City of Rahway, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Rahway 7-9-1984 by Ord. No. A-12-84 as Ch. 182 of the 1984 Code; amended in its entirety 2-9-2009 by Ord. No. O-2-09. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Abandoned or inoperable vehicles — See Ch. 397.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 401.
A. 
Word usage. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words in the plural number include the singular number; and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
B. 
Terms defined. For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein:
BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR
The Business Administrator of the City of Rahway, or his/her designee.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police of the City of Rahway Police Department, or his/her designee.
COMMUNICATIONS PERSONNEL
Any on-duty 9-1-1 Telecommunicator/Dispatcher of the Rahway Police Department.
GARAGE KEEPER'S LEGAL LIABILITY
The protection of customers' vehicles and property under various conditions pertaining to specific garage functions.
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT
The registered weight, the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating, or the actual weight, whichever is greatest.
HEAVY-DUTY
A gross weight of 15,000 pounds or more.
LIGHT-MEDIUM DUTY
A gross weight of less than 15,000 pounds
PERSONS
Includes a firm, copartnership, association, corporation, or individual.
POLICE OFFICER
Any sworn officer of the Rahway Police Department.
TOWING AGENCY
Any person or entity owning or operating a tow truck service for compensation.
TOW TRUCK or WRECKER
A motor vehicle equipped with a boom or booms, winches, slings, tilt beds or similar equipment designed for the towing or recovery of vehicles and other objects.
WAITING TIME
The additional time a tow operator spends at the scene other than the time required for the actual tow and/or recovery. Examples of waiting time may include but are not limited to EMS services which must be performed and/or police investigations.
A. 
No towing agency or person, while acting as an official towing agency for the City of Rahway shall operate a tow truck upon or along any property in the City of Rahway, until the owner has obtained the necessary licenses as provided hereinafter from the City Clerk and approved by the Chief of Police.
B. 
Nothing in this section or other sections of this chapter shall be construed to require the licensing of any tow truck to perform any services other than those governed by this chapter.
C. 
All tow truck licenses shall be issued by the City Clerk and shall expire June 30, next succeeding the date of issuance unless it is sooner suspended or revoked by the Municipal Council, Business Administrator or Chief of Police.
D. 
The license shall be nontransferable.
E. 
An annual application fee of $300 payable to the City of Rahway shall accompany an application for a wrecker license and be submitted no later than May 1. Said fee is not refundable in the event that an inspection of the vehicle or facility is performed and no license is issued because of failure to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter or of any regulations set up under this chapter by the Police Department of the City of Rahway.
F. 
The fee for each tow truck permit shall be $500 per year for light duty and $950 per year for both heavy duty and light duty. Additional tow trucks used by the applicant under the wrecker license shall be permitted at a fee of $100 per year for each additional tow truck.
A. 
Applications for tow truck licenses shall be filed with the Chief of Police not later than May 1 of the pre-licensure year.
B. 
Applications for licenses for tow trucks shall be made by the owner, lessee or bailee thereof, upon forms to be furnished by the Chief of Police, and such application shall contain the name, business address, and telephone number of the applicant. The application shall have affixed thereto an affidavit to be sworn to by the applicant.
C. 
Each application shall also contain the following information:
(1) 
The year, make, type and model number of each tow truck used in said business, its vehicle identification number (VIN), New Jersey registration number (license plate) and the name and address of the registered owner and operator.
(2) 
The address(es) where the tow truck(s) is/are regularly garaged.
(3) 
The names, addresses and New Jersey driver license numbers of all employee drivers of the vehicles identified.
(4) 
Any and all convictions which the owner, agent or any employee-driver thereof has been convicted and, if the corporation, or any officer thereof has been convicted, stating the name, if any, and location of the courts and the dates on which such convictions were had and the penalties imposed therefor.
(5) 
Any and all successful civil complaints filed against the owner, agent thereof, the corporation, or any officer thereof for deceptive business practices, including but not limited to insurance fraud, price gouging, or other similar complaint or offense. This shall not be construed to be limited to substantiated complaints with regards to towing services.
(6) 
A release authorization for the Rahway Police Department to conduct a full and complete criminal background check, including fingerprints at the applicant's expense, on each owner, agent thereof, and employee-driver. The owner(s) and the corporation shall also include an authorization for the Rahway Police Department to an investigation into the insurance coverage for the corporation, as it applies to this license. Each person must execute his/her own release authorization.
(7) 
All owners, agents thereof, and employees, who will be operating a tow truck must supply a certified driver's abstract, at the applicant's expense.
(8) 
The experience of the owner, the employee-drivers, and the corporation in the towing of vehicles for hire; including all relevant employment history.
(9) 
The location, size and security features of the storage lot or space in which towed vehicles will be stored, including the number of vehicle spaces available.
(10) 
The name and address of the operator's insurance carrier(s) and the policy numbers of all insurance policies issued for the business, the business premises and the vehicles identified in the application.
(11) 
A certification signed by the owner (or agent thereof) that a document detailing the towing and storage services and fees supplied under this license will be posted in the public area of the towing agency's premises in plain view for the duration of this license, in compliance with this chapter.
(12) 
A certification granting permission to the Chief of Police to conduct inspections of the tow trucks and towing agency for the purpose of determining compliance with this chapter.
(13) 
Any other information as the Rahway Police Department shall deem appropriate and necessary to properly evaluate the towing agency for this license.
(14) 
The applicant states he has available space for properly accommodating all towed vehicles and that said vehicles would not be stored or allowed to remain on public property or City streets.
(15) 
The applicant's property is in compliance with Chapter 421, Zoning, and the space is located in an I-H Zone. The property also must have successfully passed a Fire/Building Department's inspection. Applicants that have a location out of town must provide proof of compliance with their local zoning codes, as well as any required fire/building inspections.
(16) 
At a minimum, the licensee shall accept two major credit cards from motorists for services rendered.
A. 
The Chief of Police shall conduct or cause to be conducted such investigation as he/she deems necessary to determine the truth and accuracy of the information contained in the application, and the applicant's compliance with this chapter. This investigation shall include a complete criminal background check on each owner, agent thereof, and employee-driver, as well as a certified abstract supplied by the applicant(s). At the discretion of the Chief of Police, applicants and or their employee-drivers shall be required to submit fingerprints to complete the background investigation(s). Any fees relating to the background checks shall be borne by the applicant. No application shall be approved, nor shall any license be issued, unless the Chief of Police or his designee determines:
(1) 
The applicant possesses a valid New Jersey driver's license.
(2) 
The applicant has not been convicted of a crime.
(3) 
The applicant's criminal history check does not reveal any arrests for crimes of moral turpitude that would reflect negatively on the City of Rahway.
(4) 
The applicant must be of good character, willing and able to provide services required in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(5) 
The applicant must also have a history of being trustworthy, honest and reliable.
B. 
Upon completion of the background checks, the Chief of Police shall render a decision on the applicant and classify the wrecker as either "light duty" or "heavy duty."
(1) 
Upon approval, the applicant shall supply the Chief of Police with the insurance polices or certificates as required herein.
(2) 
A decision to grant the license shall be forwarded, in writing, to the City Clerk for license issuance.
(3) 
Decal/placards will be issued to each tow vehicle inspected and shall be displayed on the vehicle.
A. 
Tow trucks shall be equipped and of sufficient size, weight and configuration to safely tow all makes of domestic and foreign automobiles, light duty trucks and vans.
B. 
Tow trucks shall be equipped with sufficient emergency warning lights.
C. 
The name, address and telephone number of the operator shall be permanently affixed to the left and right sides of each tow truck.
D. 
All tow operators and their drivers shall be fully trained and knowledgeable on the operation of all equipment necessary to perform all facets of the safe and efficient removal of all types of vehicles including commercial vehicles.
E. 
A minimum of one five-pound CO2 dry powder fire extinguisher.
F. 
One reflective traffic safety vest for each employee at an incident location.
G. 
A minimum of one broom, one shovel and one debris / refuse container.
H. 
A wireless telephone for communication with on-duty 9-1-1 Telecommunicator/Dispatcher of the Rahway Police Department.
I. 
Applicants applying for a heavy-duty tow license are required to own or lease sufficient towing, recovery and miscellaneous equipment necessary for the safe, expeditious and efficient removal of vehicles from the roadway. Equipment must be in excellent operating condition and well maintained, both mechanically and aesthetically. The requirement for the removal of disabled vehicles applies to those vehicles in any condition and includes the contents they are carrying, such as cargo, etc.
A. 
Each towing agency shall maintain, during the term of their license, the following minimum insurance coverage, naming the City of Rahway, its employees and agents as additional insured:
(1) 
Automobile liability insurance, in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit, covering each vehicle utilized by the operator in his business.
(2) 
Workmen's Compensation Insurance, as required by the State of New Jersey, including employer's liability coverage with a limit of at least $100,000.
(3) 
Comprehensive, general liability insurance, in an amount of not less than $1,000,000 for personal injuries, per occurrence, and $1,000,000 for property damage, per occurrence, including premises operations and products/completed operations.
(4) 
Garage keepers and garage liability insurance, in an amount not less than $100,000.
(5) 
All policies of insurance shall contain an endorsement providing for collision coverage for vehicles in tow.
B. 
All policies of insurance shall contain an endorsement requiring that at least 15 days' notice shall be given to the City Clerk in the event of any material change in or cancellation of the policy.
C. 
The operator shall indemnify and hold harmless the City of Rahway from any claims for injury or property damage arising out of, or in any way related to, the operation of any tow truck, towing service or storage yard, pursuant to this chapter. The towing agency shall further defend the City of Rahway at the operator's expense, in connection with any claim, suit or action, brought against the City of Rahway, and arising out of the operation of any tow truck, towing service or towing yard, pursuant to this chapter.
D. 
All policies of insurance shall be issued by insurance companies authorized to do business in the State of New Jersey, and shall remain in full force and effect during the entire term of the license. The City of Rahway shall be named as additional insured on all policies of liability insurance.
E. 
No license shall be issued until an approved applicant files insurance certificates verifying all of the above requirements. The insurance certificates shall be filed with the City Clerk.
F. 
Any licensee who has a lapse in any insurance policy, for any reason whatsoever, shall have his/her license immediately suspended. Upon notice of lapse of coverage, the City Clerk shall immediately notify the Chief of Police who will serve notice of suspension upon the licensee, with copy of said notice provided to the Business Administrator. The suspension shall remain in effect until such time as the insurance is restored.
A. 
The towing agency shall, at all times, employ a sufficient number of employees to comply with the minimum operational requirements.
B. 
All drivers of the operator shall be not less then the age of 18 years and must have a valid, current New Jersey State driver's license and shall be in good health and of high moral character. Operators also must maintain certifications that may be required by law.
C. 
All employees shall be clean, neat, and make a good appearance.
D. 
The towing agency shall be responsible for the towing of vehicles, from all streets, alleys, public easements, thoroughfares, public, quasi-public places, and private property, including parks, playgrounds, including rivers, lakes and streams, anywhere within the City of Rahway.
E. 
The operator shall be responsible to clean up all broken glass and debris at the scene of accidents and remove it from the scene. All vehicles must be equipped with a broom, speedy dry, a shovel and a container to remove debris. Cleanup is required in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.8.
F. 
The towing agency is not required to remove any debris or material, which may be hazardous, or debris material that the service is not equipped to remove. When the towing agency is equipped to remove such debris, it shall dispose of said debris in full accordance with all applicable state and federal statutes.
G. 
If the vehicle is not released within five days of the tow, the towing agency shall telephone and send written notification of the towing and storage charges and information on how to obtain release of the vehicle to the registered owner. This written notification shall be sent by certified mail with return receipt requested. A copy of the notice shall be sent via regular mail to the Rahway Police Department Traffic Bureau.
H. 
Must ensure that all its authorized agents agree to follow the instructions and/or order of the police officer at the towing scene.
A. 
General jurisdiction and responsibility shall be the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police shall have jurisdiction and responsibility of:
(1) 
Inspection of tow trucks operating under this chapter;
(2) 
Examination, investigation and recommendation of approval or rejection of application's tow trucks requesting to operate under this chapter;
(3) 
Enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
If at any time, the Chief of Police shall deem the equipment inadequate or unsafe, he shall have the power to demand immediate correction, and, if not corrected to the full satisfaction of the Chief of Police, he shall then have the power to revoke or suspend the license as in the case he may deem fit and proper, after a hearing is had upon the nature and circumstances of the violation.
C. 
The Chief of Police is also hereby authorized and empowered to establish, from time to time, such additional rules and regulations not inconsistent herewith as may be necessary and reasonable, governing the issuance of any license provided for in this chapter.
D. 
The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to set a limit of six tow operators authorized to tow for the City of Rahway and is authorized to increase or decrease that number.
A. 
The Chief of Police shall create a list of tow trucks performing towing services for the City of Rahway.
B. 
The Chief of Police shall create a list for specific towing needs such as heavy-duty tow trucks.
C. 
The Chief of Police shall create rotating towing lists to be utilized by the communications personnel. Communications personnel shall use the appropriate rotation list when a tow truck is requested under this chapter. Communications personnel shall record each tow-by-tow number, date, time, location and towing agency.
(1) 
Exception to the rotation list shall only occur when the customer specifically requests the use of his or her own towing service, and this request shall not place an undue burden upon any roadway of the City.
D. 
The tow company on-call hours will be from 7:00 a.m. to 6:59 a.m. the next day.
E. 
The towing agency must respond to a call for service from the Rahway Police Department and must be on location within 15 minutes from receipt of the call. This requirement applies every day of the year.
F. 
In the event that towing agency fails to arrive within the prescribed time from receipt of a call from the Rahway Police Department, the Rahway Police Department shall be permitted to secure the services of an alternate towing agency on the list. In the event of said circumstance, the first-called towing agency shall not be entitled to any fee for its late response or costs and expenses incurred as a result thereof.
G. 
Each towing agency must handle the removal of all abandoned and junk vehicles as requested by the Rahway Police Department.
H. 
All approved tow operators shall tow, change flat tires, jumpstart and, if necessary, store for up to a maximum of five days municipally owned motor vehicles at no charge.
The towing agency shall not assign calls to other tow companies. Subcontracting of any services under this chapter is prohibited except when extraordinary circumstances require specialized and unique recovery and transport services. In this case, the fees charged must be according to the set fees established in this chapter. The towing agency shall require the subcontractor to abide by all minimum operation standards and requirements established in this chapter.
A. 
Each towing agency shall maintain a recordkeeping system as required by the City of Rahway and the laws of the State of New Jersey; at a minimum, the recordkeeping system shall include:
(1) 
The date and time of request for towing.
(2) 
The date and time the vehicle was towed.
(3) 
The address from where the vehicle was towed and address to where the vehicle was towed.
(4) 
The name of the towing operator performing service.
(5) 
Complete dates of storage of said vehicle, and all charges assessed to or paid by the owner of each vehicle.
(6) 
The date of release of said vehicle, including by whose authorization, and the name and address of the person obtaining said vehicle from storage. The tow operator must not release any vehicle from a storage facility unless a valid Rahway Police Department "Vehicle Report" is submitted to the towing operator authorizing the release from storage.
(7) 
Each licensee shall provide the Rahway Police Department's Traffic Bureau with a list of all vehicles towed that remain unclaimed in storage on the first and 15th day of every month.
(8) 
The administrative fee of $30 collected by the tow operator for each vehicle released is due by the 15th of the month for the prior month collected. An invoice showing the tow numbers of all vehicles released shall be forwarded along with a check to the Rahway Police Traffic Bureau.
B. 
Records shall be maintained for two calendar years.
C. 
Each tow operator shall provide records showing all vehicles towed, stored and released, all fees charged and collected, which records must be forwarded to the Rahway Police Department Traffic Bureau on a quarterly basis for examination and review. Any bill exceeding $500 must be forwarded to the Traffic Bureau within five business days.
D. 
The towing operator must maintain an accurate inventory of all towed vehicles stored in its storage facility. The Rahway Police Department will periodically inspect and compare the impound storage list to ensure accuracy.
E. 
The towing operator must maintain a record of all property found anywhere in a towed vehicle. The towing agency shall be responsible for all vehicles and the contents thereof after receiving said vehicle in its custody and control.
A. 
All storage and garage facilities are to be used exclusively by the licensee.
B. 
Storage facilities may be located outside the City of Rahway but must be in a bordering municipality as to not place an undue burden for customer access.
C. 
Each licensee shall have an inside building with secured storage space sufficient to accommodate at least two vehicles for exclusive use of the Police Department in connection to vehicles being held as evidence or under investigation. A vehicle held for investigation shall be held for a maximum period of five days without storage charges,.
D. 
The tow operator will store vehicles seized by the Rahway Police Department for up to one year with no storage costs.
E. 
All storage areas must be secured by a fence, wall or other man-made barrier. The facility is to be lighted at night.
F. 
No unsecured storage of any kind will be permitted for storage of vehicles towed for the City of Rahway with the exception of seized vehicles. Seized vehicles must be covered, secured and an immobilizing wheel boot placed on the vehicle.
A. 
Prior to payment in full for all services rendered by the towing agency, the towing agency shall permit a customer access to its towed vehicle during business hours to retrieve important personal papers and effects, including but not limited to wallets, purses, insurance documents, identification and banking documents. Customers shall not be permitted to remove vehicle parts, license plates, or other physical property stored in or on the vehicle.
B. 
The towing agency shall permit customer access for release for the vehicle, at a minimum, from Monday through Saturday during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There can be no storage charge for a vehicle towed on a Friday or Saturday that cannot be released to the customer due to the towing agency being closed on the following Sunday.
Licenses granted under this chapter may be revoked or suspended at any time by the Chief of Police or the City Business Administrator, if a tow truck or storage facility shall not be in a safe and sanitary condition and kept in conformity with the terms of this chapter, or for the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or any of the rules and regulations made by the Chief of Police. At the Chief of Police 's discretion, he may impose the following; first offense violators are subject to a thirty-day suspension, second offense six-month suspension, and third offense one-year suspension.
A. 
The permitted fees for towing and storage in the City of Rahway are hereby established, and there shall be no additional charges other than those provided herein:
(1) 
Tow rates, 24 hours a day/7 days a week:
[Amended 3-9-2015 by Ord. No. O-3-15]
Service
Rate
Towing charge, Category I (all vehicles 0 to 9,999 lbs GVW)
$115
Towing charge, Category II (all vehicles 10,000 to 14,999 lbs GVW)
$135
Towing charge, Category III (all vehicles over 15,000 GVW)
$155
(2) 
Extra tow service rates:
Service
Rate
Recovery (Categories I and II)
$100 per hour/$85 per hour per extra man
Heavy-duty underreach (Category III only)
$250
Recovery heavy-duty/hydraulic-type/wrecker/crane (Category III only)
$350 per hour per truck/$85 per hour per extra man
Recovery service truck w/special equipment (Category III only)
$250 per hour
Additional equipment for recovery (Category III only) (forklift, wheel load, all-terrain shooting)
$250 each
Release brake chamber
$25 per brake
Release air brakes
$40
Drop drive shaft
$75
Drop axle
$30 per axle
Cleanup rates (including use of speedy dry)
$35 per 1/2 hour
(3) 
Storage fees:
Service
Rate
Inside storage:
Categories I and II
$45 per day
Category III
$100 per day, per unit
Outside storage:
Categories I and II
$35 per day
Category III
$75 per day, per unit
B. 
A fee of $30 per vehicle shall be charged for the release of such vehicle from storage in accordance with § 389-11A(8).
C. 
The towing operator must provide a current and complete rate schedule to all customers and must conspicuously display the rate schedule.
D. 
Mileage fees are not permitted. There shall be no differential in charges between day, night services and/or holidays. Additionally, no other fees or charges are permitted except as set forth above. In the event of an extraordinary circumstance that would invoke undue hardship to the towing operator, the Rahway Police Department Traffic Bureau must be notified to obtain written approval before the imposition of any assessment.
E. 
There shall be no waiting fee charged.
F. 
All fees for towing and or storage shall be paid for and collected from the owner or other person responsible for the towed vehicle by the tow operator. The City of Rahway shall not have any financial responsibility for any such towed vehicles.
G. 
No vehicle shall be released from impound without first obtaining a signed "Vehicle Report" from the Police Department authorizing the release.