Borough of Spotswood, NJ
Middlesex County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Spotswood 5-21-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. II.
Licensing — See Ch. 127.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 199.

§ 185-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AUTOCAB
Includes any automobile or motor car, commonly called "taxi," engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire which is held out, announced or advertised to operate or run or which is operated or run over any of the streets or public highways of this state, and particularly accepts and discharges such persons as may offer themselves for transportation from points or places to points or places within or without the state.
CRUISING
The driving of an empty taxicab along a public street at a slow rate of speed for the obvious purpose of soliciting passengers.
OPERATION
A taxicab consists of transporting one or more persons in a taxicab for hire. Accepting a passenger to be transported for hire from a point of departure within the Borough to a destination within or without the Borough shall be considered operation of a taxicab within the Borough. The operation of a taxicab by one other than the owner shall be deemed operation by the owner as well as by the person actually driving the taxi. The transportation of any person other than the owner or driver in any motor vehicle bearing a sign using the words "taxi," "taxicab," "cab," or "hack" shall be prima facie evidence of operation.
OWNER
Any person in whose name title to any taxicab is registered with the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles, or who appears in the Division's records to be a conditional vendee or lessee or has any other proprietary interest in a taxicab.
PERSON
Includes any individual, copartnership, association, corporation or joint-stock company, their lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court whatsoever.
STREET
Includes any street, avenue, park, parkway, highway or other public place.
TAXICAB or TAXI
A motor vehicle used to transport passengers for hire, which does not operate over a fixed route and is not hired by the day or hour.

§ 185-2 Licensing of owner and driver required.

No person shall operate a taxicab within the Borough unless both the owner and the driver of the taxicab are licensed under this chapter.

§ 185-3 Types of licenses.

A. 
Driver's license. The holder of a taxicab driver's license shall be entitled to operate within the Borough any taxicab whose owner has been licensed under this chapter.
B. 
Owner's license. The holder of a taxicab owner's license shall be entitled to offer for hire a taxicab owned by him within the Borough, provided that any person driving the cab holds a valid taxicab driver's license.

§ 185-4 Licensing of taxicab owners.

A. 
Application information. Application for a taxicab owner's license shall be made to the Borough Clerk upon forms provided by the Clerk and shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant and proof of citizenship. If the applicant is a corporation, its name, the address of its principal place of business, and the name and address of its registered agent.
(2) 
A statement as to whether the applicant has ever been convicted of violating any criminal or quasi-criminal statute, including traffic laws and municipal ordinances; if the applicant has been convicted, a statement as to the dates and places of conviction, the nature of the offenses, and the punishment imposed.
(3) 
The number of vehicles to be operated or controlled within the Borough by the applicant, and the location of any proposed depots, terminals or offices either within the Borough or elsewhere.
(4) 
The previous experience of the applicant in the transportation of passengers for hire including the name of any other state or municipality where the applicant has ever been licensed to operate a taxicab; whether the applicant's license has ever been suspended or revoked, or if an application for the issuance or renewal of a license has been denied and the reasons for the denial, suspension, or revocation.
(5) 
Appropriate evidence of the applicant's good character and business and financial responsibility sufficient to enable an investigator to make an evaluation thereof.
(6) 
Any other facts that the applicant believes will show why a license should be granted.
(7) 
A full-color sketch showing the color scheme of the taxicabs to be operated by the applicant and another full-color sketch of any insignia or design which the applicant intends to use to identify taxicabs to be utilized by the applicant.
(8) 
Any other appropriate information which the Council may by resolution require.
(9) 
Applications shall be verified by oath or affirmation. Applications by a partnership shall give the information required by this subsection for each partner, and shall be verified by all partners. Applications by corporations shall give the information required and be verified by all officers and directors and all persons holding more than 10% of the corporation's common stock, as well as the corporation itself.
B. 
Notice of hearing. The Borough Clerk shall provide all applications to the Chief of Police who shall advise the Council of the filing of an application. The Council shall set a date for a hearing on the application and shall notify the applicant. The date set shall be within a reasonable time after the filing of the application. The applicant shall cause a notice of the time and place of hearing to be published once in a newspaper circulating in the Borough at least three days before the date set for the hearing.
C. 
Investigation. The Chief of Police or a police officer designated by the Chief shall institute an investigation of the facts stated in the application and shall evaluate the application in the light of the criteria set forth in Subsection E. A report containing the results of the investigation and evaluation, a recommendation by the Chief of Police that the license be granted or denied, and the reasons for the recommendation shall be forwarded to the Council at least three days before the date set for the hearing. A copy of the report shall also be sent to the applicant.
D. 
Conduct of hearing. At the hearing any person who is a resident or taxpayer of the Borough may appear in person and make a brief statement or submit a written statement in support of or in opposition to the granting of a license. In addition, the applicant and any other person who will be affected by the grant or denial of the license other than as a Borough resident or taxpayer shall have the right to be represented by an attorney, to testify or to present witnesses in support of a particular position, to cross-examine opposing witnesses, and at such person's own expense to have a stenographic record made of the proceedings. This subsection shall not prevent the Council from imposing reasonable limits on the number of witnesses appearing in favor of or against the granting of the license, the time allowed for each side to present its case, or for the examination or cross-examination of any witness, or from imposing any other restriction which is necessary to insure that the hearing is conducted in an orderly, fair, and expeditious manner.
E. 
Factors considered. In determining whether to grant or deny the application, the Council shall take into consideration the following factors:
(1) 
The character, business, and financial responsibility and experience of the applicant, and the probability that if granted a license, the applicant will operate a taxicab in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
The number of taxicabs already in operation, the need of the public for additional service, and any increased convenience that would result to the public if more taxicabs were placed in operation.
(3) 
Whether an increase in the number of taxicabs operating in the Borough would produce or substantially increase traffic congestion, including congestion in the vicinity of schools, railroad stations or other areas where taxicabs may be likely to pick up or discharge passengers, or would otherwise inconvenience the public.
(4) 
Any other factors directly related to the grant or denial of the application which would substantially affect public safety or convenience.
F. 
Issuance of license. The Council shall by resolution grant or deny the application. If the application is granted, the Borough Clerk shall issue the license upon receiving from the applicant satisfactory proof that the applicant has complied with all laws of the State of New Jersey relating to the operation of taxicabs. The license shall state the name and address of the licensee; the name, make and serial number of the vehicles which the licensee is authorized to operate; and the date of issuance.
G. 
License term; fee. A taxicab owner's license shall be valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it was issued. The license fee shall be $50 per year or portion thereof per vehicle, payable upon the filing of the application for the issuance or renewal of the license. For a license renewed after July 1 there shall be a surcharge fee of $20.
H. 
Lapse of license. In the event that an applicant shall not place any autocab into service within 60 days of issuance of an owner's license, the license shall lapse.
I. 
Renewals. Licenses for taxicab owners may be renewed by the Council without a hearing upon:
(1) 
The licensee's filing with the Chief of Police a sworn statement that there have been no changes in the information contained in the applicant's initial application, that the applicant has continued to comply with all laws of the State of New Jersey relating to the operation of taxicabs and that the applicant is not in violation of any provision of this chapter; and
(2) 
A report by the Chief of Police made after investigation that the statements made in connection with the application for renewal are correct.
J. 
Transferability of license. No owner's license shall be transferred from one vehicle to another until the owner obtains written permission from the Police Chief for such transfer and pays a transfer fee of $25 to the Clerk. No owner's license shall be transferred from one owner to another except by direct action by the Borough Council and the payment to the Clerk of a transfer fee of $30.

§ 185-5 Taxicab driver's license.

A. 
Applications.
(1) 
Applications for a taxicab driver's license shall be made to the Borough Clerk upon forms provided by the Clerk and shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The name, address, and age of the applicant.
(b) 
The number of the applicant's New Jersey motor vehicle operator's license.
(c) 
Whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a violation of any criminal or quasi-criminal statute, including municipal ordinances and traffic laws; if the applicant has been convicted, the dates and places of the convictions, the nature of the offenses, and the punishment imposed.
(d) 
All the places where the applicant has ever applied for or been granted a license to drive a taxicab.
(e) 
Whether the applicant's license to operate a motor vehicle or license to drive a taxicab has ever been suspended or revoked, or application for the issuance or renewal of either license denied and, if so, the date and place of the denial, suspension, or revocation and the reasons for it.
(f) 
The names and addresses of all persons by whom the applicant has been employed for the past five years, the position held, and the nature of the work performed.
(2) 
In addition, an applicant shall provide:
(a) 
Proof of New Jersey residence.
(b) 
Certification by a physician licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey that the applicant has been examined on a specified date not more than 60 days prior to the filing of the application and that in the physician's opinion the applicant is not afflicted with epilepsy, vertigo, heart trouble, or any other infirmity which would affect the applicant's ability to operate a taxicab safely.
(c) 
Three photographs of the applicant, at least two inches by two inches, clearly showing the head and shoulders of the applicant.
(d) 
Appropriate evidence that the applicant is not a narcotics addict, alcoholic, or habitual drunkard and that the applicant is of good moral character.
(e) 
For the Police Department to fingerprint the applicant, which fingerprints shall be immediately processed for classification and identification and for which the applicant shall pay to the Borough Clerk the actual cost for obtaining fingerprint results.
(3) 
The application shall be accompanied by a fee of $25 for the initial license period for each driver.
B. 
Examination. At the time of the filing of the application, the Chief of Police or a police officer who shall be designated by the Chief shall give the applicant a written or oral examination designed to test the applicant's knowledge of the provisions of the chapter, the Motor Vehicle Act, the Traffic Act, and other ordinances and regulations having to do with traffic and the geography of the Borough.
C. 
Investigation. The Chief of Police or a police officer designated by the Chief shall conduct an investigation of the facts stated in the application and shall report the results to the Council within such period of time which may be reasonable in order to obtain results of fingerprint classification and identification or other information required in Subsection A above. The report shall include a recommendation that the license be granted or denied and the reasons for the recommendation.
D. 
Consideration of application.
(1) 
After considering the facts contained in the application and the report of the Chief of Police, the Council may grant the application or may decide to hold a hearing.
(2) 
If the Council decides that a hearing is necessary, the applicant shall be given at least five days' notice of the fact that a hearing will be held and of its time and place. The applicant shall also be furnished with a copy of the report of the Chief of Police.
(3) 
At the hearing, the applicant shall be entitled to be represented by an attorney, to present witnesses or to testify himself on the applicant's own behalf, to cross-examine any opposing witnesses, and at the applicant's own expense, to have a stenographic record made of the proceedings. After considering the evidence, the Council shall either grant or deny the application.
E. 
Issuance of license; contents. Upon approval of the application by the Council, the Borough Clerk shall immediately issue the applicant a taxicab driver's license. The license shall contain the licensee's name and address, physical description, signature, and photograph.
F. 
Term of license; fees. An initial license to drive a taxicab shall be valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it was issued. If issued after the beginning of the year, the fee shall be prorated on a quarter-annual basis. A taxicab driver's license may be renewed annually upon the payment of $10 unless it has been revoked or suspended. For a license renewed after July 1, there shall be a surcharge of $25.

§ 185-6 Inspection of vehicles.

A. 
Initial inspection. Before any vehicle is used as a taxicab within the Borough, it shall be inspected by the Chief of Police or a police officer or a qualified individual designated by the Chief to ascertain that it is in a safe, clean, and sanitary condition and contains all safety devices required by law.
B. 
Reinspections. All taxicabs shall be reinspected annually or more often if the Council so requires by resolution. In addition, any police officer may inspect any taxicab at any reasonable time to determine if it is clean, sanitary, and in a safe and proper operating condition.
C. 
Failure to pass inspection. Any taxicab which fails to pass inspection shall be immediately taken out of service and shall not be operated again within the Borough until the defects which led to its rejection are corrected. Where minor defects do not constitute an immediate danger to the health or safety of the public, the taxicab may continue to operate for a period of one week, at the end of which time it shall be reinspected. If the defect has not by then been corrected, the vehicle shall immediately be taken out of service and shall remain out of service until the defect is corrected.

§ 185-7 Identification of taxicabs.

A. 
Identification required. Each taxicab operated in the Borough shall have a sign painted on each rear door. The sign shall contain the owner's name and the words "Taxicab" or "Taxi" in letters which shall not be less than four inches nor more than eight inches in height.
B. 
Imitation of color scheme or insignia. No taxicab operated in the Borough shall imitate the color scheme or any identifying design or insignia of another taxicab lawfully operating in the Borough, nor shall one taxicab have a color scheme, identifying design, or insignia so similar to another taxicab's that it may mislead the public. The person first using a particular color scheme, identifying design, or insignia for his taxicab shall have the prior right to it.

§ 185-8 Fares.

A. 
Rates of fares. The fare that may be charged by the driver or owner of a taxicab for a trip wholly within the limits of the Borough shall not exceed that approved by resolution of the Borough Council from time to time.
B. 
Display of rates. Every taxicab shall have displayed in it a card, easily read by all passengers, giving the maximum permissible rates of fare for trips within the geographical limits of the Borough.
C. 
Receipts. The driver of a taxicab, on request of the passenger, shall give the passenger a receipt for the amount charged. The receipt shall show the name of the owner, the license number of the taxicab, the amount of the fare, and the date of the transaction.
D. 
Refusal to pay fare. No person after hiring a taxicab shall refuse to pay the legal fare, nor shall any person hire a taxicab with the intent not to pay the legal fare.
E. 
Disputes over fares. All disputes over the rate of fare shall, on request of the driver and the passenger, be determined by the senior police officer on duty at the Borough police station. Failure to comply with the officer's determination shall be a violation of this chapter.

§ 185-9 Solicitation, acceptance, and discharge of passengers.

A. 
Additional passenger. No driver shall permit any additional person to ride in his taxicab as a passenger unless the person first employing the taxicab consents to the acceptance of the additional passenger.
B. 
Number of passengers. Every taxicab shall have in it a card displayed within plain view of all passengers stating the taxicab's maximum permissible seating capacity. This capacity shall be determined by the Chief of Police or a police officer designated by the Chief at the time that the vehicle is initially inspected, as provided by § 185-6A. No driver shall permit more persons to be carried in his taxicab as passengers than the number stated as the maximum permissible seating capacity.
C. 
Refusal to carry passengers. No driver shall refuse to carry any orderly person to any destination within the Borough unless the driver has been previously engaged or is unable or forbidden by the provisions of this chapter to do so.
D. 
Soliciting for hotels or motels. It shall be a violation of this chapter for any taxicab driver to solicit business for any hotel or motel or to attempt to divert patrons from one hotel or motel to another.
E. 
Misrepresentation. No driver of a taxicab shall induce any person to employ such driver by knowingly misinforming that person of the time or place of the arrival or departure of any train or bus; or of the location of any hotel, public place or private residence within the Borough; nor of the distance between any two points. No driver shall convey a passenger to any other place or over any other route than that which the passenger may have instructed the driver to take. Unless otherwise ordered, a driver shall convey a passenger over the most direct, practical route to his destination.
F. 
Obstruction of streets. No taxicab while waiting for employment by passengers shall stand on any public street or space other than at the place designated as a taxicab stand, nor shall any driver of a taxicab seek employment by repeatedly driving the taxicab to and fro in a small space in front of any theater, hall, hotel, public resort, railroad station, or other place of public gathering, or by otherwise interfering with the proper and orderly access to or egress from such place. No taxicab driver shall engage in the practice commonly known as "cruising."

§ 185-10 Additional regulations.

A. 
Transfer of licenses. Every license issued under this chapter shall apply only to the person to whom it is issued and shall not be transferable.
B. 
Display of license. Every driver licensed under this chapter shall display the license issued to said driver so that it can be seen by all persons riding in the taxicab as passengers. No license shall be displayed in a taxicab which does not belong to the person actually driving at the time.
C. 
Record. Every driver shall maintain a daily record which shall indicate for each trip made the time and place of origin, the time and place of destination, and the amount of fare charged. All completed records shall be returned to the owner by the driver at the conclusion of a tour of duty. The form on which the record is kept shall be furnished to the driver by the owner and shall be approved by the Borough Clerk.
D. 
Lost property. Every driver of a taxicab at the beginning and end of a tour of duty shall search the cab for any property lost or left in it. Any lost property not claimed by or delivered to the owner within 24 hours shall be reported in writing to the Chief of Police by the driver or owner of the taxicab. The report shall give brief particulars and a description of the property.
E. 
Cruising. No driver of any taxicab shall solicit employment in the transportation of passengers by driving upon or along any street or highway or other public place within the Borough.
F. 
Insurance. The applicant must have complied with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 48:16-1 et seq., and the acts amendatory thereof or supplemental thereto relating to insurance. In the event of the cancellation of the licensee's insurance, the license shall terminate upon the effective date of the cancellation, unless prior thereto the insurance has been reinstated by withdrawal of the cancellation or a new policy of insurance is delivered to the Municipal Clerk for the remainder of the license year.

§ 185-11 Suspension or revocation of licenses.

A. 
Additional causes for revocation. In addition to the causes for revocation of a license set forth in this chapter, any license issued under this chapter may be revoked or suspended or any application for the issuance or renewal of a license denied for any of the following reasons:
(1) 
Consistent failure to render reasonable, prompt, safe, and adequate taxicab service.
(2) 
The existence of a judgment unsatisfied of record against the licensee or applicant in any suit arising over the operation of a motor vehicle.
(3) 
Permitting any taxicab owned or driven by the licensee to remain unsafe, unsanitary, or dirty.
(4) 
Failure to comply with all applicable laws of the State of New Jersey.
B. 
Drivers. If the licensee is a driver, a license may also be revoked or suspended for the following reasons:
(1) 
Revocation or suspension of the driver's New Jersey motor vehicle operator's license.
(2) 
Contraction by the licensee of a communicable or contagious disease.
(3) 
Operating a taxicab in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, or habitually operating a taxicab in a negligent manner.

§ 185-12 Limousine and livery service.

A. 
General. The purpose of this section is to regulate and control the operation of autocabs, also known as limousine and livery services, within the Borough, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:16-13 et seq.
B. 
Definition. The definition of autocab as set forth in N.J.S.A. 48:16-13 includes limousine and livery service and is for the business of carrying passengers for hire by charter or by a fixed rate for transportation to a specific place or places and the fare or price is agreed upon in advance.
C. 
Insurance policy required. Before a person or party shall be allowed to operate an autocab, also known as limousine service or livery service, the party or person, as the owner, shall file with the Clerk of the Borough an insurance policy in the sum required by the statute in such case made and provided against loss by reason of liability imposed by law upon every autocab, limousine, or livery service owner for damages or bodily injury or death suffered by any person as a result of an accident and against loss by reason of property damage. The right to operate an autocab, also known as limousine service or livery service, shall be permitted only so long as the insurance policy shall remain in full force and effect for such statutory amounts. The contents of the insurance policy shall also provide for the payment of any final judgment recovered by a person on account of the ownership, maintenance and use of such autocab, limousine, or livery service, or any fault in respect thereof and shall be for the benefit of every person suffering loss, damage, or injury. In addition to the actual policy, the party or person, as owner, shall provide a specific power of attorney to the Borough Administrator permitting the Borough to confirm at any time that the above required insurance is in effect.
D. 
Borough Treasurer appointed as lawful attorney. The owner of the autocab, limousine, or livery service shall execute and deliver to the Borough Clerk, concurrently with the filing of the insurance policy, a power of attorney wherein the owner shall appoint the Borough Treasurer a true and lawful attorney for the purpose of acknowledging service of any process out of the court of competent jurisdiction to be served against the insured by virtue of the indemnity granted under the insurance policy filed.
E. 
Certificate of compliance. Upon proof that the owner of the autocab, limousine, or livery service has complied with filing the required insurance policy, the Borough Clerk shall issue a certificate in duplicate showing that the owner has complied with the terms and provisions of this section and the New Jersey State statutes. This certificate issued by the Borough Clerk shall recite the name of the insurance company, the number and date of expiration of the policy, a description of every autocab, limousine, and livery service insured under the policy and the registration number of the vehicles registered thereto. The duplicate certificate shall be filed with the Division of Motor Vehicles before any car is registered as an autocab, limousine, or livery service. The original certificate shall be posted in a conspicuous place within the autocab, limousine, or livery vehicle.
F. 
Compliance with other ordinances. Any person or party making an application for permission to operate autocabs, limousines, or livery service shall also comply with all of the other regulations and ordinances of the Borough, including Chapter 120, Land Development.
G. 
Violations. Any person or party who shall fail to comply with the provisions of New Jersey state statute hereinafter referred to as N.J.S.A. 48:16-13 et seq. shall be guilty of a misdemeanor as set forth in N.J.S.A. 48:16-22.