SAN JOSE (CBS/AP) — The San Jose Police Department is expected to stop 30-day impounding of vehicles when an unlicensed driver is stopped for a minor traffic violation.

Officers will instead look for alternatives to towing, such as allowing someone else to take the vehicle, when the stops don’t involve drunken driving or other dangerous driving allegations.

The new policy, which could begin as early as next week, gives officers the option of allowing the driver to park the vehicle and have a licensed driver pick it up for them. If the car is towed, a licensed driver can pick it up immediately by paying fees and fines rather than wait 30 days.

City Councilman Sam Liccardo had asked the police department to give drivers the option of pick-up instead of lock-up.Some object to the policy change. Councilman Pete Constant, a former cop, said the 30-day impound is a useful tool to keep unlicensed drivers off the road. Having them on the roads make city streets less safe, Constant said Thursday.

“I believe that we’ll see an increase in serious accidents in San Jose as a result of this,” Constant said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Immigrants rights advocates have been pressuring the police department to change a policy they say largely nets undocumented workers and does little to keep unlicensed drivers off the street since it’s often cheaper to buy another old car than to shell out $1,500 or more in storage.

Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and several other Bay Area cities have enacted similar policies. San Jose’s acting police chief, Chris Moore, told the San Jose Mercury News he decided on the switch because he wants the time officers devoted to impounds spent elsewhere.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (21)
  1. Lisa says:

    Sounds good! A much better solution

  2. Jack says:

    “Immigrant advocates have complained the 30-day vehicle holds unfairly target illegal immigrants.”
    I don’t see the problem, hence “illegal”
    How do you have fair when they unfairly enter our country and do NOT pay taxes?
    This illegal advocacy is crazy and has to stop!
    (attention all prospective world immigrants to the USA, go to Mexico and jump our border, then you don’t have to worry about taxes or identification when you get here. As a bonus, we will give you rights like regular citizens too!)

    1. abbychang says:

      and if they commit a crime they can escape to Mexico

      1. anarose says:

        No haven’t you heard of extradition the mexican government I am sure complys wtih us in helping to catch these criminals. And it’s those criminals who make life hard for the hard working immigrants.

    2. anarose says:

      They do pay taxes haven’t you heard the term (ITIN) individual tax identification number. Yeah the government makes us believe they get everything for free how would you like to pay 1,500. to 2,000. each time to retrieve your vehicle. Our government would gain more income to allow drivers license at a higher fee and insurance too then we would all be protected.

      1. gene says:

        Only the “good” ones (with the green cards) pay taxes. The rest invent or steal someone’s social security number or they’re paid cash under the table. One would hope they wouldn’t bve stupid enough to repeat thet act that just cost them a bunch of money….

    3. gene says:

      And you get to go to college at reduced rates filling up classrooms so the legal residents can’t get their education. This is just the beggining of the downfall of California thanks to the people who voted the liberal democrats back into office!

  3. BROWN J. says:

    That advocacy group should be investigated for aiding and abetting criminals of the state.
    Illegal is as illegal does.
    How many of those advocacy members directly know or support illegal’s activities?

  4. Dayne says:

    How can it be unfair? Anyone that didn’t have a license faced the same fate. Besides, if you don’t have a license. You don’t have insurance.

    1. anarose says:

      Not True you don’t need a license to own a vehicle nor to have it insured you just need a licensed driver listed to get insurance.

  5. Jessica Modenaldi says:

    The term illegal should say it all.
    What is wrong with those people, don’t they know illegal immigrants are a heavy burden on our society?
    Why is a law enforcement department favoring criminals by changing policy?

  6. advc says:

    If they don’t have license and insurance then should impound and sell it, we should have to wait for them to kill someone and run off.

  7. Ken Brown says:

    Hook’em, book’em, and cook’em. C’mon CBS, get those law enforcement officers doing their job by ejecting those tax eaters out of our damn country!

  8. Mike says:

    The 30 day hold insures that the “unlicensed driver” who also has no insurance does not immediately take to the roadway again. Insane. Would these advocates be ok with say my 13 year old daughter driving a car? she has no insurance, no DMV test, and no license. But she does want to go places. Lets give her the same rights. Illegal has nothing to do with Unlicensed. You dont get to drive and make the streets unsafe for law abiding citizens. period.

  9. Jessica Verdicampe says:

    Arrest them all and ship them back to Mexico. Ship a bill to Mexico too for not securing their border good enough and the law enforcement costs/transportation.
    Im sick of my money being wasted on these illegals and not on my kids school.

  10. Mat says:

    No citizen = no rights

  11. Thomas says:

    Of what value is it to give the vehicle back after 30 days? In order for that to occur the person should first prove that they have become a legal resident, obtained a drivers license and purchased automobile insurance. Giving the illegal alien his/her car back should be an illegal act. Who is going to drive it? Is the car insured? Having been in a serious automobile accident caused by an illegal alien (from Japan), which nearly killed me, caused me to loose my job and house, I do have my own view point on this topic!

  12. art says:

    driver license is not a gift or a right. all of us need to understand that point.

  13. Sean says:

    They SHOULD take the car and then sell it to pay for immigrant services!

  14. mac says:

    All these comments are great! How come so many ordinary citizens can have common sense and SJPD has none? The police department is too worried about what people will think? Who cares as long s your are following the law. Its not the governments job to make people feel better. booo frikin hoo.

  15. GENE says:

    Would these same folks be able to drive unlicensed in their own countries?

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