vehicle that is snowplowed in and must be shoveled
out in order to hook up equipment to remove. If the vehicle must be
winched away from the curb and vehicles that are parked in front and
back of the impounded vehicle, there will be an additional winch fee
charge added, as authorized by Town Ordinance 201.[Amended 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
- TOW VEHICLE
- A vehicle equipped with a boom or booms, winches, slings, tilt beds, wheel lifts or under-reach equipment specifically designed by its manufacturer for the removal and transport of private passenger automobiles.
- Any motor vehicle other than an automobile as defined above and which requires heavy-duty towing.
- WAITING TIME
- Additional time the tow operator spends at the scene beyond
the first 10 minutes after arriving on the scene due to circumstances
which do not allow access to the vehicle to be towed, such as police
investigation, extrication and/or medical treatment of involved persons,
etc.[Amended 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
- Moving a vehicle by use of the cable or winch from a position that is not accessible for direct hookup by conventional means of loading onto a tow vehicle. It shall not include pulling a vehicle onto a tilt bed or car carrier or lifting a vehicle with a conventional tow sling or wheel lift.
Whenever a police officer orders the removal of automobiles from private or public property, he shall utilize the rotation lists established in subsection § 276-3 of this chapter.
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen shall establish annually, by resolution, a list of automobile towing contractors and a list of heavy-duty towing and recovery (truck) contractors to be utilized by the Police Department on a rotating basis. They shall also determine the amount of contractors on the automobile list. There shall be one contractor on the truck list. The truck contractor shall have the right to provide a backup of his choosing who meets all the criteria listed below. An operator who is qualified may be on both lists. Such lists shall be utilized by members of the Police Department on a nonexclusionary and nondiscriminatory basis. Only those towing contractors who meet the following minimum standards of operator performance shall be included on such lists:
Automobile list. At a minimum each operator on the automobile list must have one flatbed-style tow truck and one hoist-type tow truck available to respond to calls from the Police Department.
Heavy-duty towing and recovery (truck) list. At a minimum, contractors on the truck list shall meet the following requirements:
Vehicles must have a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 40,000 pounds.
Each heavy-duty contractor must also have available at least one flatbed truck, one landall or equivalent trailer, and one recovery trailer equipped with air cushion/air bag recovery, recovery straps, broom and shovel, regular saw, and K-12 saw/chain saw.
All drivers involved in heavy-duty/rescue towing must have a New Jersey CDL Class "A" license with hazardous material, tank, and double and triple trailer endorsements. All drivers must also have TRAA Levels 1, 2 and 3 towing certificates.
All towing vehicles must have amber emergency warning lights to warn approaching traffic of their presence. The size and location of these lights must conform to New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicle standards.
A maximum of three light-duty towing companies in which one of them is a heavy-duty towing and recovery company with the heavy-duty contractor having the right to provide a backup of his choosing who meets the criteria. Tow companies and impound yards must be located within one mile of the Town of Boonton's corporate limits. All companies that have been on the Town of Boonton Towing List for more than 15 years are to be grandfathered in if the Town facility moves within three miles of Boonton Town limits.
[Added 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
Facilities. Each operator must have an impound lot within one mile of the Town of Boonton's corporate limits. The towing business and impound lot must comply with all zoning ordinances and regulations in the municipality in which they are located.
Availability and response time. Each operator must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and must respond within 30 minutes of receipt of the original telephone call request by the Police Department.
[Amended 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
[Amended 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
[Amended 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
No impounded vehicle is to be released without proper authorization from the Police Department. Vehicle release must be available from the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. An after-hours release is available at the fee of $35 if the tow company is available to release it. The operator may dispose of abandoned vehicles in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:10A-8 et seq.
Each operator on the approved lists shall furnish the Town Clerk with a certificate of insurance from an insurance company satisfactory to the Town. Each certificate of insurance shall identify the coverages provided and shall provide that such insurance shall not be changed or canceled without giving 10 days' prior written notice to the Town by certified mail, return receipt requested. Specific reference to the rotating lists of towing operators shall be made on all policies of insurance.
Each operator must have bodily injury liability, property damage liability, employers' liability and motor vehicle liability coverages with combined policy limits of $1,000,000. Each approved operator must also have statutorily required workers' compensation coverage.
Each operator shall indemnify and save the Town harmless from all damages and claims for damages which may be made by any person for bodily injury or property damages as a result of the operator's performing pursuant to this chapter.
The Police Department is designated to enforce the provisions of this chapter in accordance with due process of law. In carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the Police Chief is hereby authorized to adopt additional reasonable regulations which are not inconsistent with this chapter.
This chapter, all regulations adopted by the Police Chief and the fee schedules of individual towers shall be available to the public during normal business hours.
A towing operator may be removed from the annual list by resolution of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen if its performance is determined to be unreliable or inadequate. If there is a breach of any of the provisions of this chapter or applicable regulations, an operator may be removed from the list by the Chief of Police pending action by the Board of Aldermen.
[Amended 6-16-2014 by Ord. No. 10-14]
The owner of any vehicle towed shall have the right to remove property belonging to him or her from the stored vehicle unless a police hold is ordered. However, if the vehicle has no collision insurance or was impounded, the owner must pay the bill in full first. The only exception to this is for the owner to retrieve eyeglasses or medication.
The operator shall always act in a professional manner and at all times be courteous and respectful toward members of the public, as well as representatives of the Town. If members of the public, especially those whose cars may have been towed or impounded, resort to strong language, threats and unbecoming behavior toward the operator, the operator is expected to exercise restraint and not to respond in kind and thereby reflect unfavorably on the Town and/or the Police Department.
Repeated reports of discourteous behavior by the operator which can be substantiated and documented may be considered by the Town as sufficient cause for removal of the operator from the rotational list of automobile towing operators and truck towing operators as established.
Any operator who violates any section of this chapter, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, shall be subject to suspension of towing privileges for one month for a first offense, three months for a second offense, and six months for a third offense. If the operator commits a fourth offense, its right to provide towing services to the Town shall be permanently revoked, and the towing operator shall be removed from the list of approved operators.
Any operator who violates the operator rate schedule shall receive a fine of $250 and suspension of towing privileges for one month. A second violation will result in a fine of $500 and suspension of towing privileges for six months. A third violation will result in a fine of $500 and permanent revocation of towing privileges.
In all cases, if an operator overcharges a vehicle owner, the excess moneys paid shall be returned by the operator to the owner within 10 business days.