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LAPD tightens proposed changes to car impound procedures

February 2, 2012 |  1:43 pm

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck

Proposed changes to the LAPD’s automobile impound procedures that would allow some unlicensed drivers to avoid having their vehicles taken away for a minimum of 30 days will move forward with tightened restrictions, Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.

To avoid the lengthy impound, unlicensed drivers must not have been stopped in connection with a serious accident and will have to provide identification and insurance verification as well as not have any previous convictions for driving without a license.

Such drivers would be cited and have their vehicles seized, but would be allowed to pick them up with a licensed driver rather than wait for 30 days.

The proposed changes to impound procedures have been highly controversial since they were announced in December. At that time, police officials described less rigorous rules that would have allowed many unlicensed drivers to summon someone with a license to drive the car away.

Under the tightened restrictions, cars will be impounded “in the vast majority of cases,” Beck said.
“I hear loud and clear that people are very concerned about unlicensed drivers without insurance and unlicensed drivers without IDs,” he said. “I think this is a procedure that will increase public safety.”

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-- Paloma Esquivel

Photo: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

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