Township of Andover, NJ
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Andover 11-13-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-27. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. II.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 10.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 175.

§ 167-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5(1)(u) a list of towing contractors to provide towing services for the Township of Andover 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.

§ 167-2 Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
ABANDONED
Any automobile which is parked without the current year's registration or license plates, as required by law, for a period of more than 48 hours or is positioned so as to constitute an obstruction of traffic.
AUTOMOBILE
A private passenger automobile of a private passenger or station wagon type that is owned or leased and is neither used as a public or livery conveyance for passengers, nor rented to others with a driver; and a motor vehicle with a pickup body, or delivery sedan, a van, or a panel truck or a camper-type vehicle used for recreational purposes owned by an individual, not customarily used in the occupation, profession or business of the owner(s).
BASE OF SERVICE
The location where the towing contractor stations its tow vehicle(s) when not in use.
BASIC TOWING SERVICE
The removal and transportation of an automobile at the request or call of authorized personnel or members of the Police Department as may be required when abandoned as defined in this chapter or Chapter 175, Vehicles, Abandoned, of the Township Code, disabled, damaged in accidents, illegally parked, recovered after being stolen or in cases of emergency, from a highway, street, or other public or private road, or a parking area, or from a storage facility, and other services normally incident thereto, but does not include recovery of an automobile from a position beyond the right-of-way or berm, or from being impaled upon any other object within the right-of-way or berm.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of the Police Department of the Township or his/her designee.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
An occurrence in which an automobile as defined herein comes in contact with any other object from which the automobile must be towed or removed for placement in a storage facility. This includes all situations which are accidental to one person even if caused by the intentional acts of another.
NONBASIC TOWING SERVICES
All towing services which are not basic towing services or are not performed on automobiles as defined herein.
STORAGE SERVICES
The maximum allowable amount of storage charges to be charged per twenty-four-hour period or a fraction thereof. Each new twenty-four-hour period begins at 12:01 a.m.
TOW VEHICLE
Only those vehicles equipped with a boom or booms, winches, slings, tiltbeds, wheel lifts, or under reach equipment specifically designed by its manufacturer for the removal or transport of automobiles as defined herein.
TOWING CONTRACTOR
A licensed individual or entity placed upon the rotary list that performs towing services for the Township.

§ 167-3 Rotary list.

A. 
This chapter hereby establishes a list of towing contractors to provide basic and nonbasic towing services for the Township of Andover on a rotating basis. The Police Department will maintain the rotary list and determine the time period for each rotation. The list of towing contractors shall be determined by and under the direct supervision of the Chief of Police.
B. 
A towing contractor shall be placed on the rotary list in the order in which its application was approved. Each new towing contractor shall initially be placed last on the list. No towing contractor may be listed more than once, and no contractor shall be permitted to lease its tow vehicles to another tow contractor in order to receive multiple listings.
C. 
Towing services must be provided on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day per week basis. It is required that a tow vehicle be on the site of the event within 20 minutes of the time of the call from the Police Department. If a towing contractor is called and for any reason does not or cannot perform the requested service, the next towing contractor on the list will be called to perform the towing service.
D. 
If no towing contractor on the rotating list is able to perform the towing services when necessary, the Township is entitled to have said service performed by a towing contractor not named on the rotating list.
E. 
During adverse weather conditions or other emergency conditions, all towing contractors on the rotating list shall give priority to requests for towing services made by the Township over requests made by third parties.

§ 167-4 Application and licensure.

A. 
An individual or entity seeking to be placed on the rotary list shall be required to submit an application and receive the approval of the Police Department before issuance of a towing contractor's license.
B. 
All applicants are required to complete a form furnished by the Township Clerk, providing any and all information prescribed by the Chief of Police.
C. 
Each towing contractor must be able to demonstrate to the Township that he is thoroughly qualified and experienced in the towing and removal of vehicles of all types, and that he has adequate facilities, equipment, expertise, licensing and personnel to perform the services required by these specifications in a manner satisfactory to the Andover Township Police Department.
D. 
The Andover Township Police Department will conduct a background check of the towing contractor, its officers, and employees, prior to making a determination of placement on the towing list. A high number of traffic violations and/or motor vehicle accidents in the past 10 years may make a driver ineligible, subject to the discretion of the Chief of Police, which must be exercised reasonably. A conviction for a felony will be considered ample reason to disqualify any contractor unless waived by the Township upon application and for good cause.
E. 
A license may be denied, suspended, or revoked upon any of the following grounds:
(1) 
Submitting a fraudulent or misleading application.
(2) 
A criminal conviction of the towing contractor or a named principal of the towing contractor.
(3) 
Failure to respond reliably and promptly to calls for assistance or any other unsatisfactory performance action which interferes with the proper operation of the rotating system maintained by the Police Department.
(4) 
Failure to utilize safe and adequate equipment as defined herein.
(5) 
Violations of motor vehicle laws and/or municipal ordinances.
(6) 
Failure or refusal to tow or remove a motor vehicle when requested to do so by an appropriate municipal official.
(7) 
Violations of Chapter 190, Zoning, or any other applicable ordinances or codes of the Township of Andover pertaining to the use or condition of the premises used by the licensee in conducting the towing business.
(8) 
Violations of the provisions of this chapter or any of its rules, regulations, and policies promulgated pursuant hereto.
F. 
Licenses shall be renewed annually from January 1 to December 31 of the succeeding year.

§ 167-5 Denial, suspension and revocation of licenses; hearings.

A. 
When application for a license is denied by the Township of Andover, the applicant may request a hearing on said application by the service of a notice requesting a hearing. Said notice shall be served on the Township Clerk and at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the governing body, a hearing date shall be set which shall be no less than seven days or more than 30 days from the date that the governing body met.
B. 
Proceedings for the suspension or revocation of a license shall be initiated by the service of a notice of charges proffered against the licensee. Said notice shall be served by the Chief of Police or his/her designee, either personally or via certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall contain a date, time and place for a hearing to be held by the governing body of the Township of Andover. Said hearing shall be scheduled no less than seven days nor more than 30 days after the notice of the proposed suspension or renovation shall be served upon the Licensee. The licensee shall have the right to file an answer to the notice and to appear in person, or be represented by counsel, and give testimony at the place and time fixed for the hearing.

§ 167-6 Enforcement of chapter and rules.

The Police Department in general and the Chief of Police in particular shall enforce the provisions of this chapter as well as rules and regulations adopted hereunder.

§ 167-7 Statement of rates.

A. 
The rates applicable to towing services performed hereunder shall be posted in a conspicuous place, visible to the public at the contractor's place of business.
B. 
The contractor shall, at his expense, prepare a printed bill for distribution to the customer, reflecting the fee to be paid in accordance with the rates stated on the printed card, unless otherwise approved by the Police Department. The bill shall also include the information set forth in Subsection B, as well as a statement to the effect that all complaints shall be referred to the Police Department.
C. 
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.54, the owner of any automobile whose automobile is towed and/or stored other than at the owner's request may send complaints and/or report disputed fees in writing to the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police shall arrange for investigation of the owner's allegations and report the outcome of the investigation to the owner within 30 days of the Township's receipt of the written complaint.
D. 
The contractor shall accept from any owner, or his representative, methods of payment in the form of cash, certified check, money order and at least one major credit card. The contractor is not obligated to accept personal checks for payment.

§ 167-8 Employees.

A. 
The towing contractor shall employ a sufficient number of employees to comply with the minimum operational requirements.
B. 
No person shall be employed by the contractor for towing hereunder unless he has submitted to a background check and has been approved by the Police Department. Costs of any such background check shall be borne by the applicant.
C. 
All drivers of the contractor shall be over the age of 18 years and must have a valid, current; New Jersey state driver's license and shall be in good health and of good moral character.
D. 
In order to keep information current, the contractor is required to submit a roster of drivers to the Police Department on a monthly basis. No driver shall perform services hereunder unless previously listed by the contractor and approved by the Police Department.
E. 
Complaints of any kind, relative to service, overcharging, theft of parts, damage to towed vehicles, discourteous treatment, and the like, shall be referred to the Police Department for investigation.
F. 
All employees of the contractor shall wear uniform clothing with a name patch indicating the employee's first name and the name of the contractor's company.
G. 
The contractor agrees that the owners or officers of the contractor shall be responsible, except as otherwise provided by law, for the negligent acts of their employees while acting hereunder.

§ 167-9 Conduct of contractors and operators.

No person owning or operating a tow vehicle shall:
A. 
Stand at any public street, intersection, or any public property, waiting for employment, without first obtaining the consent of a police officer, or stand on any private property without first obtaining the consent of the owner of the property.
B. 
Seek employment by repeatedly and persistently driving his tow vehicle in a short space in front of any disabled vehicle or by otherwise interfering with the proper and orderly progress of traffic along the public highways. The contractor shall wait until he receives official notification from the Police Department of the Township before commencing operations.
C. 
Permit or invite loitering in or near the tow vehicle.
D. 
Solicit or attempt to divert prospective patrons of another tow vehicle.
E. 
Solicit, demand, or receive from any person any pay, commission or emolument whatsoever, except the proper fee for transporting the disabled vehicle in accordance with the schedule of service rates listed in those specifications.
F. 
Pay any gratuity, tip, or emolument to any third person not involved in the accident or to any police officer, for information as to the location of the accident, or for soliciting the employment of licensee's services, nor give any gratuities, fees or other compensation or gifts to any member of the Police Department or Township employee.
G. 
Act in an unprofessional manner or be discourteous or disrespectful to members of the public as well as representatives of the Township of Andover. While members of the public, especially those whose automobiles may have been towed or impounded, may at times resort to strong language, threats and unbecoming behavior toward the contractor, the contractor is expected to exercise restraint and not to respond in kind, and thereby reflect unfavorably on the Township and/or the Police Department.

§ 167-10 Equipment requirements.

A. 
The contractor must provide with his application a detailed listing of the equipment to be utilized while on the towing list. The listing shall include the following information: type of vehicle, storage location of vehicles and whether vehicle is owned or leased. All leased and rented equipment must be permanently located at the contractor's base of service at all times during the term of the contract. Each piece of equipment must meet the minimum standards set forth herein. Equipment that cannot meet these minimum standards shall not be used for the towing list. The contractor is solely responsible for the safety, maintenance, and operation, of each piece of equipment utilized while on the towing list.
B. 
The Police Department shall keep a register of the names of all those owning or operating wreckers accepted on the towing list, together with the license number, the description of such wreckers and the date and complete record of inspections made of them by the Police Department. This register shall be maintained by the contractor. All operators being used on the tow list shall meet all the licensing requirements of the Township.
C. 
Car carriers and light-duty wreckers.
(1) 
Car carrier. A car carrier shall have commercially manufactured chassis certified by the manufacturer. The vehicle shall be equipped with a hydraulically-powered winch. The tilt bed or slide back shall be hydraulically operated. The vehicle shall also be equipped with tie-down chains, proper safety lights or amber rotation emergency flashing lights.
(2) 
Light-duty wrecker. A light-duty wrecker shall have a commercially manufactured chassis certified by the manufacturer for light-duty towing. Each shall be equipped with a commercially manufactured lifting apparatus with dual rear wheels, safety chains, proper safety lights, and rear floodlights, amber rotation emergency flashing lights or amber strobe lights which provide visibility for 360º.
D. 
The towing contractor shall supply manufacturer's certification of the lifting capacities of the devices of type of vehicle with application submission. A certified testing laboratory test result is also acceptable for rating lift capacity.
E. 
Tow vehicles shall be equipped with two-way radio for communications with contractor's office facilities. These communications shall be available 24 hours a day.
F. 
Tow vehicles shall be equipped at all times with safety vests for operators, first aid kits, hand tools, lockout kits, flashlight, broom, shovel, speedy-dry, work gloves and receipts for services rendered. No additional charge for use of this equipment is permitted.
G. 
Tow vehicles shall be kept in a clean and neat appearance so as to be reasonably accommodating to persons who may come in contact with such vehicles.
H. 
Tow vehicles shall have the name, address, and telephone number of the contractor painted on or permanently attached to both sides of the tow vehicle in compliance with Motor Vehicle and Traffic Laws of New Jersey (Title 39 of the Revised Statutes).
I. 
All tow vehicles shall be properly permitted by the State of New Jersey for the use of flashing amber emergency lights. Permits shall be in compliance with Motor Vehicle and Traffic Laws as referenced above.

§ 167-11 Minimum storage requirements.

Each official tow contractor shall maintain an outside secured storage facility meeting the following requirements:
A. 
The storage facility must be capable of storing a minimum of 10 automobiles and one tractor and trailer. There must be at least 800 square feet available to hold vehicles impounded by the Police Department.
B. 
The storage facility must be within the limits of the Township or within a contiguous township so as to facilitate reasonable towing distances.
C. 
The storage facility must be fully enclosed by a sturdy fence having a minimum height of six feet with at least one lockable gate for ingress and egress.
D. 
The storage facility must be lighted from dusk until dawn.
E. 
The storage facility must be in area legally zoned for such use.
F. 
The storage facility must be available to receive vehicles 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. It must be open to the public to recover vehicles stored there on weekdays during normal business hours and for four hours on Saturdays. The applicant must specify the hours during which the facility will be open on Saturdays. The tow contractor is not required to be open to the public on Sundays.
G. 
The tow contractor must have an employee on duty at all times during which the storage facility is open to the public.
H. 
The tow contractor may not charge a release fee in connection with the release of vehicles to their owners after normal business hours or on weekends.
I. 
Each application must be accompanied by proof of ownership or lease of the storage area.
J. 
The tow contractor is responsible for ensuring the proper and safe storage of all vehicles towed pursuant to this chapter. The tow contractor is liable for any damage to such vehicles while in transit or while stored at the storage facility.

§ 167-12 Record book of vehicles towed.

A. 
The contractor shall record all vehicles towed in a book kept for such purposes. The details of each disabled vehicle towed, serviced or transported together with full information of the towed vehicle and name and address of the owner and the charges paid for his services. Full information of the towed vehicle shall include, but not be limited to, the vehicle's license number, VIN registration number, make, model, color and year. The record book herein described shall be kept open for inspection at all times by a duly authorized representative of the Township. A monthly towing record containing the information herein stated above shall be filed with the Andover Township Police Department and office of the Township Clerk setting forth the details of all tows by vehicle type, date, time of day, sector, and whether additional services were required. Each incident shall be reported using the invoice number used for billing. The form of these reports shall be approved by the Chief of Police.
B. 
The contractor shall maintain a record of all personal property in a towed vehicle that he can observe in sight at the time the vehicle comes into possession.
C. 
Authorized representatives of the Township shall have access to any of the records required to be kept by the contractor.

§ 167-13 Policies and procedures.

A. 
The Chief of Police is hereby authorized and empowered to establish from time to time written policies and procedures as may be reasonable and necessary to obtain compliance with the terms of this chapter and the laws of the laws of the State of New Jersey. All written policies promulgated by the Chief of Police shall be approved by resolution of the Township Committee.
B. 
All regulations, policies and procedures as well as the tower's rate cards shall be made available for inspection by the public at the Township Clerk's office during normal business hours.

§ 167-14 Disputes and adjustments.

A. 
Any disputes over the interpretation of this chapter, including the reasonableness of any charges assessed, shall be settled amicably, if possible, through negotiations between the contractor, the Police Department and the Township Administrator.
B. 
In cases where the Township has mistakenly directed that a vehicle be towed or has acted on incorrect information supplied by official sources, the contractor will be reimbursed by the Township only for the minimum applicable towing fee as stipulated herein.

§ 167-15 Subcontracts and leases.

A. 
Tow contractors may not lease or rent equipment without the approval of the Township. The equipment must comply with the minimum requirements of these specifications, and the contract to lease or rent equipment must be at least for the duration of service with the Township. All leased or rented equipment must be permanently located at the contractor's base of service at all times while the contractor is on the tow list. Copies of all leases must be filed with the Township Clerk.
B. 
The tow contractor may not subcontract his equipment or positions of the work to other tow contractors.

§ 167-16 Towing and storage fee schedule.

[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-09]
The following fees are established as being the usual, customary, and reasonable rates which shall be charged for towing and storage of automobiles defined as basic towing service:
A. 
Class 1 and Class 2 vehicles.
(1) 
Road service.
(a) 
Days (between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday): $95 per hour, no mileage fee.
(b) 
Nights (between the hours of 5:01 p.m. and 7:59 a.m., Monday through Friday; weekends; or on New Jersey state holidays): $125 per hour, no mileage fee.
(2) 
Impound tows (written Police Department release required).
(a) 
Days (between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday): $125 per hour and $4 per mile (portal to portal).
(b) 
Nights (between the hours of 5:01 p.m. and 7:59 a.m., Monday through Friday; weekends; or on New Jersey state holidays: $150 per hour and $4 per mile (portal to portal).
(3) 
Disabled tow to duty vendor.
(a) 
Days (between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday): $125 per hour, no mileage fee.
(b) 
Nights (between the hours of 5:01 p.m. and 7:59 a.m., Monday through Friday; weekends; or on New Jersey state holidays: $150 per hour, no mileage fee.
(4) 
Accident tows.
(a) 
Days (between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday): $125 per hour and $4 per mile (portal to portal).
(b) 
Nights (between the hours of 5:01 p.m. and 7:59 a.m., Monday through Friday; weekends; or on New Jersey state holidays: $150 per hour and $4 per mile (portal to portal).
(5) 
Winching/cleanup/recovery: $150 per hour.
(6) 
Storage: $47.50 per day.
(a) 
There shall be a twelve-hour mandatory DWI hold for which the daily storage fee shall be waived unless the vehicle is not picked up after the waiting period.
(b) 
For disabled vehicles, the storage fee shall be waived when the vehicle is serviced or repaired by duty vendor.
(c) 
The storage fee shall also be waived if the vehicle is picked up the same day it comes in.
(7) 
Additional charges.
(a) 
Speedy dry: $35 per container.
(b) 
No-key charge: $40.
B. 
Class 3 to Class 8 vehicles.
(1) 
Road service.
(a) 
Days (between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday): $97.50 per hour, with a two-hour minimum.
(b) 
Nights (between the hours of 5:01 p.m. and 7:59 a.m., Monday through Friday; weekends; or on New Jersey state holidays: $125 per hour, with a two-hour minimum.
(2) 
Disabled or impound tows (written Police Department release required).
(3) 
Class 3 and Class 4 portal to portal.
(a) 
Days (between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday): $175 per hour.
(b) 
Nights (between the hours of 5:01 p.m. and 7:59 a.m., Monday through Friday; weekends; or on New Jersey state holidays: $225 per hour.
(4) 
Class 5 and Class 6 portal to portal.
(a) 
Days (between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday): $250 per hour.
(b) 
Nights (between the hours of 5:01 p.m. and 7:59 a.m., Monday through Friday; weekends; or on New Jersey state holidays: $300 per hour.
(5) 
Class 7 and Class 8 portal to portal.
(a) 
Days (between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday): $350 per hour.
(b) 
Nights (between the hours of 5:01 p.m. and 7:59 a.m., Monday through Friday; weekends; or on New Jersey state holidays: $375 per hour.
(6) 
Accident recovery rates for Class 3 through Class 8 vehicles, minimum weights apply.
15,000 lbs.: RV/Motor homes
30,000 lbs.: Bus/straight trucks
60,000 lbs.: Tractor/trailers
(a) 
Normal recovery on or near roadway: 1% of declared value of recovered cargo plus:
[1] 
Contained recovery/winching: $0.42 per pound.
[2] 
Salvage and debris recovery: $0.54 per pound.
[3] 
Inclement weather: $0.18 per pound.
[4] 
Nights/holidays/weekends: $0.18 per pound.
[5] 
Travel to location: $0.30 per pound.
[6] 
Wheels higher than roof: $0.12 per pound.
[7] 
Embankments or inclines: $0.12 per pound.
[8] 
Back door frame open: $0.12 per pound.
[9] 
Tractor from under trailer: $0.12 per pound
[10] 
Major suspension damage: $0.60 per pound.
[11] 
Handle complete clean up: $0.60 per pound.
[12] 
30 M.P.H. Speed Zone: $0.24 per pound.
[13] 
50 M.P.H. Speed Zone: $0.36 per pound.
(b) 
Additional surcharges shall apply to HAZMAT incidents.

§ 167-17 Nonbasic towing service.

This chapter is not intended to regulate or set fees for nonbasic towing services or the towing or storage of trucks and buses. Such service, if requested, shall be billed at reasonable prevailing rates. The towing contractor shall submit a list of fees in advance for nonbasic towing to the Chief of Police, who shall have the sole discretion in determining reasonable prevailing rates.

§ 167-18 Charge for service.

A. 
The towing fees set forth for basic towing service and those billed for nonbasic towing service are the amounts that the towing contractor will charge to the vehicle owner or representative. Unless otherwise provided herein, the Township shall not be responsible for payment of any towing charges, except for Township-owned vehicles.
B. 
In the event the Police Department requires a vehicle involved in a crime or a fatal accident to be held for investigation, the Chief of Police may, after review of all the circumstances, require waiver of storage fees, or a portion thereof, incurred up to the date of release.

§ 167-19 Insurance.

A. 
Towing contractors shall be required to purchase, maintain, and provide during the time of service on the rotary list, proof of insurance furnished by a reputable insurance company licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey, containing the following coverages with liability limits as set forth below:
(1) 
Comprehensive general liability insurance policy in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit covering bodily injury and property damage liability including but not limited to personal injury; product liability (where applicable); independent contractor and completed operation coverage.
(2) 
Garage keepers legal liability insurance policy in an amount not less than $100,000. Said policy must include both comprehensive and collision, and an endorsement to include "on hook."
(3) 
Automobile liability insurance policy in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit covering bodily injury and property damage liability including but not limited to owned, nonowned, and hired vehicles.
(4) 
Workers' compensation insurance as required by law, including, but not limited to statutory New Jersey workers' compensation benefits, and employers liability of at least $100,000.
(5) 
Excess/umbrella liability. In the event that garage liability and/or automobile liability cannot be purchased up to the required $1,000,000 limit, and excess liability or umbrella liability policy must be purchased to affect a total liability limit of $1,000,000. Excess of umbrella liability policies will not be required for garage and automobile policies that met or exceed the minimum limit of $1,000,000.
B. 
The garage liability and automobile liability policies shall name the Township of Andover as additional insured and certificate holder.

§ 167-20 Indemnity.

The contractor will execute an agreement to hold harmless, indemnify and defend, at the contractor's expense, the Township, its employees and officials from any and all claims, demands, suits or actions for personal injury or property damage brought against the Township, its employees and officials for any activities which arise out of any services performed under this chapter.