Township of Galloway, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
No towing contractor shall operate within the Township of Galloway for towing and/or storage services unless the towing operator has obtained a license issued by the Township.
A. 
Exemptions.
(1) 
No license shall be required for owner-requested service.
(2) 
No license shall be required to remove a vehicle without the consent of the vehicle owner, from private property, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.6.
(3) 
No license shall be required for the towing of vehicles from private property and common interest property by private towing contractors.
[Added 6-25-2013 by Ord. No. 1866]
A. 
No towing service, whether licensed or unlicensed, shall respond to the scene of an accident or emergency for the purpose of towing a vehicle unless specifically notified by the Police Department or at the request of a vehicle owner. All persons, wreckers and tow vehicle operators are prohibited from soliciting business at the scenes of accidents and emergencies with the Township.
B. 
Unless another penalty is expressly provided for by New Jersey statute, any violation of this section shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days.
[Amended 12-27-2016 by Ord. No. 1955-2016]
A. 
License application. The license application shall include:
(1) 
The complete legal business name, business address and principal location address.
(2) 
The complete home address, home telephone number, date of birth and social security number of the applicant, if a sole proprietorship, or the complete home addresses, home telephone numbers, dates of birth and social security numbers of principal officers and partners if the applicant is a corporation or partnership.
(3) 
Photocopies of all registrations of every tow vehicle to be operated by the applicant. If the tow vehicle is leased, the applicant is required to submit a lease agreement.
(4) 
Names, addresses and telephone numbers of any lien holders on the principal location.
(5) 
Name, address and telephone number of the insurer and photocopies of each certificate of insurance.
(6) 
Photocopies of all towing vehicle operator's current driver's licenses, along with their social security numbers.
(7) 
Evidence to demonstrate that the applicant applying for the license has at least five years' experience in the field of towing and storage of vehicles.
(8) 
Proof that the applicant has a principal location and storage facility within the Township of Galloway.
(9) 
Proof that the applicant's principal location and storage facility meet all zoning requirements applicable.
(10) 
The applicant shall provide an agreement that upon the issuance of a license the municipal towing contractor shall indemnify the Township of Galloway against all claims of a third party relating to the towing and/or storage service of the licensee.
(11) 
The applicant shall provide an affidavit that the information given in application is true and correct.
(12) 
Applications will be processed according to the order in which the Township Clerk received them.
B. 
Investigation and inspection.
(1) 
Applications received by the Township Clerk shall be referred to the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police or his designee shall initiate an investigation to be made of the applicant and of its proposed business operation and shall perform inspections of the vehicles to be licensed.
(2) 
A criminal history and driver's license check will be performed on all persons listed in the application, Each applicant will pay all fees required by the State of New Jersey for criminal history record information.
(3) 
The Township of Galloway recognizes that the municipal towing contractor must be trustworthy in that it is safeguarding vehicles belonging to others. Therefore, to protect the public interest, the Township may disqualify any applicant wherein an employee, owner, officer, partner, etc., that has been convicted of a crime (including disorderly persons offenses) or any violation that would indicate that the applicant may not be responsible to perform in the best interest of others.
(4) 
The Township of Galloway recognizes that tow truck operators must also be drivers who abide by this state's motor vehicle laws. Accordingly, the Township may disqualify any tow truck operator having one or more convictions, within three years of the date of application or renewal thereof, of any moving violation of the motor vehicle laws of this state which the Township Chief of Police or his designee determines will negatively impact upon the ability of the tow truck operator to safely and properly perform the services listed in this chapter. If the applicant is already licensed, any conviction for any moving violation which the Township Chief of Police or his designee determines will negatively impact upon the ability of the tow truck operator to safely and properly perform required services will result in the disqualification of the tow truck operator from performing duties associated with this chapter.
(5) 
The municipal towing contractor shall notify the Police Department, in writing, of any criminal charges (including disorderly persons offenses), motor vehicle offenses or ordinance violations that are issued against the municipal towing contractor or its employees during the term of the license. Failure to make the proper notification to the Police Department may result in the revocation of the license.
(6) 
The Chief of Police shall have a reasonable period of time after the receipt of the completed application to complete the investigation and inspection and submit a written report to the Township Clerk. The report shall include recommendations that the applicant be accepted, denied or accepted with provisions.
C. 
Issuance of licenses and fees.
(1) 
Upon written notification by the Chief of Police that an application has been approved, the Township Council shall, at a public meeting, by resolution, consider the issuance of a license.
(2) 
Upon approval by Township Council, the Municipal Clerk shall issue a license to the municipal towing contractor under this chapter.
(3) 
A yearly application fee of $300 shall be payable to the Township of Galloway.
(4) 
All towing licenses will be issued for a period of one year beginning January 1 of each year and expire on December 31. Applications for license renewals are to be completed and returned to the Township Clerk by September 15 for the following calendar year.
(5) 
Licenses are property of the Township and cannot be assigned, leased, shared, transferred or sold to another person, corporation or proprietorship under any circumstances.
(6) 
The municipal towing contractor shall not represent that he is a servant, agent or employee of the Township with respect to said towing service, but is an independent contractor and shall not hold himself out as an official member of the government of the Township of Galloway or of its departments.
(7) 
The Township of Galloway may issue a temporary municipal towing contractor license in the event that any emergent situation arises for the purpose of adding additional towers or replacing a current license, for reasons of revocation or closing of the business. The temporary license may be issued immediately, but the applicant must submit an application within two business days. A temporary license shall be valid for 60 days.
D. 
Tow vehicle requirements.
(1) 
A municipal towing contractor must own or lease for use two tow vehicles (one of which must be medium-duty flatbed).
(2) 
The following equipment shall be carried on all tow vehicles:
(a) 
Push broom.
(b) 
Shovel.
(c) 
Fire extinguisher.
(d) 
Jumper cables or jump box.
(e) 
Tire changing equipment.
(f) 
Pry bar and hammer.
(g) 
Absorbent.
(3) 
All tow vehicles must have properly authorized amber emergency warning lights mounted so as to warn approaching traffic of their presence.
(4) 
All tow vehicles must comply with all applicable laws and safety standards.
(5) 
The municipal towing contractor must maintain a twenty-four-hour telephone service for police contact. All responding tow vehicles must have two-way communication via radio or cellular phone.
E. 
Storage facility requirements.
(1) 
All vehicles stored under this chapter shall be stored and protected with ordinary care to protect the vehicle from further damage. All vehicle storage will be one level.
(2) 
There shall be no unescorted access to the storage area by the general public. Storage areas shall be posted against unauthorized entry.
(3) 
The Police Department shall have access to any part of the storage area, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the purpose of inspection or investigation. Under this provision, access means a contact person must be available to provide entry.
(4) 
No vehicles towed by the municipal towing contractor shall be stored outside of the storage facility.
(5) 
The municipal towing contractor shall maintain regular hours for the release of vehicle from storage; a minimum of eight hours a day, Monday through Friday (excluding New Jersey state holidays) and four hours on Saturdays. Hours shall be conspicuously posted at the municipal towing contractor's principal location and the storage facility.
A. 
The municipal towing contractor shall be responsible for basic towing services on a twenty-four-hour, seven-days-a-week basis during the term of his license.
B. 
Municipal towing contractors will be placed on call on a rotating basis as determined by the Chief of Police.
C. 
The municipal towing contractor shall be required to respond to all Township requests for towing services within 20 minutes, unless unusual traffic conditions exist. In any event, the municipal towing contractor shall arrive in a reasonable time. Repeated late arrivals without satisfactory cause shall constitute grounds in which the Chief of Police may consider the municipal towing contractor in violation of this chapter and may be grounds for immediate suspension or revocation of said license.
D. 
Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the owner or operator of a vehicle from contacting a tower or wrecker of his own choice to remove the vehicle from the public streets of the Township after it has become disabled or otherwise inoperable, unless the police officer on the scene determines that public safety requires that the vehicle be immediately removed from the scene, at which time the on call municipal towing contractor will be summoned.
E. 
All owners or operators of any disabled vehicle retain the right to direct the municipal towing operator to remove the disabled vehicle to a garage or workshop of their own choosing, provided that payment or arrangements for payment for services has been made to the municipal towing contractor.
F. 
Municipal towing contractors licensed under this chapter shall accept a minimum of two major credit cards, 24 hours a day.
G. 
Municipal towing contractors shall be responsible for the towing of vehicles from the public streets, public alleys, public rights-of-way, public easements, avenues, thoroughfares, public or quasi-public places, including parks and playgrounds, or any other Township, county or state owned facility, as directed by the Township police.
H. 
The municipal towing contractor shall remove vehicles for storage to either the municipal towing contractor's storage facility or the Township storage facility, as directed by the Police Department.
I. 
Vehicles towed to the municipal towing contractor's storage facility will incur charges as set forth in this chapter.
(1) 
Vehicles removed to the Township storage facility will incur only applicable towing fees, not storage charges.
(2) 
Prior to release of a vehicle from the Township storage facility, the Township will require the owner to satisfy his obligations to the municipal towing contractor.
J. 
In the event the police direct the municipal towing contractor to move the vehicle from the Township storage facility to his storage facility, the owner of the vehicle will incur the cost of the additional tow and storage fees commencing the date the vehicle is moved. The municipal towing contractor that provided the original service will be requested to provide the secondary service.
K. 
The owner of any vehicle towed shall have the right to remove his personal belongings from the stored vehicle during normal business hours.
L. 
The owner or agent of the owner shall have the right to photograph the stored vehicle during normal business hours.
M. 
If the stored vehicle is being held as evidence, the removal of personal belongings and/or photographs will be witnessed and documented by an officer of the Police Department.
N. 
When the municipal towing contractor has been contacted to remove a disabled vehicle by the Police Department and then the owner or operator of that vehicle appears prior to the municipal towing contractor's arrival and requests his own towing service, the municipal towing contractor cannot charge for the response.
O. 
The municipal towing contractor shall be responsible to clean up and remove all broken glass and debris at the scene of accidents as per N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.8b.
P. 
The municipal towing contractor will also be responsible for basic environmental cleanup.
Q. 
In the event that an emergency arises and the on-call municipal towing contractor cannot provide adequate service when requested by the Police Department, another municipal towing contractor will be contacted to respond.
R. 
If no municipal towing contractor can perform the required service, the Police Department may contact any available towing contractor with the proper equipment to perform the activity. The fees for vehicles that require this extraordinary service shall be reasonable and customary, based upon the prevailing rate in the industry. Whenever applicable, it shall be the responsibility of the towing contractor to first inform the owner or operator of the estimated total cost prior to the performance of any towing service.
S. 
Municipal towing contractors may not charge any owner for any damage to his tow equipment or storage facilities resulting from any towing operation.
T. 
Prior to towing any vehicle, the municipal towing contractor shall remove or secure anything that may fall from the disabled vehicle while being towed.
U. 
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.6, the municipal towing contractor shall be responsible for the public sale or auction of any vehicle abandoned at the municipal towing contractor's storage facility. The Township of Galloway shall only be responsible pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1 et seq., for abandoned and unclaimed vehicles at a Township-owned storage facility.
[Amended 6-25-2013 by Ord. No. 1866]
A. 
The rates on the "Township of Galloway Towing and Storage Rate Schedule," annexed hereto and incorporated herein by reference, represent the maximum rates permitted under this chapter. It shall be unlawful for any municipal towing contractor to charge a rate in excess of the rates prescribed in this chapter therein for the services regulated herein.
B. 
There shall be no mileage charge for any vehicle towed under this chapter from the point of service back to the municipal towing contractors storage facility or the Galloway Township storage facility. If the owner or operator designates the vehicle to be towed to another location, then the municipal towing contractor can only charge for loaded mileage outside the boundaries of the Township.
C. 
Separate fees are incurred for each recovery action.
D. 
On each occasion that extraordinary service is provided, a detailed record, including receipts of expenses incurred by the municipal towing contractors, must be submitted to the Chief of Police or the Chief of Police's designee for review prior to billing the owner of the vehicle. In the event that the approval of the Chief of Police or the Chief's designee cannot reasonably be obtained prior to billing the owner of the vehicle, the approval shall be obtained as soon thereafter as practical, and the approval shall be retained at the towing contractor's office for at least one year.
[Amended 6-25-2013 by Ord. No. 1866]
E. 
Municipal towing contractors may not charge any fees other than as set forth in the following schedule.
[Amended 6-25-2013 by Ord. No. 1866]
(1) 
Basic towing service (two axles).
(a) 
Under 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight: $135.
(b) 
Additional axle: $25.
(c) 
Rate per mile out of Township: $3.
(2) 
Basic towing service (two axles).
(a) 
Between 8,500 pounds and 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight: $210.
(b) 
Additional axle: $35.
(c) 
Rate per mile out of Township: $4.
(3) 
Basic towing service, over 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (heavy duty): $260.
(a) 
Rate per mile out of Township: $5.
(4) 
Basic towing service, motorcycle/motorized bicycle: $100.
(a) 
Rate per mile out of Township: $3
(5) 
Recovery of vehicle.
(a) 
Vehicle under 8,000 pounds gross vehicle weight: $75.
(b) 
Vehicle between 8,000 pounds and 16,000 pounds gross vehicle weight: $100.
Fees for vehicles over 16,000 pounds gross vehicle weight shall be reasonable and customary, based on prevailing rates in the industry.
(6) 
Extraordinary service charge: $65 per hour.
(7) 
Basic cleanup, including glass, debris and fluid: $35, plus $10 per bag of absorbent used.
(8) 
Storage fees per calendar day (commencing 12 hours after the request for tow).
(a) 
Outside building secured.
[1] 
Under 8,000 pounds gross vehicle weight: $25.
[2] 
Up to 16,000 pounds gross vehicle weight: $30.
(b) 
Inside building secured.
[1] 
Under 8,000 pounds gross vehicle weight: $30.
[2] 
Up to 16,000 pounds gross vehicle weight: $40.
Fees for vehicles over 16,000 pounds gross vehicle weight shall be reasonable and customary, based on prevailing rates in the industry.
(c) 
Where a vehicle is stored as a result of having been involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident or incident, the permitted storage fees are limited to not more than 14 calendar days.
[Added 5-9-2017 by Ord. No. 1962-2017]
(9) 
Owner access to vehicle. Any owner requesting access to the owner's vehicle at the storage facility to retrieve items from the vehicle may be charged a fee of $35 per hour prorated in increments of 15 minutes.
(10) 
After-hours release fee: $35.
F. 
An administrative fee of $25 is to be charged for the processing of a tow release prepared by the Galloway Township Police Department. Such fee is to be paid by the owner of the vehicle and collected by the Township of Galloway prior to a release being issued.
[Added 10-23-2012 by Ord. No. 1859]
The municipal towing contractor shall have in effect, prior to application and at all times during the term of the license, the following insurance:
A. 
Garagekeeper's liability must be maintained in the amount of $500,000 for any one claimant and $1,000,000 for more than one claimant, along with $500,000 coverage for property damage for any one event.
B. 
Automobile insurance must be maintained and it must be issued by an insurance corporation authorized to transact business in the State of New Jersey. The policy must insure every tow vehicle operator against liability imposed by law for damages arising out of bodily injury, including death, sustained by any person and injury or destruction of property, including the loss of use thereof, caused by accident and arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the tow vehicle of the municipal towing contractor. The amount of the limits of liability coverage to be offered by such policy shall not be less than $1,000,000 combined single limit.
[Amended 7-23-2013 by Ord. No. 1876]
C. 
Workers' compensation insurance insuring the obligation of the municipal towing contractor under the New Jersey Workers' Compensation and Occupational Disease Laws.
D. 
The municipal towing contractor shall supply a certificate of insurance to the Township Clerk which describes each policy of insurance and identifying the Township of Galloway as an additional insured party. Each certificate of insurance shall contain a provision that no cancellation of the policy shall become effective until after the expiration of 15 days' written notice of such proposed cancellation forwarded by the Insurance Company to the Township Clerk.
A. 
The municipal towing contractor shall prepare and issue to the owner/operator a written invoice for services rendered under this chapter. The invoice shall reflect the date, time, location of service, the employee that performed the service and that the service was performed at the direction of the Police Department. A copy of the invoice shall be retained by the municipal towing contractor and filed in a manner that coincides with his normal business practice and will allow immediate access to such records when requested by the Police Department.
B. 
The municipal towing contractor has discretion to establish the method of payment and forfeits all mechanic lien rights once he physically releases a vehicle from his custody. The Township will not be held liable for or assist the municipal towing contractor to collect any unpaid fees that were incurred under the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
The municipal towing contractor shall incur the cost of and shall post the rate schedule listed in this chapter in a conspicuous location at the municipal towing contractor's principal location where payment of fees are transacted.
D. 
The municipal towing contractor shall incur the cost of preparing a payment rate circular for fees listed under this chapter and shall distribute this rate circular to all customers, at no cost.
E. 
The municipal towing contractor shall not release any vehicle impounded under this chapter without written release from the Police Department. The release form must be attached and filed with the invoice.
F. 
All records, payment invoices and other documentation resulting from the municipal towing contractor's compliance with this chapter must be kept by the municipal towing contractor for a period of two years.
A. 
At all times the municipal towing contractor and his employees will present a neat appearance and act in professional and courteous manner when interacting with the public and the police.
B. 
All towing vehicles shall be operated in accordance with all existing traffic regulations and statutes and in a safe and prudent manner. Tow vehicle operators must request police assistance whenever their activities will obstruct or impede traffic flow.
C. 
The investigating officer and/or supervisor at the scene shall maintain complete charge of the incident scene (excluding actual towing operations), and all tow operators shall comply with the officers' instructions.
A. 
The Chief of Police or his designee shall investigate and keep a record of all complaints that are received regarding the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
The Chief of Police has the authority to suspend any license at any time for criminal activity (including disorderly persons offenses), violation of applicable motor vehicle laws or violations of this chapter.
C. 
The Chief of Police or his designee shall oversee all tow vehicles used by municipal towing contractors to ensure that they are kept in a safe condition. The Chief of Police or his designee may inspect any or all tow vehicles at any time. If the Chief of Police or his designee finds the equipment inadequate or unsafe, the Chief of Police or his designee may demand immediate correction and/or suspend the municipal towing contractor's license.
D. 
The Chief of Police is authorized and empowered to establish additional rules and regulations as may be necessary and reasonable to govern the issuance and the operation of towing services and storage facilities. Such rules and regulations shall be issued in writing to all municipal towing contractors.
E. 
Any municipal towing contractor 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 permanent revocation for a third offense.
F. 
In addition to the previous subsection, the Chief of Police may immediately revoke the municipal towing contractor's license for any offense grievous in nature.
G. 
After such revocation, the licensee may request a public hearing before Township Council. The licensee must notify the Township Clerk, in writing, of a request for a hearing within 20 days of the termination notice issued by the Chief of Police.
H. 
In all cases and in addition to any other penalty, if a municipal towing contractor overcharges a vehicle owner, the contractor will return the excess money paid.
Any complaint or dispute by an owner of a vehicle that is towed or stored without the owner's consent pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be submitted to the Chief of Police or his designee, who shall promptly investigate and resolve any disputes.