[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Alpha 9-8-1998 by Ord. No. 98-9. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Establishment of towing service list. No commercial towing service may remove a disabled or abandoned vehicle on the public roads or highways of Alpha Borough except as provided by this chapter. A wrecker call duty rotation list is hereby created, which shall govern all commercial towing services or wreckers. Before any towing service can be placed on the Alpha Borough rotation list, approval must be granted by the Borough Council. The rotation wrecker on call will be utilized at all times unless it cannot perform a specialized function, then another service may be called. The wreckers on rotation will be on call for a one-week period beginning Monday of each week at 7:00 a.m. and have the call until the following Monday at 7:00 a.m.
Eligibility for towing service list. Any person who wishes to become part of the wrecker call duty rotation list shall apply to the Alpha Borough Police Department. The Police Department shall, within 60 days of the submission of the application, determine whether or not the applicant's equipment and storage facilities are satisfactory. The Police Department shall, within 60 days of the submission of an application, determine whether or not the applicant has been convicted of a crime, as the term is defined in the New Jersey Criminal Code, at any time within five years of the date of said application. The findings and recommendations of the Police Department shall be forwarded to the Borough Council for its consideration in deciding whether to approve or disapprove the application.
The wrecker will be properly equipped and comply with the rules and regulations of the Department of Motor Vehicles. This includes the amber light for use at accident scenes.
The wrecker will carry a dolly wheel assembly for use when needed.
The equipment carried shall include a broom and shovel or something to pick up debris at the accident scene. Debris will be removed, not swept aside. The police officer in charge of the accident scene shall make a determination as to whether or not the scene has been properly cleaned. Note: This is not to mean the wrecker operator is responsible in cases of load spillage or similar incidents, which are accident related.
Tools for disconnecting batteries (wrenches, pliers, cutters) to eliminate the problem of a fire or explosion at the scene will be carried, as well as a wrecking bar.
Once the vehicle is removed from the accident scene, the person or company storing same is liable. It shall be the responsibility of the service towing same to secure said vehicle against theft of parts and/or contents or further damage while stored pending claiming of same by the owner or agent for same. A cyclone fenced-in storage area will be provided for vehicles towed.
The fee for the towing is to be paid by the vehicle owner or representative.
The wrecker or wreckers and operators are to be available 24 hours a day for accident and service calls during the time listed on the call. This is to include holidays, weekends, etc.
The towing service shall respond within 20 minutes of the call. Failure of the towing service to respond on three consecutive calls due to a refusal shall be sufficient reason to drop said towing service from the schedule.
All fees charged must comply with the maximum fee schedule established by the Commissioner of Insurance, attached hereto as Exhibit A. The towing and storage fee schedule (Exhibit A) is available to the public and is on file in the Borough Clerk's office. No fee may be charged unless a service is actually performed. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a towing service from charging a lesser fee than the maximum set by the Commissioner of Insurance.
No stored vehicle shall be released until permission is given by the Alpha Borough Police Department.
Insurance coverage must be received in the amount of $1,000,000 dollars for personal injury and $100,000 for property damage. The towing service must supply a certificate of insurance before commencing operation, showing the coverage and listing the Borough as an additional insured.
Any person who requests and becomes part of the wrecker call duty rotation list shall agree to hold the Borough harmless from any and all actions instituted by third parties against the Borough as a result of the service provided; said costs incurred as a result of said third-party action, including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney's fees.
Any towing service that violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to temporary or permanent removal from the list. Prior to removal, the towing service shall be given written notice of the alleged violations and an opportunity for a hearing before the Borough Council.
Nothing in this chapter shall control the right of any person to use the towing service of his choice.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,250, a term of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof, in the discretion of the judge before whom such conviction shall be had.