Township of Manalapan, NJ
Monmouth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Manalapan 10-11-2000 by Ord. No. 00-11; amended in its entirety 4-11-2007 by Ord. No. 07-09. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. II.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 226.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5, Subsection (1)(u), a list of towing operators to provide towing services for the Township of Manalapan on a rotating basis and to establish, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.49, regulations governing operators engaged in the removal of motor vehicles.
[Amended 12-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ABSORBENT MATERIAL
Any product used to soak up spills or vehicle fluids, including, by way of example, Speedy Dry; Oil-Dri; absorbent pads; and socks.
CLEANUP
Removal and/or disposal of any debris left on the roadway or property as a result of a motor vehicle accident or recovery.
CRUISING
Driving an unengaged tow vehicle on a public street in a manner primarily calculated to solicit business.
HIGHWAY
The entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.
POLICE TOW
The transportation of a vehicle at the request of the Police Department via a tow vehicle.
RECOVERY
When a tow operator applies knowledge in a skillful manner to preserve the condition of a motor vehicle while moving the damaged vehicle into a towable position. This may include several actions which are not limited to winching, rigging, or the recovery of any vehicle in an abnormal towing position.
STORAGE FACILITY
Any building or property, other than a private garage, available to the public, operated as a business and which is used for the storage, repair, rental, lubrication, washing, servicing, adjusting or equipping of automobiles or other motor vehicles and which complies with all provisions of the zoning or other ordinances of the municipality in which it is located.
TOW DAY
The twenty-four-hour period beginning at 12:00 a.m. on the towing business's scheduled towing date. A tow day will be one calendar day.
TOWING BUSINESS
A business with a building or enclosed area in which motorcars can be sheltered or stored and which owns or operates any two or more tow vehicles as defined in this section. At a minimum, each business must have at least two tow vehicles in order to be maintained on the towing list. Such business must also have gasoline available for disabled vehicles.
TOWING LIST
A list of towing businesses, maintained by the Police Department and used for the purpose of calling the appropriate towing service for all police needs and for removing vehicles from accidents where the operator has not selected a towing service.
TOWING OPERATOR
A person or other legal entity engaged in the business of providing towing services and storage services for vehicles towed.
TOW OPERATOR'S PERMIT
A permit issued to a tow operator allowing the tow operator to be placed on the police towing list to provide towing services.
TOW VEHICLE
A vehicle, including but not limited to a wrecker, tow truck, wheel lift truck, or flatbed truck, employed for the purpose of towing, transporting, conveying, removing, recovering or winching any vehicle, that is equipped with a boom, winches, slings, tilt beds, wheel lifts, or underreach equipment specially designed by its manufacturer for the removal and transport of private passenger automobiles and small trucks.
WAIT TIME
Additional time a tow operator spends at the scene other than the time required for the actual tow and/or recovery.
WINCHING
The process of moving a motor vehicle by the use of additional chains, nylon slings and additional lengths of winch cable from a position that is not accessible for direct hookup by conventional means for towing and/or loading onto a tow vehicle.
The Chief of Police or a member of the Police Department designated by him/her is authorized to enforce the provisions set forth in this chapter.
[Amended 12-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
A. 
The Chief of Police or his/her designee shall establish a towing list designated to provide towing and storage services required by the Police Department. Any towing operators qualifying pursuant to this chapter shall be included on the list, and those on the list shall be called on a rotating basis to provide the required towing and storage services.
B. 
All towing operators shall rotate on a daily basis. Whenever a towing operator is called through the Police Department, whether as a result of being next on the tow list, or for another reason, that towing operator shall continue to operate on his scheduled tow day. The Chief of Police or his/her designee shall establish such other written procedures for the operation of the towing list as he shall deem appropriate. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the Chief of Police or his designee from requesting additional towing service from others if, in the judgment of such person, the size, nature or scope of the accident conditions or the performance of the called towing operator requires that assistance be rendered.
[Amended 12-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
A. 
Application procedure; renewals.
(1) 
All towing operators desiring to be included on the towing list shall file an application with the Police Department on a form approved by the Chief of Police or his designee. Approval of initial applications hereunder shall be effective for a period of three years, commencing on January 1, 2014. The application fee shall be $600 for the three-year approval. By filing such application, the applicant agrees to the terms and conditions outlined in the application, including compliance with this chapter.
(2) 
Thereafter, all new applications must be completed and submitted to the Chief of Police by October 15 of the calendar year preceding the year the towing operator desires to be included on the towing list. The application fee shall be prorated at $200 per year. The towing list shall be effective for a period of one year, commencing January 1 of each year.
(3) 
All renewal applications must be completed and submitted to the Chief of Police by October 15 of the calendar year in which the approval expires.
(4) 
All towing operators desiring to be included on the tow list shall comply with all terms and conditions listed in this chapter. Failure to comply with this chapter shall result in immediate removal from the tow list.
B. 
The application shall include the following information:
(1) 
The full name and address of the towing operator and, if a corporation, the names and addresses of all officers and shareholders thereof. Only one towing operator shall apply for any one address.
(2) 
The description, by make, model, license number, year, gross vehicle weight, vehicle identification number and color, of each vehicle.
(3) 
The address at which each tow vehicle will be principally kept.
(4) 
The address of the authorized storage facility to which the towed vehicles will be taken and at which they will be stored.
(5) 
The names, address and copy of the drivers licenses of all drivers of tow vehicles.
(6) 
The telephone numbers at which the Police Department may summon a tow vehicle at any time, day or night.
(7) 
Copies of required insurance policies or certificates of insurance.
(8) 
Any other information as may be required by the Chief of Police or his designee.
C. 
All proposed drivers of tow vehicles shall have a criminal history check and be fingerprinted through Morpho Trak, Inc. Drivers hired during an approval period shall be required to be fingerprinted within 30 days of being hired by the tow operator.
[Amended 12-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
The following are the minimum qualifying factors to be considered for inclusion on the towing list:
A. 
Towing service.
(1) 
Motor vehicle accidents. The towing operator must be prepared to promptly clear the highway, at the request of the Police Department, of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle collision. The towing operator shall be required to clean up all debris from the highway or at the scene of a collision and shall apply absorbent materials to vehicle fluids in accordance with state law. Where the vehicles are too large for the towing service to remove from the scene, the police will call for the assistance of others.
(2) 
Disabled motor vehicles. The towing operator must be prepared to promptly clear the highway, at the request of the Police Department, of any vehicle that becomes disabled. Where the vehicles are too large for the towing service to remove from the scene, the police will call for the assistance of others.
(3) 
Motor vehicle impounds. The towing operator must be prepared to promptly remove, at the request of the Police Department, any vehicle from the highway or private property. Where the vehicles are too large for the towing service to remove from the scene, the police will call for the assistance of others.
B. 
Vehicle storage.
(1) 
The premises to be utilized by the towing operator for the operation of the towing business and storage facility must be in compliance with all land use regulations of the municipality in which the property is located. The towing operator shall provide a letter or certification from the Zoning Officer or other appropriate official of said municipality to establish compliance. At no time shall a towing operator store more vehicles upon the premises than are permitted in accordance with the governing regulations.
(2) 
The storage facility maintained by the towing operator shall be sufficient in size to accommodate the storage, at any given time, of at least 10 passenger vehicles. This storage facility must be in a fenced and secure area and under the control of the towing operator only. The towing operator may own or lease more than one storage facility which may be utilized for the storage of vehicles towed in accordance with this chapter, and in such case, the total capacity of all such storage facilities shall be at least 10 passenger vehicles. If more than one storage facility is utilized, the same must be preapproved by the Manalapan Township Police Department.
(3) 
If a storage facility is used by more than one towing operator, it shall accommodate at least 10 passenger vehicles for each towing operator.
(4) 
The storage facility area must be located in the Township or within one mile of the corporate boundary of the Township of Manalapan.
(5) 
Access to the storage facility area must be provided to the Manalapan Township Police Department on a twenty-four-hour basis.
C. 
Equipment.
(1) 
Vehicles.
(a) 
Two professionally constructed tow vehicles that meet the standards specified by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Code.
(b) 
Each tow vehicle shall be permanently lettered on both sides in accordance with Title 39 of the Revised Statutes.
(c) 
Each tow vehicle must satisfy all safety standards as established by Title 39 of the Revised Statutes or applicable regulations. When required by the Manalapan Township Police Department, each towing operator shall submit its vehicles for inspection by the Manalapan Township Police Department or any other approved inspection agency designated by the Manalapan Township Police Department. Any deficiencies shall be corrected within 30 days of the date of inspection. Proof of corrected deficiencies shall be provided by the towing operator to the Manalapan Township Police Department.
(d) 
Each vehicle shall be equipped with amber warning lights affixed to the top of each tow vehicle.
(e) 
Operator equipment, as outlined herein, must be the type, condition and design to efficiently perform the work required by the Township.
(2) 
Safety.
(a) 
Amber warning lights on the tow vehicle(s) shall be activated at the scene of each call.
(b) 
Each person responding with the tow vehicle shall wear a reflective safety vest.
(3) 
Supplies.
(a) 
Each tow vehicle shall be equipped with a broom capable of sweeping debris from the highway.
(b) 
Each tow vehicle shall be equipped with a flat shovel capable of removing debris from the highway.
(c) 
Each tow vehicle shall be equipped with containers capable of holding loose material to be removed from the scene.
(d) 
Each tow vehicle shall be equipped with at least 20 pounds of an absorbent material in order to dry liquid on the highway that is to be removed from the highway.
D. 
Response time.
(1) 
The towing operator shall respond to all calls within the Township of Manalapan within 20 minutes.
(2) 
Large-vehicle service response time shall be within 50 minutes.
(3) 
Response time determination is to be initiated when the police call requesting towing is completed. Where the police cannot reach the next eligible operator on the list, that operator shall be deemed to have forfeited its position, and the next succeeding operator on the list shall be called.
E. 
Insurance.
(1) 
The towing operator shall maintain the following minimum insurance coverage in the name of the applicant:
(a) 
Automobile liability in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limits.
(b) 
Workers' compensation as required by statute.
(c) 
Garage keeper's liability in an amount not less than $100,000 per location.
(d) 
Garage liability in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit.
(e) 
Policies in force to provide collision coverage for vehicles in tow.
(2) 
Certificate of insurance. At time of application, the towing operator shall present a certificate of insurance evidencing the above coverage by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey. Included on such certificate shall be a statement that the insurance company or agent will notify the Chief of Police immediately of any change, cancellation or lapse of such coverage. Such statement shall not include language making such notification permissive, nor language absolving the company/agent from liability for failure to notify.
(3) 
By virtue of making application to be included on the towing list, the applicant will be deemed to agree to indemnify and hold the Township of Manalapan and its officers and employees harmless from any liability, expense or costs of suit, including reasonable attorney's fees, arising out of or resulting from any action of the applicant in performing towing and storage services in the Township of Manalapan.
(4) 
The applicant agrees to notify the Chief of Police immediately of any change, cancellation or lapse of insurance coverage.
F. 
Prohibition of oral inquiry. No towing operator included on the towing list shall make oral inquiry regarding its position on the list, violations by other towing operators or any other matters relating to performance under this chapter. All such inquiries must be made in writing addressed to the Chief of Police.
G. 
Customer fees and billing. All customers shall be provided a written bill which must be in an amount not exceeding the rates provided for herein. All towing operators shall accept at least two major credit cards and shall not charge the patron for the use of any credit card.
H. 
Recordkeeping. All customer bills shall include, at a minimum, the date, time, location and vehicle information; all service charges and fees; and the name, address and telephone number of the vehicle owner. A copy of all customer bills shall be retained by the towing operator for a period of three years from the date of service and will be made available for inspection by the Township Police Department upon request.
I. 
Storage provision during emergency condition. During emergency situations (snowstorms, etc.), the towing operator must provide additional vehicle storage spaces as needed. Said storage space does not have to be located at the primary facility. Said spaces will only be used during the period of such emergency.
J. 
Registered towing personnel. The towing operator must register all personnel, on a form approved by the Police Department, who are authorized by the firm to provide towing and storage services for the firm at the time of employment and then register and update the information at the time a renewal application is filed or as otherwise required by the Police Department. The registration must include for each person:
(1) 
Name, residence and telephone number.
(2) 
New Jersey driver's license number and expiration date.
(3) 
Social security number.
(4) 
Signed statement by each person setting forth his/her understanding that a criminal history check will be required, the results of which will be used by the Police Department in determining the eligibility of the towing and storage operator for inclusion on the tow list.
K. 
Conduct of towing operators.
(1) 
The towing operator agrees that the owner(s) or officers of the company shall be responsible, except as otherwise provided by law, for the negligent acts of their employees while acting pursuant to this chapter.
(2) 
The towing operator will ensure adequate available personnel to provide necessary Township wrecker services on all assigned tow days on a twenty-four-hour basis.
(3) 
Employees shall not claim to represent or be employed by the Township of Manalapan.
(4) 
No towing operator shall solicit, demand or receive from any person any commission or fee except the fee for transporting or servicing the vehicle to be towed, as established by this chapter.
(5) 
No towing operator or his employees shall pay any gratuity or tip to any third person not involved in the towing or removal of any vehicle for any information as to the location of any crash or for soliciting the employment of the operator/operator's service.
(6) 
No towing operator shall engage in the conduct of cruising for tows or service calls within the Township.
(7) 
The subcontracting of towing services is not permitted. Only towing operators employing approved drivers and utilizing inspected and approved tow vehicles will be permitted.
(8) 
The switching or trading of rotation assignments by towing operators shall not generally be permitted unless some exigent circumstances exist which necessitate same. Such circumstances shall be submitted in writing to the Chief of Police for approval prior to any such activity taking place.
(9) 
The schedule of fees associated with towing and storage hereunder shall be conspicuously displayed in all operator facilities for review by customers. Similarly, a schedule of these fees shall also be placarded on each approved tow vehicle to be utilized by the towing operator.
[Amended 12-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
Towing operators shall not charge fees for towing or storage more than those authorized by this chapter. Unless specified, the fee includes waiting time, cleanup, and mileage.
A. 
Light-duty towing (vehicles up to and including 10,000 pounds).
(1) 
Basic towing service includes motor vehicle crashes, impounds, and disabled vehicles. Unless specified, the fee includes waiting time, cleanup, and mileage.
(a) 
Business hours, service 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday: $115.
(b) 
Non-business hours, service 5:01 p.m. until 7:59 a.m., Monday through Friday: $115.
(c) 
Weekend service, 5:01 p.m. Friday through 7:59 a.m. Monday: $115.
(d) 
Any federal or New Jersey state holiday from 8:00 a.m. until 7:59 a.m. the following morning: $115.
(e) 
Recovery/winching charge: $100 per hour plus tow fee.
(f) 
Storage fee:
[1] 
Outdoor storage: $40 per day.
[2] 
Indoor storage: $50 per day.
(g) 
Cleanup fee: $35, plus $15 per bag of absorbent material.
(h) 
Wait time: $60 per hour after 60 minutes on scene.
(2) 
If a vehicle is towed from the scene of a call to a place other than the towing operator's storage area at the request of the owner or authorized representative, a fee not exceeding $5 per mile may be charged.
B. 
Heavy-duty towing.
(1) 
Basic fees.
(a) 
Conventional tow (10,001 pounds to 26,000 pounds): $275.
(b) 
Conventional tow (26,001 pounds to 80,000 pounds): $500.
(c) 
Conventional tow bus coach: $500.
(d) 
Recovery/winching charge: $350 per hour plus tow fee.
(e) 
Storage fee: $60 per day.
(f) 
Landoll or similar lowboy trailer: $400.
(g) 
Remove chrome bumper: $30.
(h) 
Connect air line: $25.
(i) 
Remove axle: $45 per.
(j) 
Remove drive shaft: $45.
(k) 
Remove air scoop: $45.
(l) 
Remove exhaust pipes: $30.
(m) 
Cage brake chambers: $35 per.
(n) 
Extra man, per hour, per man: $75.
(o) 
Wait time: $100 per hour after 60 minutes on scene.
(p) 
Cleanup fee: $35, plus $15 per bag of absorbent material.
(2) 
If a vehicle is towed from the scene of a call to place other than the towing contractor's storage area at the request of the owner or authorized representative, a fee not exceeding $10 per mile may be charged.
C. 
Storage. Storage includes vehicles taken to the contractor's yard as a result of a motor vehicle crash, impound, or disabled vehicle.
(1) 
The storage period starts at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the day the vehicle is placed into storage and ends at 12:00 midnight each day.
(2) 
Vehicles released on the same day that the vehicle is placed into storage will not incur any storage fees.
D. 
Receipt. The towing and storage contractor shall issue a receipt itemizing all charges as set forth in § 216-6H of this chapter.
E. 
Violations and penalties; liability for operators who engage in a pattern and practice of knowingly violating fee limits. Operators who engage in removal of motor vehicles, or any employee, officer or agent thereof, who engage in a pattern or practice of knowing violation of the fee limits set herein may be liable to the municipality for a civil penalty of not less than $25 nor more than $50 for each motor vehicle stored with the operator. Such penalties will be collected in a summary manner in the Manalapan Township Municipal Court in accordance with the Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.
[Amended 12-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
Nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent a person responsible for an automobile disabled upon the public streets or highways within Manalapan Township from arranging for the prompt removal of the vehicle from the scene of an accident or disablement by wrecking or towing services of his/her own selection. The person responsible will be advised of the ability to select such towing service at the required time of removal, providing that such person is present, fully conscious and capable of taking prompt action.
[Amended 12-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
A. 
The towing and storage contractor may not exceed the following rate for service calls provided:
(1) 
Jump starts: $75.
(2) 
Tire change: $75.
(3) 
Out of fuel: $75, plus cost of fuel.
(4) 
Lockout: $75.
B. 
Receipt. The towing and storage contractor shall issue a receipt itemizing all charges as set forth in § 216-6H of this chapter.
[Amended 12-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
In the event that a towing operator shall fail to perform satisfactorily, or performs in violation of this chapter, such person or entity may immediately be removed from the tow list by the Chief of Police. As soon as practical after such removal, the Chief of Police shall cause written notice of such removal to be given to the person or entity removed. The notice shall set forth the reason(s) for such removal. The person or entity removed shall have the right to submit in writing such rebuttal as deemed appropriate and an explanation of the steps being taken and procedures being implemented to correct any deficiencies. After review of such response, the Chief of Police or his/her designee may continue the removal from the list indefinitely or return the person or entity to the list either immediately or after a specified period of time.
[Amended 12-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
The Police Department and the office of the Township Clerk shall maintain copies of this chapter, which shall be available for inspection during regular business hours of the municipality.