Utah Department of Public Safety

Highway Patrol - Vehicle Towing Information

The Department of Public Safety has to balance public safety against the needs of an individual when deciding when a motor vehicle will be towed from the roadway. Vehicles that are abandoned on or adjacent to the roadway can and do constitute a hazard to the motoring public. The most common reasons for vehicle removal include:

  • Vehicles that have had some sort of mechanical failure.
  • Vehicles from which the driver has been arrested for a violation.
  • Vehicles that have been involved in a crash and are inoperable or the driver incapacitated.
  • Vehicles that are improperly registered or have a mechanical condition which prevents them from being operated safety.

The policies that our troopers follow include:

Vehicles that have been abandoned.

Abandoned Vehicle On PavementAny vehicle that has been abandoned on a state highway on which any of the vehicle's wheels are on the pavement is subject to being impounded and removed after a two (2) hour time period.

If the vehicle is in a position where it is a hazard to other motorists or it impedes snow removal, it will be removed immediately.

The owner of the vehicle is responsible for all incurred expenses.

 

Abandoned Vehicle On PavementAny vehicle that has been abandoned on a state highway that has been moved completely off the pavement is subject to being impounded and removed after a forty-eight (48) hour time period.

If the vehicle is in a position where it is a hazard to other motorists or it impedes snow removal, it will be removed immediately.

The owner of the vehicle is responsible for all incurred expenses.

Vehicles that are removed after an arrest.

When the driver of a vehicle has been arrested for a violation other than DUI, the vehicle may be released to another licensed driver. If another licensed driver is not immediately available, the vehicle will be removed from the highway and held for the owner. We refer to this a "Safe Keeping."

When the driver of a vehicle has been arrested for Driving Under The Influence, the vehicle may be released to the Registered Owner only. If the Registered Owner is not immediately available, the vehicle will be placed in state impound and removed from the highway.

The owner of the vehicle is responsible for all incurred expenses.

Vehicles that have been involved in a crash.

Vehicle in crashWhen a vehicle has been involved in a crash its disposition will be determined based on the vehicle's condition and the condition of its occupants. If the vehicle is operable, it may be released to the driver or another licensed driver who is immediately available to take possession. If the vehicle is not operable or a licensed driver is not available, it will be removed from the highway and held in a "Safe Keeping" status.

The owner of the vehicle is responsible for all incurred expenses.

 

Improperly Registered or Unsafe Vehicles

Altered VehicleAny vehicle that has been stopped for a traffic violation or that has stopped for any other reason that is improperly registered or in unsafe mechanical condition is subject to being placed in state impound and being removed from the highway.

The owner of the vehicle is responsible for all incurred expenses.

[Last Update - Thursday, 19-Dec-2013 12:24:05 MST]