[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Lindenwold 12-1-2010 by Ord. No. 1275. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards and pricing for towing services, storage of vehicles and accident cleanup services within the Borough of Lindenwold when said services are requested by the Borough's Police Department.
Any tower in compliance with the requirements of this chapter shall be considered qualified and shall be called by the Borough Police Department on a rotating basis. Any interested tower shall submit proof of compliance on an annual basis to the Police Department for review and determination.
Registration with the Department of Community Affairs.
Ability to respond to a service call within the Borough within 20 minutes.
A properly licensed and zoned storage yard open for business, at a minimum, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Saturdays, excluding legal holidays, which has at least two covered or interior storage spaces.
Tow trucks, including all necessary equipment and materials to remove and clean up the vehicles and debris resulting from a two-vehicle collision.
Agreement to follow directions of police officers concerning the removal and storage of vehicles as well as the cleanup of the scene, including an agreement that any vehicle designated as impounded may not be released without written permission from the Police Department.
General liability/comprehensive general liability insurance policy with at least $1,000,000 coverage.
Garage keepers' legal liability coverage with at least $100,000 in coverage.
Automobile liability coverage with at least $1,000,000 combined single limit.
Worker's compensation coverage as required by law.
Posting of schedule of fees on premises in a conspicuous place visible to the public. The Police Department reserves the right to publicly post the schedule of fees in whatever manner the Chief of Police deems appropriate for the purpose of informing the public.
The operator must own and maintain enough equipment and possess adequate resources to remove two vehicles from the roadway at the scene of a two-car collision where both vehicles have been rendered inoperable.
Tow trucks used by the operator must be of such construction to tow any type of vehicle and to pass inspection by the Police Department or its designee.
Tow trucks shall be maintained in good condition, comply with all applicable provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:1-1 et seq., and be available 24 hours a day and be identified on each side with the name and address of the operator. There shall be no marking on tow trucks indicating affiliation with the Police Department, such as "official police towing."
Agreement to follow the regulations established by the Chief of Police, which regulations may be amended and/or modified by the Chief.
The Schedule of Towing Service Fees shall be as prescribed in Chapter 150, Fees, Article I, Fee Schedule, § 150-44. A qualified tower may not charge in excess of said schedule for services provided at the direction of the police.
Any tower interested in qualifying shall present to the Chief of Police, who is designated as the municipal officer to enforce the provisions of this chapter, proof of compliance with § 317-2B and other such information as the Chief deems relevant on an annual basis. The Chief shall review such proofs and, if satisfied with the same, issue a written notice of qualification to the applicant and place the name of the qualified applicant on the list of towers to be called by the Police Department on a rotating basis.
In the event that the Police Chief determines that a qualified tower is no longer in compliance with this chapter, the Chief shall give such qualified tower written notice of the deficiency and an opportunity to cure the deficiency under such terms established by the Chief. If the deficiency is not cured, the Chief shall send the qualified tower written notice that the qualification has been revoked. In the event of a second instance of the same deficiency within one year the Chief shall be authorized to immediately revoke the qualification.
Any tower aggrieved by the revocation of qualification by the Police Chief shall be entitled to a hearing before the Mayor and Council, which could sustain the Chief's action, reverse it, modify it and/or add conditions. Any aggrieved tower desiring such a hearing shall file with the Borough Clerk a written statement requesting the same and setting out the factual basis for the appeal and pay a fee as prescribed in Chapter 150, Fees, Article I, Fee Schedule, § 150-44, all or a portion of which may be refunded by the Mayor and Council in the event of a reversal or modification of the Chief's decision.
Any qualified tower, as a condition of said qualification, shall comply with the following general procedures:
Tower shall be notified by the Police Department for the removal of all vehicles whether considered abandoned, disabled or impounded. Tower must arrive prepared to remove all vehicles within 20 minutes of notification, unless otherwise specified by the Police Department. If the tower fails to respond within the allotted time, the Borough may, within its discretion, notify another vendor to effect immediate removal and towing of vehicles. Any towing charges assessed by the vendor to the Borough shall be passed on to the tower.
Tower must be available for removal and storage of vehicles 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including the removal of abandoned vehicles.
In the event that the owner of a vehicle also arrives at the scene to which a tower has been summoned, with approval of the Police Department the owner shall be allowed to remove the vehicle at no expense to himself or the Borough.
In the event the tower is required to perform additional unspecified services in furtherance of its obligations hereunder, such services shall be provided at reasonable cost. Such services shall not affect the basic towing and storage charges outlined in the Borough's Schedule of Fees.
In the event that a vehicle has been wrongfully removed pursuant to this chapter, the vehicle shall be returned to the owner at no charge. On occasion, tower will be required to tow certain wrongfully removed vehicles back to the initial towing site.
Any municipal-owned vehicles shall be towed free of charge.
Tower shall change flat tires on any vehicle assigned to the Police Department free of charge at any time when employees of the Borough Garage are not working or available.
Tower must accept all major credit cards for all towing services and associated costs.
All vehicles removed pursuant to this chapter must be stored at the tower's storage facilities, with the following exception: on occasion the tower will be required to tow certain vehicles which are involved in criminal investigation or other investigation to a designated facility for further investigation at no charge to the Borough.
Tower shall be responsible for each vehicle in its storage area, including but not limited to damage or theft, until final disposition or removal is ordered by the Borough. All vehicles, regardless of condition, must be stored singly and so arranged to permit inspection and subsequent removal if necessary. Adequate walkway inspection space must be provided at all times.
The owner of any vehicle towed shall have the right to remove property belonging to him from the stored vehicle at no cost to the owner unless "Police Hold" is marked on tow form. Vehicle owner or his representative shall have the right to take photos of stored vehicle for insurance purposes at no cost to the vehicle owner or his representative. Any property removal disputes will be referred to the Police Department. Access to storage facility/yard must be given to owner/representative with consent of police.
No vehicle shall be released to either owners or lienholders without a police release form. Vehicles shall be available for release between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon, Saturday, except for legal holidays. It shall be the responsibility of the Police Department to notify the owners of vehicles, when known, when vehicles are turned over to the tower for removal and storage.
Upon release of a vehicle to its owner or lienholder, all ownership rights and responsibilities shall revert to the owner or lienholder. The Borough shall not be liable for daily storage fees for any day following the date of release, whether or not the owner actually reclaims possession of the motor vehicle from the tower. Tower shall not impose any additional charges upon an owner or lienholder which are not expressly indicated in the Borough's Schedule of Fees. All vehicles shall be released by tower upon receipt of a police release form.
The tower shall notify the Police Department of any released vehicle which remains unclaimed by the owner by way of a monthly written report.
Tower shall maintain records of all vehicles towed, stored and released by him, as well as all services rendered while performing services covered by this chapter.
Tower shall be required to maintain a yearly tow log documenting all vehicles that were towed at the request of the Police Department. A copy of this log will be submitted to the Police Department at the end of the calendar year. Tower is required to maintain a copy of said tow log for a period of seven years. The tower shall update the tow log on a daily basis and it shall be made available to the Chief of Police or his designee immediately upon request.
Towed vehicle log. This report shall include the following information on every vehicle towed by the tower at the request of the Police Department and covered under the terms of this chapter:
The Police Department will provide a tow log form to tower to be used by tower to document towed vehicles.