[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Brooklawn 3-5-2001 by Ord. No. 1-01. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.49, an orderly system to provide for towing services for removal of damaged motor vehicles in accidents and other abandoned, illegally parked, disabled or impounded vehicles within the Borough of Brooklawn using a towing list of licensed towing operators who will be called upon a rotating basis by the Police Department.
As used in this chapter and unless otherwise indicated by the context, the words or terms herein shall have the meanings indicated. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future tense; words in the plural number shall include words in the singular number and words in the singular number include the plural number.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Borough of Brooklawn.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of the Police of the Borough of Brooklawn.
- The operation of an unengaged wrecker along a public street at a slow rate of speed or in any fashion calculated, designed or having the effect of soliciting towing business on a public street.
- IMPOUND AREA
- The fenced-in area specifically used by a tower, on the approved towing list of the Borough, for storage of towed vehicles. Not more than two impound areas may be contained with each 1/2 acre of any one storage facility.
- Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- Is always mandatory and not merely directory.
- STORAGE FACILITY
- Storage lot or storage area, and shall mean the location
within four miles of the geographic boundary of the Borough of Brooklawn,
consisting of a minimum of 1/2 acre and used for storage of vehicles
towed by towing operators on the list approved by the Borough.[Amended 2-28-2011 by Ord. No. 1-11]
- TOWING LIST
- The list of towing operators and wreckers maintained by the Police Department under the direction and supervision of the Chief of Police to provide, on a rotating basis, towing service and storage at the request or call of authorized personnel or members of the Police Department in cases of emergency, accidents involving motor vehicles and for disabled, abandoned or illegally parked vehicles.
- TOWING OPERATOR
- A person engaged in the business of offering towing services, whereby damaged, disabled, illegally parked or abandoned motor vehicles are towed or otherwise removed from the places where they are damaged, disabled, impounded or abandoned by use of a wrecker, tow truck or other vehicles designed for that purpose.
- TOWING SERVICE
- That service performed, rendered or provided by towing, removing, transporting or conveying any kind of vehicle which is or has been damaged, abandoned, impounded, disabled or otherwise unable to be moved under its own power, for which a charge is made against the owner or operator of the vehicle.
- A vehicle designed and equipped for removing and transporting wrecked or disabled vehicles. This term shall also include a flatbed, tow truck or other vehicle used for or to perform towing services.
The Chief of Police shall establish and maintain a list of qualified towing operators who shall be issued licenses to provide, on a rotating basis, towing services at the request of the Brooklawn Police Department. Towing operators on the list will be scheduled and treated equally and fairly.
[Amended 3-20-2017 by Ord. No. 7-17]
To be placed on the towing list, towing operators shall be qualified and required to apply for and hold a license to perform towing services at the request or call of the Police Department. The license shall be issued to all qualified towing operators approved by the Chief of Police to be placed on the towing list. Said license shall be valid for a period of three years from the date of its issuance.
Prior to issuance of any license or renewal, the Chief of Police shall cause an inspection to be made of the required storage facility and towing equipment to verify compliance with this chapter and all other applicable federal, state and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations.
During the period of licensure, the Chief of Police, in his discretion, may cause an inspection to be made of the required storage facility and towing equipment to ensure compliance with this chapter and all other applicable federal, state and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations.
Applications for licenses hereunder shall be submitted to the Chief of Police upon forms prepared and made available by the Borough. The application form shall be properly completed, signed and accompanied by the application and license fee. The Chief of Police shall investigate and review all applications for compliance with the terms of this chapter and minimum standards of operator performance mandated by statute. The background and driving records of all applicants and employees shall be checked by the Police Department.
Among other things, the applications shall contain:
The name of the applicant, with both the home and business address of the applicant as well as home and business telephone numbers.
A statement whether applicant is an individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or other type of entity.
The names and addresses of all persons owning an interest in the applicant and, if a corporation, the names and addresses of all officers and stockholders with the interest held by each.
The names of all employees, with their drivers’ license and social security numbers.
The description of all vehicles and equipment to be used in providing towing service, setting forth the year, make, model, serial number, license and registered owner of each vehicle.
The location within four miles of the geographic boundary of the Borough of Brooklawn wherein the equipment is maintained and stored; the name and address of the owner, lot and block number and size of storage facility or impound area.
[Amended 2-28-2011 by Ord. No. 1-11]
The application and license fee under this chapter shall be $100. The annual renewal fee shall be in the amount of $50.
[Amended 12-20-2004 by Ord. No. 21-04; 2-28-2011 by Ord. No. 1-11]
All applicants for license to be placed on the towing list shall have the minimum equipment and storage facilities herein described:
Required towing equipment (must be located within four miles of the geographic boundary of the Borough of Brooklawn on property where such use is in compliance with the local zoning regulations during all on-call periods).
Proof of ownership or lease by applicant of the required towing equipment must be submitted with the application. The same vehicle may not be used by more than one approved towing operator. Applicant is not permitted to subcontract for towing services.
Required storage facilities (must be located within four miles of the geographic boundary of the Borough of Brooklawn on a property where such use is in compliance with the local zoning regulations).
The size of the storage lot will be at least 1/2 acre (21,780 square feet) and have adequate capacity to store all towed vehicles as determined by the Chief of Police. Each 1/2 acre of storage facility shall be used by not more than two towers on the approved towing list of the Borough.
The impoundment area must be visually screened from the highway. Each towing operator must maintain a separately fenced and locked impound area.
The impound area must be secured and must be enclosed by a sturdy six-foot fence with locks on gates. The towing operator is responsible for safe storage.
The impound area will be lighted from dusk to dawn in compliance with the applicable municipal regulations.
Impound areas shall be available for 24 hours a day, 365 days per year and open to the public on weekdays during normal business hours and limited hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
The storage area shall have someone on duty at all times.
Proof of ownership or lease of storage area by applicant must be submitted with the application.
No towing operator on the towing list shall be called upon to perform towing services unless and until he has deposited with the Chief of Police proof of insurance as set forth in the following schedule, which proof shall have been reviewed by the appropriate Borough officials as to acceptability of the companies and coverage. The required insurance and minimum policy limits are as follows:
Automobile liability in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limits.
Worker’s compensation as required by statute.
Garagekeepers liability in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limits.
Garage liability in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limits.
Miscellaneous coverage to provide complete protection to the municipality against any and all risks of loss or liability, including comprehensive general liability.
Collision coverage for vehicles in tow.
The Borough shall be listed as an additional insured in all policies, and all policies should contain a provision requiring notification to the Borough prior to any policy revision or termination.
Response to call. All towing operators on the towing list shall be required to remove, transport or convey from the roadway or other areas any and all vehicles at the request of the Police Department. All towing operators on the towing list shall respond in a timely fashion to a request made by the Police Department. In the event that a towing operator on call cannot respond or perform his specific task, the next available towing operator on the towing list will be notified. After vehicles are removed from the roadway as a result of an accident, it is the towing operator’s responsibility to clear the roadway of debris and liquids.
Availability of towing operators on list. All towing operators shall be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week when on call to provide towing services. In the event of an emergency, illness or vacation, towing operators shall be responsible to provide notice to the Chief of Police and secure a licensed towing list operator as a substitute.
Storage of towed vehicles. Unless otherwise authorized, all vehicles which are removed, transported or conveyed from the roadway or other areas at the request of the Police Department shall be stored within an area which complies with § 135-8B of this chapter. No towed vehicles shall be placed, stored or parked on any public street or right-of-way or in any other area not in compliance with this chapter and approved.
Notification requirements. All licensed towing operators shall be required to notify the Chief of Police within 24 hours of any modifications or change with respect to the applicant’s ownership, lease, insurance, location or circumstances regarding the equipment, storage facilities or employees and to any information which the applicant was required to supply.
Compliance with applicable laws. Towing operators shall comply with all state and federal laws and regulations, and the towing operator’s place of business shall not be located at their private residence.
No liability of Borough. The Borough shall not be liable for charges and fees for towing and storage services performed or provided by towing operators on the list. The towing operator shall proceed and charge all fees for towing services and storage against the owner of the vehicle receiving such service.
Responsibility of operators. Towing operators shall be responsible for the conduct of all its drivers and employees.
No interest by Borough. No official, employee or member of the Brooklawn Police Department shall have any interest in any towing operator on the towing list or any storage facility utilized.
Responsibility for Borough-owned vehicles. Each towing operator, at no cost to the Borough, shall be responsible on a rotating basis for the towing of disabled Borough-owned vehicles when requested by the Police Department.
All contractors shall be responsible and will perform all the necessary paperwork and notifications as required for the proper disposal of any and all vehicles in which they have taken possession as a towing contractor of the Borough of Brooklawn. The contractor shall incur all the costs for doing so, including certified mailings.
[Added 2-28-2011 by Ord. No. 1-11]
The Chief of Police from time to time shall make and promulgate reasonable rules and regulations for the proper administration and enforcement of this chapter and its purposes. Such rules, however, shall not be inconsistent with the terms of this chapter.
[Amended 12-20-2004 by Ord. No. 21-04; 3-20-2006 by Ord. No. 6-06; 8-18-2008 by Ord. No. 8-08; 2-28-2011 by Ord. No. 1-11; 6-17-2019 by Ord. No. 7-2019]
The following fees or charges are hereby established for the towing and road services by towing operators on the rotating Borough list maintained by the Borough of Brooklawn Police Department under the direction and supervision of the Chief of Police and for storage in conjunction therewith:
For towing and storage services rendered to a private passenger automobile as a result of an accident or theft recovery, the fees for towing and storage services shall not exceed the maximum fees set forth by law under N.J.A.C. 11:3-38.1 et seq., or as amended from time to time. All towing operators on the list shall maintain a copy of such fees as may be provided by the Chief of Police.
For all other towing, road and storage services involving vehicles illegally parked, disabled or abandoned or otherwise requiring services (except those set forth under Subsection A above), the fees shall not exceed the following:
Towing and removal for any reason of a motorcycle, moped, all-terrain vehicles and like vehicles: $100.
Road service: $125, plus supplies.
In all cases, the towing operator shall remove the debris, and a fee of $75 per hour shall be charged for the clearing of debris by said towing operator plus absorbent materials used.
For all towing services rendered by a contractor under this chapter, the contractor shall remit to the Borough an administrative fee in the amount of $25.
Every licensed towing operator called by the Police Department shall keep a record of the name and address of the owner of the towed vehicle and shall file reports as required by the Chief of Police which shall include but not be limited to itemized towing and storage charges per vehicle.
[Amended 12-20-2004 by Ord. No. 21-04]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the Borough of Brooklawn, or such other court having jurisdiction, be liable for fines and penalties as set forth in § 1-15 of the Code of the Borough of Brooklawn. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation, subject to the penalty provisions of this chapter.
Any towing operator on the towing list who fails to properly respond to calls in the established response time, fails to provide adequate service or otherwise violates the terms and provisions of this chapter, falsifies any information with regard to his application or violates the Department of Insurance rules shall be subject to license termination by the Chief of Police.
[Added 2-28-2011 by Ord. No. 1-11]
Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, this chapter shall be rendered inoperative during the term of a contract awarded for towing services by the Borough Council of the Borough of Brooklawn, pursuant to the process as set forth in the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A 40A:11-1 et seq.