Portland police expand towing capability, including to address street takeovers

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Published: May. 14, 2022 at 2:54 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland Police Bureau said it is expanding the situations in which a vehicle can be towed after updating its vehicle towing policy.

PPB said it now authorizes tows for driving without valid driving privileges, lack of insurance and street takeovers. It said the most significant changes to the policy are the following:

· The directive authorizes towing for certain offenses, such as unlicensed drivers, suspended drivers, and lack of insurance.

· The directive authorizes towing for violating new Portland City Code, 14A.30.080, Unlawful Street Takeover and Unlawful Staging of a Street Takeover Event.

· The directive provides new guidance on responding to stolen vehicles reported at tow lots, temporary holds for VIN inspections, and abandoned vehicle towing.

PPB said the changes bring the agency in line with neighboring law enforcement agency common practice and state law authorization.

The bureau said the change was supported in public comments, by internal subject matter experts and stakeholders within the bureau. It said it will serve as an additional tool for traffic safety.

While the policy allows for tows in certain circumstances where they were not before, they are not required in most cases. The policy encourages officers to exercise discretion in impounding vehicles that may create undue hardship or risk to the occupants.

PPB reminds members of the public, before driving on public roads, to verify their driver’s license is current and valid and they have current proof of insurance.