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Off the hook: Police halt automatic towing for unlicensed drivers

Original post made on Feb 18, 2011

As it reviews case law on the matter, the Mountain View Police Department has implemented a moratorium on the automatic towing of vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers — unless there is an immediate threat to the public's safety.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 18, 2011, 12:00 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by Absurd
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm

"Police will now have the option to have a licensed driver quickly pick the car up, or to allow unlicensed drivers to leave the car behind."

And the next day the same unlicensed driver (READ - driver who has not passed a test of basic driving skills and traffic laws) will be back behind the wheel of the same vehicle with the potential to cause an accident while most likely uninsured--and that's why we legals are already paying for uninsured motorists insurance.

This does not serve the interests of the legal citizens of Mountain View. And be rest assured that if a soccer mom is ever pulled over a ticket will be issued for whatever revenue-raising excuse the Police can find from the people with money driving legally with a license.

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Posted by MTBDude
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2011 at 12:16 am

@ absurd
you don't have to have a driver license to live in MV.
Legal citizen ???? are you nuts?
There are plenty of legal citizens that drive without a license.
There are plenty of soccer moms who drive without a license. I have seen them first hand from supervising a weekend work furlough program.
Save your racism and bigotry along with your shoddy arguments for tea bagger conventions

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 19, 2011 at 7:37 am


Legal citizens too should have their cars impounded if they are driving without a license. That's the law, just like having insurance and making sure your car is properly registered and smogged. BTW, forgetting your license at home is not the same as never even having applied for a license. It's people like you that don't obey the law that have everyone else carrying your weight and irresponsibility. This has nothing to do with racism or bigotry, but rather people thumbing their nose at the laws or our society. Buses and trains exist and are subsidized by taxpayers for people that don't have licenses as well. And then there is always the option of a bicycle or walking.

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Posted by Many Questions
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 19, 2011 at 10:34 am

It's interesting how the city sneaks this through without seeking public comment. Who's political agenda is at play here anyway? What brought this about? What was the reason behind this?

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Posted by traveling, with lic.
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm

That's smart, they have jobs? Maybe I'm wrong, immigrants can't get a license because they are not legal in the US, how are they paying taxes? So now that's 3 laws and counting, is that were the "mostly law abiding" comes in? Wow, what a system its a know wonder the city has no money. My two year old can figure that one out.

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Posted by ian
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

"Boyarsky said only 2,700 of the 17,000 unlicensed driving cases in 2009 involved a person committing other serious crimes." Sixteen percent still seems like a pretty high figure to justify impounding cars. Maybe some of these drivers are on their way to commit other serious crimes. How many of these cars are also unregistered or with stolen tags, uninsured, or not smogged? How many of these drivers actually really know how to drive and know the rules of the road to make it safe for other drivers? Why are they being pulled over to begin with? What am I missing here? It seems like a pretty slippery slope.

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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm

This policy stinks. Note the selective enforcement being mentioned.

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Posted by legaldriver
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Two weeks ago the 9th circuit court of appeals ruled that impounding a car for 30 days is constitutional. This is so upsetting to me as I am legally driving my infant through this city everyday. If I get hit by an unlicensed driver, what recourse do I have? None! Statistics obviously are not correct in this article, as other cities police departments have quoted much higher crime and accident rates. Please contact city counsel and the city attorney to put a stop to this practice! Everyone driving should have a valid license! If you dont, then take a bus, walk, ride a bike...there are many options.

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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm

They're going to give the illegals a free pass and hit citizens with fines. Maybe we should all just stop carrying identification. "I'm undocumented, Officer."

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Posted by Ann
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Sorry, drive without a license, lose your car.

Drive an unlicensed car, lose your car.

Drice without insurance, lose your car.

I've been hit or had my car hit by unlicensed people and it is me and after I pay my deductible, then my insurance that pays for people who don't follow OUR rules.

Frankly, I have NO simpathy for any unlicensed driver. Driving is a priviledge not a right.

Shouldn't our collective rights to safe streets be greater than that of lawbreakers?

Like this comment
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Naughty, Naughty. Moving the comments to another thread without links. Very bad form, Voice. On our troll site, we do this all the time. EVERYONE gets to see ALL the posts on a topic.

So here is my last comment and a rebuttal:

osted by the_punnisher, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm
the_punnisher is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online

Sorry, but the facts I described was how things were. Furthermore, many of my only contrary ( but proven with facts ) positions get removed.

As one of the admins of a fairly well known troll site, I have an idea what happened; we have to do it all the time for " the big four " because it is based in the US..

This brings up another hot-button issue: the " Town Square " problem.

As long as your staff deletes ( often without adding a WHY the post disappeared ) positions based on facts, are you truly offering a " Town Square " are are you becoming the equivalent of a " house organ " for the MVPD and people of their ilk. Say, the El Camino Hospital execs and the unions...

That is the elephant in the bathtub here at the " Voice ".


Back on topic:

Look at the big picture and ask:

Who pays the bills?

The licensed, insured and registered driver...

or the unlicensed, uninsured, unregistered driver?

This same question is being as in another fashion on a State and Federal level:


The bill is coming due and our credit cards are maxed out at ALL levels of Government.

The setup I described earlier worked pretty much as stated. I was there, I saw it happen. That is fact.

Much like my other comments that have been deleted. ECH, Santa Clara Social Services, Rota-Care. I was there. I REPORTED what I saw. The comments disappeared. OFTEN.

On the tow issue: BTDTGTTS. I " gambled " and lost moving a collector car. I didn't WHINE, I paid the FINE...

Mountain View needs the REVENUE, so what is the problem with enforcing ALL the laws??

Or are " The View ", MVPD and the " City Fathers " trying to make a POLITICAL STATEMENT???

I suspect the latter, based on the censorship of some of my comments.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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