[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Roselle 8-26-1992 as Ord. No. 1872. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 112.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 109, Towing, adopted 3-25-1992 as Ord. No. 1859.
[Amended 4-14-1993 by Ord. No. 1901; 5-24-1995 by Ord. No. 1972]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards, regulations and rates for police-requested and non-preference towing and storage services, including the removal of motor vehicles from public property by operators engaged in such practice, including but not limited to the fees charged for storage following removal in accordance with Section 3 of P.L. 1987, c. 127 (N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.50), fees charged for such removal, notice requirements therefor and the mercantile licensing of such operators. Said services shall be provided under the supervision of the Borough Council of the Borough of Roselle and the Chief of Police or his designee.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes vandalism, fire comprehensive claims, accidents caused by drunk drivers and as defined by state law.
- BASIC TOWING SERVICES
- The removal and transportation of an automobile from a highway, street or other public or private road or parking area or from a storage facility. It 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.
- The operation of an unengaged tow truck along the public streets in any fashion intended or calculated to solicit business.
- Any motor vehicle with mechanical breakdowns and/or left on any highway or street, without being properly registered, as provided under N.J.S.A. 39-1 et seq. and applicable municipal ordinances.
- Towing operator.
- A person, firm, corporation or other entity who owns, leases and/or operates, parks or abandons a vehicle on the roads and highways within the Borough of Roselle, which vehicle by reason of being disabled or being unlawfully upon said roads requires towing services.
- The Police Department of the Borough of Roselle and/or state police and/or county police or such other police as may have jurisdiction upon the roadways on which the vehicle may be found in said Borough of Roselle.
- TOWING OPERATOR
- A person, firm, corporation or other entity engaged in the business of providing tow truck services and storage services for vehicles towed, which services are made available to the general public upon such rates, charges and fees as determined by the Borough Council of the Borough of Roselle, and which towing operator is licensed under the provisions of this chapter.
- TOW TRUCK
- A vehicle driven by mechanical power and employed for the purpose of towing, transporting, conveying or removing any and all kinds of vehicles or parts of vehicles which are unable to be operated under their own power, for which a service charge or fee is exacted. The definition of "tow truck" shall also include the use of a flatbed "tow truck."
- Any vehicle that is recovered from a position beyond the right-of-way or berm of the roadway and shall include those recovered from a ditch, from being suspended on a median, when the automobile rolls over on its roof or is imbedded in brush and winching of the vehicle is required.
No towing operator covered by § 109-1 hereinbefore set forth under the heading "Purpose" shall engage in the business of providing tow truck services within the Borough of Roselle without obtaining a license in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Specifically exempted from this license requirement is the towing, transporting, conveying or removing of vehicles from private property, except in the case of a police emergency within the borough, or by towing operators which are directly and privately engaged or designated by the owner of the vehicle to be towed, transported, conveyed or removed upon the streets of said Borough of Roselle.
Equipment requirements. No license shall be issued to a towing operator who does not own or lease for utilization in his or its business the following equipment, which equipment shall be inspected by the Chief of Police or his authorized representative prior to a license being issued and a report of said inspection furnished to the Borough Council. Said equipment shall be designated as follows:
Two light-duty wreckers or flatbeds for vehicles under 10,000 pounds.
Safety equipment to be carried on all trucks shall include a universal towing sling; except flatbeds, J-hooks and chains; one snatch block for three-eighths-inch to one-half-inch cable; two high-test safety chains; auxiliary safety light kit to place on rear of towed vehicle; four-lamp or three-lamp revolving amber light or lamp bars; toolbox with assortment of hand tools; rear working lights located to clear towed vehicle; blocking choke for wrecker while working; safety cones; shovels and broom; steering wheel lock or tie-down.
All tow trucks must be properly lettered on both sides as provided by law.
All trucks will be maintained and operated in accordance with all existing traffic regulations and in a safe and prudent manner.
A truck driver will request police assistance during the course of servicing when he finds it necessary to turn around, back up, tow in the opposite direction, cross the median, etc.
Other facilities. Each towing operator shall have an indoor, secured storage area sufficient to house at least three vehicles.
The storage facilities shall have proper sign identification upon the same and shall be kept clean so as to be reasonably accommodating to persons of the borough or others who may come upon said premises and shall not be farther than one and one-half (1 1/2) miles from the Roselle Municipal Complex, for all Police Department authorized towing. The storage facilities for all towing completed from private property shall not be restricted to the one and one-half (1 1/2) mile, as stated above.
[Amended 10-13-1993 by Ord. No. 1923]
A tow operator shall not be charged with a call if the owner designates the tow operator.
All towing operators and their drivers shall be fully trained and knowledgeable in the operation of all required equipment.
All towing operators shall complete the application for towing license and list all drivers who will be operating their tow trucks.
Towing operator employees who drive vehicles on the borough roads or highways traversing said borough must have a driver's license with no restrictions or conditional endorsements, except a condition requiring glasses; they shall be of good moral character, mentally alert and present a neat appearance at all times. Possession by a driver of commercial driver's license, as required by N.J.S.A. 39:10 et seq., is mandatory.
All towing operators must be available for service on a twenty-four-hour, seven-days-a-week basis without exception.
The tow truck driver shall, prior to leaving the scene of a tow service, complete boxes 32 and 35 (Signature of Driver and Tow Cost) on the Roselle Police Department vehicle report form.
It shall be the obligation of the towing operator to immediately notify the police in the event that said towing operator is wholly or partially not operational due to mechanical failure of his vehicle or personnel insufficiency. It shall be the responsibility of the towing operator to provide a replacement driver and equipment.
If a request for towing service is made by the Roselle Police Department and then canceled, prior to the tow truck driver hooking up the vehicle, there will be no charge to either the owner of the vehicle or the Roselle Police Department.
The towing operator will not respond for towing services unless directed by the Roselle Police Department.
The towing operator will be responsible for all vehicles and contents in their custody that were towed off the roadway under the direction of the police. An inventory shall be made by a member of the Roselle Police Department at the scene to note the contents of each vehicle.
The towing operator will cooperate with other operators in the case of emergency services at the scene of accidents and/or disasters.
No vehicle will be removed from the borough roads or highways traversing said borough without proper authorization from the police at the scene or the owner of the vehicle, as the case may be.
All vehicles impounded or confiscated will not be released or disposed of without proper vehicle report form, duly executed by proper Police Department personnel or as provided in N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1 et seq.
The towing operator will dispatch, within the time period permitted by this chapter, a tow truck(s), when requested by the desk officer to respond to a police-requested call for service.
All disputes between towing operators, the public at the scene and/or owners will be reported to the Police Chief or his designee, who will act as a mediator and attempt to resolve their differences in a civil and lawful manner. No driver of a towing operator will create a disturbance on the highway.
The police officer investigating the incident is in complete charge of the incident scene, and all drivers shall comply with the officer's instructions.
All towing operators shall maintain and produce proof to the Borough Clerk of the following insurance coverage: garage keepers' liability policy in the amount of $1,000,000 for any one claimant and two million dollars ($2,000.000) for more than one claimant with $1,000,000 coverage for property damage for any one event.
It is understood and agreed by towing operator that police shall in no way be liable to the towing operator for any services whatsoever which may be rendered to motor vehicles, and the towing operator will look only to the driver or last registered owner of such vehicles for compensation.
The main office and storage facilities of any towing operator shall be located either:
In the Borough of Roselle; or
At such location outside the Borough of Roselle which shall enable such towing operator to respond to any call at any point within the municipality within 15 minutes. Compliance with this specification shall be determined solely by the Chief of Police as the supervising authority for enforcement of this chapter.
All towing operators shall be obligated to tow all municipal vehicles in the event that they become disabled or involved in an incident without charge to said Borough of Roselle when such vehicles or truck is disabled within borough boundaries.
All vehicles disposed of by certificate of title or junk title by the Borough of Roselle, to the tower of said vehicle, shall be in lieu of any comprehension that would have been owed by previous registered owner for towing and storage charges.
All vehicles towed under investigation, by the Roselle Police Department, shall be at no cost to the Borough of Roselle or the registered owner.
Licenses issued pursuant to this chapter shall be for a term of one year. Said one-year period, regardless of the date of application, shall commence on January 1 of the year of said application.
In order to assure provision of safe and efficient towing service throughout the borough to benefit the public good, all qualified operators pursuant to this chapter shall be issued a towing license.
Each towing operator shall be placed on a rotational list as compiled by the Chief of Police or his designee. Such towing operator shall be called upon to respond to the needs of the Police Department of the Borough of Roselle on a rotational basis of bimonthly duration.
[Amended 2-22-1995 by Ord. No. 1956]
No towing operator shall engage in cruising as defined in this chapter.
No towing operator shall solicit or attempt to divert patrons of another towing operator, whether or not licensed under this section, nor shall a towing operator solicit or divert prospective patrons of a given repair service to any other repair service, nor shall any police officer designate or suggest any towing operator to perform service.
No flashing lights or sirens shall be used by a towing operator except as granted by the Chief of Police in and/or under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:1 et seq.
The governing body hereby designates the Police Department, generally, its specific designee and the Chief of Police, particularly, as the supervising authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter as well as the rules and regulations adopted hereunder, with the ultimate authority vesting in the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Roselle.
Prior to license renewal during the month of December, each towing operator licensed under this section shall be inspected for fitness by a representative of the Police Department and shall appropriately complete a new application for each year.
Each licensed towing operator at times shall maintain and carry the necessary equipment to remove disabled or locked vehicles.
Each towing operator, prior to departure from the scene of towing services, shall clean and clear the streets of any customary debris resulting from any accident at such scene and shall at all times carry the necessary equipment to perform such cleaning services.
No towing operator licensed under this chapter shall respond to the scene of an accident except upon request of the driver or owner of the vehicles involved or except upon notification by the channel of communication established by the Police Department to notify licensed towing operators of the necessity of their presence.
The operator's refusal to tow at the scene of this incident or refusal to tow when designated by the owner and the type of car or vehicle refused shall be reported by the police officer assigned to the incident to his superior. The report of refusal shall be furnished to the Chief of Police and the Borough Clerk as soon as practicable. The refusal to tow shall take into consideration the hour of the accident, the destination of the tow and the weather conditions, the intent being to afford the Borough of Roselle and its people the greatest degree of coverage on its roads.
Towing operators shall arrive at the scene to which dispatched within reasonable time after being dispatched. Under normal circumstances, such reasonable time limit is defined as within 15 minutes.
Where no storage designation by an owner or the police has been made, licensed towing operators are authorized to remove the vehicle to the towing operator's place of business.
No towing operator operating under the license issued hereunder shall employ any sworn officers of the Borough of Roselle for the purpose of towing under this chapter.
The Borough of Roselle Police Department shall maintain a log, to record calls to licensed towing operators under this chapter. Said record shall be available for inspection by any licensed towing operator upon reasonable notice.
Such additional rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the Borough Council pursuant to this chapter shall take effect after notification of such rules and regulations upon all holders of licenses as towing operators. Service shall be made by forwarding these rules and regulations by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the licensee at the address listed in his most recent application.
The Borough Committee shall have the right to suspend or revoke any license issued under this chapter for good cause, upon written complaint of the Chief of Police of the Borough of Roselle following his determination that there is probable cause for revocation or suspension based upon violation of this chapter. Written notice of such complaint and the basis of the complaint shall be given to the towing operator, and said operator shall be entitled to a hearing before the Borough Council prior to final determination of the complaint by the Borough Council. If, upon full hearing, the Borough Council decides that there have been violations, then a majority vote of those present and voting may terminate or suspend said license. In the event that a request for a license is denied in the first instance, the applicant whose request for a license has been denied shall be afforded an opportunity to determine the reason for the denial, and the procedure for the same shall be the same as hereinbefore set forth for suspension or revocation of a license issued under this chapter.
No controlling interest in a license issued pursuant to this chapter shall be assigned, transferred or sold, except on specific approval of the Borough Council of the Borough of Roselle, and, upon cessation of activity or authority under the license through revocation or otherwise, the license shall be determined null and void. In no event shall any such license be posted as collateral. At the time of application for said license, the towing operator shall complete and submit, on borough forms, a statement of ownership. Any controlling interest transfer of ownership in a licensee's business, be it actual transfer or stock ownership, without borough approval, shall render the license void. In the event of sale or transfer, the new applicant, if any, shall make a new application and pay fees and be approved by the Borough of Roselle, New Jersey.
The following daily rates are applicable within the purpose and intent of this chapter for storage of vehicles towed from public property:
[Amended 4-14-1993 by Ord. No. 1901]
Inside storage with a minimum of three spaces: $20. The foregoing shall apply only if the owner of the vehicle being towed requests inside storage. If the Police Department requests inside storage for investigative purposes, the outside storage charges are to apply.
The following daily rates are applicable within the purpose and intent of this chapter for storage of vehicles towed from private property:
[Added 4-14-1993 by Ord. No. 1901]
A limit of $3 per day for the first 30 days of storage per vehicle.
A limit of $2 per day for the 31st day of storage and any day thereafter.
A limit of $400 per vehicle stored regardless of the duration of the storage, except that a waiver may be granted for good cause upon the request of a municipality by the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs.
Maximum fees for towing vehicles. The following shall comprise a list of the maximum fees for towing vehicles in the Borough of Roselle:
[Amended 4-14-1993 by Ord. No. 1901; 5-21-1997 by Ord. No. 2046]
Daytime (8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.): $40.
Nighttime (6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.): $50.
Sundays and holidays: $50.
Dolly tow: $25, plus the normal rate.
Out-of-town: $7 minimum, plus the normal rate, plus $1 per mile over seven miles.
Winching for other than a normal tow: $15. If a winch is needed to complete the tow and if an unreasonable amount of time is needed to complete the tow, then a reasonable amount will be charged related to the time used and difficulty encountered.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.49, as amended, all towers licensed under this chapter will provide a statement that regulations and fee schedules are available to the general public during the normal business hours of the Borough of Roselle.
One-half-ton trucks and vans will be classified as vehicles for the purpose of this chapter.
The Borough Council or its designated representative shall promulgate additional rules and regulations when necessary, as set forth under § 109-8, General rules and regulations, and copies of said rules and regulations shall be made available to all towing companies.
No vehicles are to be towed into the Police Department parking lot unless specifically ordered by the Police Department. Vehicles under police investigation will be towed free of charge.
All towers will provide free brake tests and inspections to the Police Department, upon request.
The Police Department of the Borough of Roselle shall provide, when requested, towing operators with the Department of Motor Vehicle information regarding registered owners and lienholders. This information requested and given shall be in conformance with N.J.S.A. 39:10A et seq. and shall not in any way violate the confidentiality that is reposed in the Police Department.
Upon the adoption of this chapter, the Borough Clerk shall give 30 days' public notice of the receipt of the license application pursuant to this chapter. Public notice shall be given by publication in an appropriate newspaper circulated within the borough.
The license-issuing authority shall be the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Roselle.
Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the Judge of the Municipal Court.