Portland Police policy update allows towing of vehicles in certain circumstances, including street takeovers (Pictured)

May 14, 2022 2:36 p.m.

The Portland Police Bureau updated its vehicle towing policy and now allows towing for drivers operating vehicles without valid driving privileges and without insurance, and to deal with street takeovers.

The Office recently extensively revised Directive 0630.60, Dispositions of Vehicles. More importantly, the revised directive includes the following changes:

1) The Directive allows towing for certain offences, such as unlicensed drivers, suspended drivers and lack of insurance.

2) The directive authorizes towing for violation of the new City of Portland Code, 14A.30.080, Unlawful Street Takeover and Illegal Hosting of a Street Takeover Event.

3) The directive provides new guidance on responding to reported vehicle theft from tow parks, temporary suspensions for VIN inspections, and towing of abandoned vehicles.

The most notable change to the revised guideline 0630.60 is the newly permitted towing for certain violations such as driving uninsured, suspended, without a license, or during a street takeover per a new provision of city code. of Portland, 14A.30.080. This change brings the Bureau
in accordance with both the common practice of neighboring law enforcement and the authorization of state law
for towing. Additionally, the change was supported in public comments and among internal topics.
subject matter experts and stakeholders within the Office, and will serve as an additional tool for the
Office to increase road safety.

Although the policy allows tows in circumstances where they were not previously permitted, the policy does not require them in most cases. The policy specifically encourages members of the Police Bureau to use discretion in seizing vehicles in circumstances that may create undue hardship or risk to occupants. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to: the presence of young children, the elderly or disabled; 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 valid and current 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 has twice issued the guideline for the second universal review and public consultation. – once in February 2020, and again in October 2021, in light of additional revisions made by the Bureau during a fairly lengthy global review process that spanned much of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bureau received comments during the universal review and public comment periods on the directive. It should be noted that several commenters indicated their support for towing authorization for certain offenses such as lack of insurance, suspended or unlicensed drivers and street takeovers. The revised directive makes the Bureau’s policy more consistent with state legal authorizations for towing as well as common practices of other local law enforcement agencies.

The full summary, including new guidance wording, changes to the latest guidance, and copies of the 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 overtime to specifically deal with dangerous street racing/sliding/takeover events. Participants and spectators risk arrest, fines and vehicle towing. These details are not made public in advance and enforcement efforts may occur without warning.

Photo Description: Silver coupe on a tow truck

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