[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Englewood 6-8-1978 by Ord. No. 23-16 (§§ 10-62 to 10-82 of the 1978 Revised General Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The driving of an unengaged tow truck 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.
- TOWING or TOW
- The act of transporting, moving conveying, or removing any
and all kinds of motor vehicles, other than by means of its own power,
by a tow truck, including all actions, steps, or activities required
in connection therewith, including but not limited to vehicle entry,
disconnection of transmission linkage, the connection or disconnection
of cables, chains or other apparatus, winching, and/or the use of
dollies.[Added 4-11-2007 by Ord. No. 07-06]
- TOW TRUCK
- A vehicle driven by mechanical power and employed for the purpose of towing, transporting, moving, conveying or removing any and all kinds of vehicles which are unable to be and actually are not operated under their own power.
[Amended 2-8-2005 by Ord. No. 05-01]
Except as otherwise noted, this chapter shall pertain to the removal of motor vehicles from private and public lands within the City of Englewood by operators of tow trucks.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the owner or operator of any motor vehicle who requires towing of his own vehicle from employing the services of a tow truck of his own choice.
[Amended 2-8-2005 by Ord. No. 05-01]
No person shall cause or permit a motor vehicle to be removed from private property within the City of Englewood without the consent of the owner or operator of such motor vehicle unless such person shall first notify the Englewood Police Department and unless the tow truck operator is licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
No member of the Police Department, nor any other City official or employee acting in an official capacity, shall summon or seek the services of a tow truck to move or remove a motor vehicle from either private or public property within the City of Englewood unless the owner of the tow truck is licensed as hereinafter provided in this chapter.
The license described in § 410-3 shall be issued by the City Clerk, and applications therefor containing the following information shall be submitted to the City Clerk:
The year, make, model and serial number, registration number and owner of each tow truck which is to be used by the applicant in responding to calls from the Englewood Police Department requesting the moving or removal of disabled vehicles.
Such other information as the Chief of Police or the City Clerk may deem necessary and proper to ensure that the applicant can and will respond to such requests from the Police Department.
The place and location within the City of Englewood to which the licensee will tow, transport, convey or remove, and thereafter store, any vehicle towed, transported, conveyed or removed by him pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
The place and location within the City of Englewood where the licensee will maintain an office at which any person whose vehicle has been towed, transported, conveyed or removed may obtain information relative thereto, attend to the payment of any money to be paid in connection therewith, and arrange for any further removal and his regaining possession of such vehicle.
Upon receipt of an application for a license hereunder, the City Clerk shall forward a copy of same to the Police Department and to the Chief Inspector of the City and shall request the Police Department and the Chief Inspector to conduct an investigation, including an examination of the applicant's equipment and his place or places of business, and submit to the City Clerk a report concerning the applicant's equipment, his methods of operation, his ability to respond regularly and reliably to calls for assistance, and his ability to conform with all provisions of this chapter, provided that the City Clerk may perform or cause to be performed any additional investigation which he deems necessary or desirable to obtain or verify such information.
If, following completion of the aforesaid investigations and receipt of the aforesaid reports, the City Clerk determines that the applicant has the necessary equipment, place of business and storage facility to comply with the provisions of this chapter, and that he has complied with all the provisions of this chapter respecting qualifications for a license hereunder, and there is no reason to believe that he will fail to comply with all provisions of this chapter, then, subject to the requirements hereinafter set forth, he shall issue a license to the applicant. Either the license issued by the City Clerk or a certificate issued by the City Clerk evidencing the issuance of such license shall be displayed on each tow truck operated by the applicant pursuant to such license.
If, following completion of the aforesaid investigations and receipt of the aforesaid reports, the City Clerk determines that the applicant has failed to or will not comply with all provisions of this chapter, or that there is reason to believe he will not respond regularly and reliably to calls for assistance, then the City Clerk shall deliver to the applicant a notice of an intention to deny his application for a license.
An applicant may, within 10 days of his receipt of a notice from the City Clerk of his intention to deny a license, request a hearing before the City Clerk at which the applicant may present such facts as he believes demonstrate that the license should be granted, and the City Clerk shall disclose to the applicant the facts which formed the basis for his determination to deny the license. Following the hearing the City Clerk shall either grant the license if he determines that the applicant is entitled thereto, based on the standards set out herein, or shall deny the license.
No license shall be issued to any applicant whose business is owned in whole or in part by any member of the Police Department or any other City official or employee, or in whose business any member of the Police Department or any other City official or employee is employed or has any interest of any kind, or from whose business any member of the Police Department or any other City official or employee receives any financial benefit of any kind, directly or indirectly.
No license shall be issued hereunder unless the applicant shall first file with the City Clerk a bond, issued by a surety company licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey, in the face amount of $1,000 to guarantee the safe towing of any vehicle which the applicant is called upon to remove from any public street in the City and to indemnify the City against any and all claims which may arise out of such services performed by the applicant.
[Amended 8-6-2002 by Ord. No. 02-15]
No license shall be issued hereunder unless the applicant shall first submit to the City Clerk a certificate of insurance issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey, certifying that the applicant maintains liability insurance covering all tow trucks to be used by him with policy limits of not less than $300,000 for injury or death to one person and $1,000,000 for injury or death resulting from any one accident and limits of liability of not less than $50,000 for property damage and for garage keepers liability and public liability. Such certificate shall state that no such policy may be canceled or changed in any material respect without three days' prior notice to the City of Englewood.
Any license issued hereunder shall terminate on December 31 of the year in which issued, and each renewal license shall run for a period of one year, commencing January 1 and ending December 31.
The Chief of Police shall establish and publish a call list of all licensees to be called when towing services are required or requested by the Police Department or any other agency, official or employee of the City. The call list shall provide for a rotating system of calling such licensees so as to assure equal treatment of all licensees.
The system established and maintained by the Chief of Police shall include a system for calling a second licensee in the event that the first licensee called cannot or does not respond to a call for assistance, provided that such system shall also provide for equal treatment of all licensees.
The Chief of Police shall cause to be maintained records of all calls made by the Police Department pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, which records shall contain at least the following information with respect to each call made:
The name of the licensee called.
The date and time the licensee was called.
A statement as to whether the licensee called did respond to the call and if not a statement as to which licensee did respond.
A statement as to whether any party involved in an accident or owning or operating a disabled vehicle requested the service of a particular licensee.
Any other information which the Chief of Police deems desirable and helpful for purposes of determining compliance with all provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 10-20-1981 by Ord. No. 81-55; 5-17-1988 by Ord. No. 88-05; 5-1-2001 by Ord. No. 01-07; 4-11-2007 by Ord. No. 07-06]
No licensee shall charge more than $85 for towing a vehicle of not more than three tons.
Additional charges may be made by any licensee for towing a vehicle in excess of three tons, including tractor trailers, for services involving unusual wrecks, disassembled vehicles, embankment retrievals, disaster scenes and abnormal accident scenes and for towing to a location outside the City of Englewood pursuant to the express request of the owner or operator of the vehicle to be moved or removed.
No licensee shall charge a fee for storage of a vehicle in excess of $20 for each twenty-four-hour period or fraction thereof, provided that the time period for which such a storage fee may be charged shall commence 24 hours after the time the vehicle is brought upon the premises, and no storage fee may be charged for any period of time prior thereto.
No licensee shall remove any disabled vehicle to any location except the location within the City of Englewood which the licensee has specified in his application for a license as being the place to which the licensee will remove any disabled vehicle, unless the owner or operator of the vehicle expressly requests that the vehicle be removed to some other location.
No person, whether or not licensed pursuant to this chapter, shall engage in cruising in a tow truck, nor shall the owner of a tow truck permit any person to engage in cruising in the same.
No driver or owner of any tow truck shall, after removing any vehicle from the place where it is picked up, park or permit the parking of any such vehicle on any public street within the City of Englewood either in the vicinity of his place of business or any other public street in the City, unless such vehicle is operable and is turned over to and accepted by the owner thereof.
No license issued hereunder shall be transferred or assigned nor shall the location designated by a licensee as the place to which disabled vehicles shall be removed, nor the office required to be maintained by the licensee, be changed without the consent of the City Clerk who, in acting on any such request for a transfer, assignment or change of location of offices, shall ensure that any such action shall not impair the ability of the licensee to comply with all provisions of this chapter.
No license shall be issued hereunder to any person, firm or corporation who does not maintain within the City of Englewood adequate storage facilities for the purposes described in § 410-4D, nor shall any such license be granted to any person, firm, or corporation who does not maintain within the City of Englewood an office for the purpose described in § 410-4E.
No license shall be issued hereunder unless the premises described in § 410-16 comply in all respects with the provisions of Chapter 250, Land Use, Chapter 317, Property Maintenance, and all other applicable ordinances or codes of the City of Englewood pertaining to the use or condition of such premises and unless the City Clerk is satisfied that said premises have sufficient capacity to store such vehicles in conformity with the provisions of Chapter 250, Land Use, Chapter 317, Property Maintenance, and other applicable ordinances and codes and all applicable provisions of this chapter.
A license may be suspended or revoked by the City Clerk following notice to the licensee and a hearing before the City Clerk upon any of the following grounds:
Repeated failure to respond reliably and promptly to calls for assistance from the Police Department or any other City agency or employee, or any other action which interferes with the proper operation of the rotating system maintained by the Police Department.
Violations of motor vehicle laws including municipal ordinances.
Failure or refusal to tow or remove a vehicle when requested to do so by the Police Department or any other agency or employee of the City.
Any other violation of any provision of this chapter.
Any party may appeal to the Council a decision of the City Clerk respecting the granting, denying, revoking, or suspending of any license hereunder, or the failure or refusal of the City Clerk to suspend or revoke such license.
Such appeal shall be made by filing written notice of appeal with the City Manager within 10 days of receipt of notice of the action of the City Clerk.
The Council may decide such appeal on the basis of the record made before the City Clerk or may hold a new hearing thereon at which time all parties having an interest therein, including the City Clerk, may be heard.
The Council may either affirm the action of the City Clerk or reverse same or take such other action as it deems appropriate under the provisions of this chapter.
Any person who shall violate the provisions of this chapter, in addition to possible suspension or revocation of the license, shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.