FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 31, 2012
CONTACT: Lizette Mata (916) 319-2012
Assemblywoman Fiona Ma’s Bill to Exempt Unlicensed Drivers from 30 Day Impound Period, Passes out of Assembly
SACRAMENTO –Assemblywoman Fiona Ma’s (D-San Francisco and San Mateo Counties) AB 1993, would allow a city or county to exempt a person from the impound period where the only offense involves a person who does not have a driver’s license.
“In California we allow unlicensed drivers the opportunity to buy cars, register them, and buy insurance, but at the first incident where they may be stopped for not having a tail light on, instead of getting a ticket, they are given a citation and their vehicle is impounded,” said Assemblywoman Ma. “At a time when people are struggling to make ends meet, impounding vehicles from hard working people who need their vehicles to get to work, to take their children to school or to go to their doctor’s appointments, is unconscionable. I thank my colleagues in the Assembly for standing up for the most economically disadvantaged families.”
AB 1993 applies the same equitable standard to all drivers by exempting an unlicensed driver from the 30 day impounds period. This bill would give the driver reasonable time to call a licensed driver to show up at the scene and drive the vehicle away. This bill would also allow the driver to park the vehicle in a safe area. If the driver needs to park the vehicle, AB 1993 requires the driver to assume all responsibility in the event the vehicle injures anyone after the driver has been pulled over, by signing a waiver of liability.
AB 1993 does not waive impound periods for drivers who have had previous serious driving convictions such as driving under the influence (DUIs) of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving and negligent operator status, failures to appear in court, and those who have had their driver’s incenses suspended or revoked.
“We commend Assemblywoman Ma for carrying AB 1993, which will restore basic fairness to our car towing laws, will improve public safety, and will help reduce poverty among California’s children,” stated Mark Silverman, Director of Immigration Policy at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. “I am personally deeply moved by Assemblywoman Ma’s wisdom, and sense of humanity. Assemblywoman Ma makes me proud to be a San Franciscan. We also commend the assemblymembers of both parties who voted in favor of the bill today.”
AB 1993 is on its way to the Senate where it will await referral to its policy committee.
For more information on Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, please visit: http://asmdc.org/members/a12/