The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 5, 2012

Ordinance changes rules for when vehicles can be towed

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Changes to a city ordinance mean the vehicles of some Enid drivers will be towed if they are stopped by police.

Additions to a city ordinance, effective since Nov. 1, allow Enid Police Department officers to have vehicles towed if they are not properly insured or the tag is more than 90 days past its expiration date.

Drivers whose vehicles are not insured can have their vehicles towed and stored “if the officer has probable cause to believe the vehicle is not insured as required,” according to the ordinance. Officers cannot tow or seize vehicles if they are “unable to confirm compliance or non-compliance.”

For example, drivers whose vehicles have insurance, but cannot produce an insurance verification card, cannot have their vehicles towed.

Vehicles also may be seized after the tag is more than 90 days from the expiration date of registration. If a vehicle is towed, it will not be released to the owner until it is “duly registered and the license, registration, and/or title fee and penalties due are paid in full, and the owner can provide proof that the vehicle is insured or an affidavit that the vehicle will not be operated on public highways or public streets.”

The owner also must pay the costs of the seizure, including towing and storage, before the vehicle will be released. If the owner does not claim the vehicle and pay applicable fees and penalties, the vehicle may be sold.

Drivers also may be cited for failing to update their mailing address with the Department of Public Safety within 10 days of change. Those who do not update and keep their current address with DPS can be fined $50.

Also effective since Nov. 1 is a city ordinance that creates a “halo” for bicyclists.

Drivers overtaking or passing a bicycle traveling in the same direction must leave a distance of no less than 3 feet between the vehicle and bicyclist. The vehicle must maintain the 3-foot distance until completely past the bicyclist, including trailers and other attachments. Failure to maintain the distance could result in a fine of up to $500.