May 14, 2022 14:36
The Portland Police Bureau has updated its vehicle towing policy and now authorizes towing for drivers operating vehicles without valid driving privileges and lack of insurance, and to address street takeovers.
The Bureau recently substantially revised Directive 0630.60, Vehicle Dispositions. Most significantly, the revised directive has the following changes:
1) The directive authorizes towing for certain offenses, such as unlicensed drivers, suspended drivers, and lack of insurance.
2) The directive authorizes towing for violating new Portland City Code, 14A.30.080, Unlawful Street Takeover and Unlawful Staging of a Street Takeover Event.
3) The directive provides new guidance on responding to stolen vehicles reported at tow lots, temporary holds for VIN inspections, and abandoned vehicle towing.
The most noteworthy change to revised Directive 0630.60 is the newly authorized towing for certain offenses such as driving uninsured, suspended, without a license, or in a street takeover pursuant to a new Portland City Code provision, 14A.30.080. This change brings the Bureau
in line with both neighboring law enforcement agency common practice and state law authorization
for towing. Additionally, the change was supported in public comments and among internal subject
matter experts and stakeholders within the Bureau, and will serve as an additional tool for the
Bureau to increase traffic safety.
While the policy allows for tows in circumstances where they were not permitted before, the policy does not require them in most cases. The policy specifically encourages Police Bureau members to exercise discretion in impounding vehicles under circumstances that may create undue hardship or risk to the occupants. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to: the presence of young children, elderly, or disabled persons; vehicles equipped for use by such persons; and vehicles used as homes.
Members of the public are encouraged, before driving on public roads, to verify that their driver's license is current and valid and that they have current proof of insurance.
The Portland Police Bureau began its review of Directive 0630.60, Vehicle Disposition and Impoundment (formerly, “Vehicle Disposition”), in August 2019. The directive had not been updated since 2013. The Bureau posted the directive for Second Universal Review and Public Comment twice – once in February 2020, and again in October 2021, in light of the Bureau making additional revisions during a somewhat lengthy overall review process that spanned much of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau received comments during the universal review and public comment periods for the directive. Of note, several commenters indicated support for authorizing towing for certain offenses such as lack of insurance, suspended or unlicensed drivers, and street takeovers. The revised directive brings Bureau policy more in line with state law authorizations for towing as well as common practices of other local law enforcement agencies.
The full executive summary, including the new directive language, the changes made from the last directive, and copies of public comments, is available here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/799148
PPB reminds the public that there continue to be regular special details bringing in officers on overtime to specifically address dangerous street racing/sliding/takeover events. Participants and spectators risk arrest, fines, and towing of vehicles. These details are not being publicized ahead of time and enforcement efforts may happen without warning.
Photo description: silver coupe on a tow truck
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