You Get Into An Accident, Who Tows Your Vehicle?

police towIf you’ve been the in the unfortunate circumstance of being in an accident, you may have had a similar experience. You get out of your vehicle, if you can, and police show up and call for the police wrecker. You then make a phone call and call your own towing company. The officer says that they’ll be towing the vehicle even though your own towing company has already showed up.

The above incident occurred last week, only a bit different.

A motorist who got into an MVA called for his tow company, All The Way Towing, and when the officer noticed him do that, he yelled at the driver for doing so, the driver tells TLS, despite another officer saying it was okay for him to make the call.

TLS brought the incident up with the Chief who said the individual should absolutely report such incidents and that he would deal with it appropriately.

However, the laws and the rights remain confusing, and that’s why TLS spoke with Police Chief Rob Lawson to clarify it for our readers.

What it boils down to – which arguably can be to your dissatisfaction – is if the vehicles involved in the Motor Vehicle Accident pose a direct hazard to motorists and if it will halt the traffic flow in the area.

But whose decision is that?

The Chief explained.

If for example, you’ve gotten into an accident at the intersection of Clifton Avenue and County Line Road – a busy intersection- and your vehicle is blocking traffic, police will call for ‘Unit 20′, which is the tow providers for the police department. So even if you’ve called your tow truck company, your car will be towed by the police because it will stall traffic and the roadway should be cleared immediately following an accident, says the Chief.

However, if your accident occurred on a side road, and the vehicles do not cause an immediate traffic hazard, you can call the tow company of your choice to tow your vehicle.

TLS reached out to All The Way Towing proprietor Betzalel Goodman regarding the recent incident and for his view of the tow laws and motorists’ rights in general.

“It’s very disappointing, from both a business matter and likewise from a professional stand point of view”, Goodman said. “We happen to be in the middle of litigation with the Township over such actions by the PD”. “It’s wrong and unacceptable”, he said. “I can’t go into detail at this time about the lawsuit”

“However, I do know and recognize that the chief has been making effort into trying to correct the problem”.

Goodman says, “by law, anyone can call his/her tow truck at anytime anywhere”. “The Township
does have an ordinance mandating that the tow truck respond within 15 minutes to the scene of the accident from time when called”. “We B”h have established a clear record with the PD of having a very quick response time”. “The only time when an officer should be allowed to refuse a private tow truck is: 1) If the tow truck cant respond timely, 2) If the vehicle in question of being towed is under a police investigation, (for example hit and run, DUI, struck a pedestrian) 3) If the vehicle is uninsured”, says Goodman. “In such cases, the tow becomes a police tow where they are required by law to take custody of the vehicle”. “Otherwise, NEVER in a private tow should the police be interfering and telling people who they can or can’t use to tow their car”

“Besides”, says Goodman, “If the issue is to clear the road as fast as possible, then there should not be any issue with having a private company do the job”.

Goodman adds, “regardless if it’s a police tow or not, it’s still very unprofessional for an officer to harass someone for trying to exercise their rights”. “It’s obvious this is an area that the PD needs to improve”.

So until that lawsuit pans itself out – and private companies work it out with the Township – it will remain the officer’s discretion if the vehicle in question can be towed by your private company, or by the police. TLS.

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  1. its very important for you to use police tow. remember once they have your car they can play all types of games with you they can charge you what you want and there is no one to answer up to! on the other hand police tow are restricted what they can do and charge and they dont push force you to use one specific body shop or mechanic.

  2. I was once visiting lakewood and was involved in a crash. MR. Goodman was there and was very comforting to know that I was being taken care of by a haimishe. I remember he made several calls to body shops and got me prices from 3 and then he took my car to the one I chose. Thank you!

  3. why don’t we publicize the name of the police officer so people will start to realize that there is an issue with this particular officer and when the police department has to make cuts he should be on top of the list

  4. Lakewood PD follow the same protocal as every PD elsewhere. There should not be exceptions. Follow the laws and there will be less accidents.

  5. i always call all the way towing right away because they are the fastest and the most mentchlich to deal with. i cant see anyone having a problem with using them. unfortunately my car does get into accidents ich vais nisht vi azoy, but most times police have no problem when i call him.

  6. Get off the phone, buckle in your children, pay attention to your driving, drive responsibly, mind your own business, don’t stop in the middle of the street to pick up hitch hikers and you’ll find you will have less accidents. Use common sense and you’ll have less reasons to use tow services and get involved with the police,

  7. why cant everybody stop complaining how the police, ems, fd do their jobs??!!! my god if i had as much time as you people did i would be bored! follow the rules and laws of new jersey and stop and think ebverybody owes you something or your above the law you wouldnt have these issues. BUT LAKEWOOD AND LOGIC DONT GO TOGETHER!!!!!

  8. isnt yitz part of this whole police towing thing? i read here that they were happy to announce that they are joining the police towing. i also read here that there is a flat fee of 150 for police towing. but i found out there is storage also additional to that.

  9. I just got a ticket this wwek from an officer for running a orange or red light depends who you ask, and he gave me an additional ticket for wreckless driving. There are a few bad apples and we should lay them off eveb if the unions concede!

  10. i was at mva and mr goodman was called by the person who was invovled in the mva and the cop maid him pay barina in cash for coming down and the cop didnt stop bad mouthing mr goodman who came first to the mva at the request of the invoved party if traffic needs to be cleared and thats the only issue then why are these cops fighting with mr goodman when he is the first one there and probly the best in the besnus i geuss the good old eisuv ………

  11. To #13: If you got a ticket, it’s because you did something wrong. Did you know it’s wrong to speed up at the yellow (not orange) light? If your entire vehicle is in the intersection when the light turns red, you ran the light. AND it’s reckless driving, not ‘wreckless’. Take some responsibility for your own behavior. It’s not as if the officer ticketed you for running a green light and following all the rules, and you are talking about having someone lose their job, potentially being unable to support their family, all because you were in a hurry? Grow up!

  12. Another thing on this topic: Why when I got into an accident Thursday night in Lakewood, got towed just about two miles and took out the car Friday morning, did it COST $215? Isn’t THAT A CRAZY PRICE? Is this what everyone charges or is it just that since the company is a police towing company they can charge what they want? Anyone have a clue?

  13. to #10 you sound like a bored officer sitting on the side of the road counting how many years left to start receiving a pension.
    and if you dont like lakewood and you dont like what you read here maybe start finding what you do like. and let everyone else enjoy life.

  14. #10: “You people” reeks of anti-group (I’m not sure which). We are all individuals: Lakewood residents; Latino/Mexican Americans; senior citizens; Orthodox Jews; TLS bloggers: etc. Please blog respectfully.

  15. to #16
    you are right its crazy but its a bigger chutzpah that the twp acts like they saving you money with the new ordinance by charging a so called 150 flat fee. but they dont tell you about the other charges. they should just let everyone call who they want and everyone will be happy.

  16. There are set rates and duty tow trucks that have been contracted by the township. Mr. Goodman should become part of those contracted and do his on call on a rotation like all the other companies. Anyone who wants a private tow company should immediately notify the police of who was called and how long it will be before they can get there. They are also responsible for any road cleanup.

  17. well thats what the idea of the 50.00 to the twp from every tow is so they should let the police towing do whatever they want. as long as there are kickbacks no1 gonna say anything to them. and maybe thats why they give private tow companies a hard time so the twp can make more money.

  18. the police know the laws and what they can and cant do better than anyone of us, thats including “noodles”….if you get in an accident and it is in anyway a hazard to the safety of you, the public, other motor vehicles or the officer him/herself, guess what, unit 20’s coming. every year towing companys apply to have thier week of towing privilages for the township. if you want in, do the same

  19. getting a ticket does not mean you did something wrong, your`e innocent until proven guilty. And i`ll call ur bluff you are prob the cop who gave #13 the ticket!!

  20. You know no one will be happy until they all get everything their way. It was never a problem in the past when the pd asked for their wreckers..if you use a private tow company you know your vehicle is not in a secure location, is prob parked on the side of a garage without security cameras. All tow companies in the pd inventory must carry minimum insurance requirements set up by the state so if there is damage to your car AFTER it leaves the scene on a pd tow truck they are covered by their own insurance…If you have a private tow company who knows what insurance they have. It is not regulated by anyone other than those that run the company..If you insinuate that the PD is overpriced and feel they are doing this to make money..well how else are these companies supposed to make money? YOU all complain about the town not getting or making any money and when they do try to make it you complain. Can anyone catch a break in Lakewood anymore?

  21. to all you towing companies or officers hiding on anon names like #22 n #24
    first of all mr goodman does not and should not need to join the corruption to be in business.
    anyone pushing for him to join must be someone who is in on it.
    no one should have to be on a rotation to pay off the twp in order to be in any business, contractors should not have to pay to get approvals either to do their work. so what kind of nonsense is this.
    well of course if you are benefiting from it then it makes sense to you.

  22. by the way the police dont necessarily know the laws better than anyone else and especially better than mr goodman who is quite a knowledgeable respected individual. i am sure he has a good case going against the twp. and i am sure the out come will be successful as well.

  23. To #27: You lose! Not a police officer, just someone sick of people rationalizing their bad behavior. You must be someone who is used to arguing technicalities in order to distract from the main issue. The issue was, the person admitted to driving recklessly by running “an orange or red light”, and now is blaming a police officer for ticketing him. While “technically” that person is innocent until proven guilty, the reality is that police are unlikely to waste time pulling over people who drive through green lights, or drive safely and respectfully. My “grow up” statement still stands, and apparently it applies to more than just lucky #13.

  24. For everyones info we are in independent businesses of town .lakewood we are licensed by the township of lakewood to provide fair service as listed by town we are called only if police need our service to clear roadways and impound unlicensed vehicles. If a citizen car needs be tow he or she may have their car towed by a wrecker if their choice, as the chief earlier we will not respond to a accident scene if not called. When all the way tows your car who controls what he charges you and how your car is released and to whom. Its a great business if you cant be told what u can charge its the only one that is getting the short end of stick is all Insurance co.

  25. What a bunch of cry babies , if you drive and abide by the laws All the laws there would be no problem
    just today i had to drive arround a vehicle who stopped right in the middle of the road to let someone off . how much touble is it to pull over and not obstuct traffic!!

  26. I once worked on a case in the late 70’s where NYPD authorized tow trucks and (PVB Traffic trucks) were towing cars with outstanding tickets. After the cars where impounded the tow operators would not file the paperwork with the local precinct as required. I was working with the Captain of the Accident Investigation Squad and Inspector Sam Fandal to uncover the scam with a sting operation in the 72nd precinct. We put cars into the Marshall’s office with “outstanding tickets” that we parked in various neighborhoods. As the “owners” we reported the cars stolen and the precinct would take the report because they had no record of the tow (the pink carbon copy). The other copies of the paperwork were in the county Parking VIolation Bureau files but without the pink precinct voucher anywhere to be found. To make a long story short, the impounded cars were marked for export to South America, the City Manager of the PVB/Towing scam killed himself (Donald Manus) before the trial and many operators and city employees wound up in Federal Prison.
    The PD/Tow/PVB relationship has been a lucrative racket for many, many years almost everywhere. I don’t know what goes on in Lakewood but the smell is too familiar. Someone up high should have the “cohones” to “look” into it before the press and FBI start sniffing around.

  27. to #31 there is allways a right party in a mva what did he do wrong that he should get taken advantage of by the lpd he should get his choice who should tow his car go mr goodman go

  28. Yitz Auto Body is the way to go!!! Ive delt with them in the past and had very good experience with them. theyre polite corteous and willing to work with you. I recomend them to anyone for anything such as towing and body work. Keep up the great work we need more people like you guys in this town!!

  29. hey lakewood scoop why dont say or type the true story. when the state police get all the pic and all the storys . there will be justice the law start in 1980 when a 5 year old girl was kill by a tow truck racing to a mva . that the reason there police tower and i can go into allot more about it but tls will never look it up or post this because all you want to wirght want you want and not the truth

  30. #34 under the hood
    i read you loud and clear. but i doubt that the naive lamens of lakewood know what you talkin about. there are many rocks to overturn here. when they investigated the inspection dept. they were fooled by a decoy scapegoat poor williams who took the hit for the real bunch.
    for some reason lakewood twp thinks they have all bases covered.
    wanna know the players? who? what? and when? wanna know how they gonna get caught natrually 🙂

  31. Baltimore, MD – More than a dozen Baltimore police officers and the owners of a car repair shop have been charged in a towing extortion scheme.

    Federal authorities announced Wednesday that 17 officers and two brothers who own Majestic Auto Repair Shop in Rosedale were charged in the conspiracy. Prosecutors say the brothers paid officers to arrange for their company, rather than a city-authorized company, to tow vehicles from accident scenes and make repairs.

    Prosecutors say the officers received $300 for each vehicle they steered to Majestic and over the two-year scheme officers received payments totaling between $300 to more than $14,400.

    Each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the extortion conspiracy.

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