Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Midday Edition

Change in towing policy coming to San Diego

A San Diego police car parked in downtown San Diego, Oct. 24, 2018.
Susan Murphy
A San Diego police car parked in downtown San Diego, Oct. 24, 2018.

The city of San Diego plans to change it's policy around vehicle towing. Specifically, car owners in San Diego will not be towed for late registrations fees, or for having more than five unpaid parking tickets.

Councilmember Stephen Whitburn is spearheading the policy change. He said towing the cars of people who already cannot afford their registration fees, or pay their parking tickets, are being plunged deeper into debt when their cars are towed. And, Whitburn said, if they cannot pay to get their car out of the tow yard, "It's sold to the highest bidder."

The change comes after the city audited the policy last year. The council is still working out the details. Whitburn said the policy does not just negatively affect low-income and other vulnerable people in San Diego, it also hurts the city.


"On an annual basis, the city loses $1.5 million through this program," Whitburn said.

Whitburn joined Midday Edition on Monday to talk about how the city's towing policy will change.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.