Towing Reform: New Bill Seeks to Repeal ‘Poverty Tows’

For many Californians, having a car towed is not only a costly inconvenience but can mean losing access to a job, education, medical care or even shelter, according to a new report by a coalition of civil rights attorneys.

News Story (California)

Marisol Medina-Cadena
KQED Radio (NPR) (Northern California)
March 19, 2019

Tags: Fines and Fees, Poverty

Organizations mentioned/involved: Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR)


The report, “Towed Into Debt,” found that the top three reasons for towing — unpaid parking tickets, expired car registration or parking in a legal spot for more than 72 hours — disproportionately impacted low-income Californians, causing many of them to permanently lose their vehicle.

San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu is taking action on these findings: He introduced Assembly Bill 516 on Monday. If passed, the bill would repeal the three towing policies he and advocates say are “poverty tows.”