In Texas, only peace officers can tow vehicles that are abandoned or illegally parked in the right of way.
Providing parking compliance officers the authority to tow will allow the police officers to be available to address more serious public safety concerns. Parking compliance officers can write citations to these vehicles, but do not have the ability to tow the vehicle from the public right of way.
The vehicle must be parked for at least 48 hours in order to be considered abandoned. This requires a parking compliance officer to visit the location daily at least twice to mark tires and cite the vehicle. After 48 hours, Police are notified that the vehicle should be towed.
- Annually, the City of Houston receives about 9,000 calls related to parking violations. More than half of these calls are for abandoned vehicles in neighborhoods.
Allowing parking compliance officers the authority to tow vehicles will allow the police officers to be available to address more serious public safety concerns.
- If police cannot tow the vehicle, it remains a public nuisance and neighborhood blight.
- Vehicles blocking a mobility lane should be quickly towed.
- Issuing a citation does not mitigate the traffic congestion or improve mobility.
- Inefficient use of public resources to have police officer and parking compliance officers visit the same location to tow one vehicle.