Why San Jose is Strongly Against a 2019 Bill that Aims to Ban Towing of Abandoned Cars

In mid-2019, a bill proposing to put a halt to towing of vehicles with more than 5 unpaid parking tickets, was introduced by California Assemblyman David Chiu. However, officials of the City of San Jose immediately made it known that they are opposed to the state lawmaker’s proposed legislation. As it is, the increasing number of abandoned vehicles parked in streets and in residential areas have already caused parking problems and frustration among San Jose residents.

Under California state laws, inability to pay the parking fees does not exempt car owners from having their cars removed by law enforcers with the help of a towing company. Although the bill proposed by Assemblyman Chiu has already reached the upper house of Califorrnia’s Congress, no legislative action has yet been taken on the matter.

San Jose city officials understand that the lawmaker’s intention is to protect the interest of low-income citizens who have lost their homes and are instead using their cars as shelter However, Johnny Khamis, a San Jose Councilmember contends that lawmakers have instituted parking programs in numerous locations across the city. The program gives religious institutions permission to accommodate in their parking facilities, vehicles being used as temporary shelter by the low income members of their congregation.

Councilman Kamis asserted that allowing people to park their car just anywhere, particularly in front of residences, does not provide solution to the main problem, which is homelesness.

Doing so will only worsen other problems that the city has to tackle, which will make it more difficult for law enforcers to trackdown stolen vehicles. Increasing the blight in San Jose’s city streets will further frustrate residents who are the firsts to be confronted by the negative effects of illegal parking problems.

An owner of a car towing company also added his piece by saying that allowing abandoned vehicles to stay parked for long in a location will eventually affect the quality of life in the neighborhood. Trash will likely accumulate under the vehicles, windows will be broken and in most cases, become vulnerable to rat and other wildlife infestations that will sooner or later find their way inside the home of residents.

What Vehicles are Considered as Safety Concerns Under California Laws

Under existing California state laws, a peace officer, or any one officially employed to enforce the parking laws in a particular location, is given authorization to remove vehicles considered as safety concerns. The authorization of peace officers or a designated employees though, is limited to the areas assign to them as their territorial jurisdictions.

Aside from cars that have been abandoned by their owners due to non-payment of parking fines, and/or renewal of vehicle registration, there are other reasons when a car is considered a safety concern in California. Such reasons include:

  • Vehicles resting on jacks or blocks;
  • Cars with missing or broken windows;
  • Non-commercial vehicles painted with graffiti, or vehicles that have been vandalized;
  • Cars that have significantly flat tires;
  • Vehicles lacking both front and back license plates;
  • Vehicles that are being used or likely to be used for illegal dumping activities

Towing Services (http://towing-services.com/) gives advice to car owners who encounter road or vehicle problems when travelling, to not leave their vehicles unattended; especially in a highway or public land.

Doing so exposes their vehicle to risks of being regarded as a safety hazard that requires removal by towing and of being impounded. As getting one’s car back will result to higher costs, it would be best to call on a towing company that provides not only towing services but also roadside assistance like jump staring or gas refueling services.