Montgomery mayor signs towing ordinance

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery City Council Tuesday evening voted to pass a new ordinance that will have  consequences for some drivers. Thursday, Mayor Todd Strange signed it.

City leaders voted 8-1 to approve a new measure that will result in a person's car being towed if they're involved in an accident and do not have a driver's license or auto insurance.

It will take 30 days from the date of passage before the ordinance goes into effect (Dec. 19), but Mayor Strange said enforcement will not begin until January 1, 2014.

There is a delay in relation to the auto insurance portion because the state of Alabama does not have adequate technology to verify a driver's auto insurance. Once the state works out the issues with that system, the city of Montgomery will start towing cars belonging to drivers without insurance. There is no delay for the driver's license portion of the ordinance.

The council had tabled the issue several times in the past two years because members could not come to an agreement on how the law should be written. That is, until Tuesday.

A committee meeting decided Tuesday that the version before it would be the final version to go before the city council, and when it was brought to the floor it passed by an 8-1 margin. Only Councilman Arch Lee voted against it.

The ordinance says that anyone involved in an accident who doesn't have a driver's license and/or auto insurance will be ticketed by police and their vehicle will be towed. The driver will then be forced to pay the ticket fees and the towing fee, a cost that could exceed more than $600.

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