It appears that the Los Angeles Police Department reached a decision to change the car impound policy so vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers are no longer impounded for 30 days. If so, why is it taking so long to implement the new policy?
By all indications, Chief Charlie Beck already decided to put in place new regulations so when unlicensed drivers are stopped by police for a routine traffic violation, they can call someone with a license to drive the car away. If the car does get towed, it can be retrieved the same day.
Beck could have made this decision and implemented it, because it is within his power. However, as a courtesy-and perhaps for political reasons-he consulted the City Council and the Police Commission about the issue. The council has taken its time unnecessarily on this matter, referring it to its committees to analyze whether the change will cost the city the money it collects when unlicensed drivers are punished with a 30-day impound and mandatory payment of fees to park the car in the towing company’s lot before they can recover the vehicle.
This delay in changing regulations only benefits tow-truck companies, who take money from those who do not have it and seize vehicles for a long time from people who need them to get to work.
The real solution to this problem is granting the privilege to drive to undocumented immigrants who are able to do it. Nevertheless, until the political will for this change exists in Sacramento, it is necessary to implement reasonable policies on a local level, like the one being considered in our city.
We think it is time to stop delaying and implement the new procedure. The proposed change reflects the current policy’s sense of injustice; the longer it takes to put it in place, the more drivers will suffer daily abuse at the hands of tow-truck companies.