Changes to Springfield's Tow Ordinance could be coming, including a reduction of the penalty, providing an opportunity for an authorized person to claim the vehicle prior to towing, and allowing for tow charges to be reimbursed if a person is found innocent of charges that led to the vehicle being pulled over.
A memo from Corporation Counsel Mark Cullen says that it costs the Springfield Police Department between $180 to $350 dollars to have a vehicle towed to and impounded while charging the owner of the vehicle $500.00, plus whatever it costs to get the vehicle out of the impound.
The memo says that the ordinance, and in general a fine imposed by government, is supposed to act a system of laws to create incentives for following the law and to punish those that break the law.
Other expenses incurred by the city, according to the memo, include time for the legal department, Treasurer and Clerk's offices for tracking, collecting and processing fines and payments and any required administrative processing.
The most common reasons a vehicle impounded by Springfield police are driving under the influence, suspended or revoked driver's license and criminal drug offenses, according Corporation Council Mark Cullen's office.
Cullen says that he has not yet been approached by any aldermen to change the current ordinance.