2015 ORS 819.120¹
Immediate custody and towing of vehicle constituting hazard or obstruction
  • rules

(1) An authority described under ORS 819.140 (Agencies having authority to take vehicle into custody) may immediately take custody of and tow a vehicle that is disabled, abandoned, parked or left standing unattended on a road or highway right of way and that is in such a location as to constitute a hazard or obstruction to motor vehicle traffic using the road or highway.

(2) As used in this section, a "hazard or obstruction" includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

(a) Any vehicle that is parked so that any part of the vehicle extends within the paved portion of the travel lane.

(b) Any vehicle that is parked so that any part of the vehicle extends within the highway shoulder or bicycle lane:

(A) Of any freeway within the city limits of any city in this state at any time if the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less;

(B) Of any freeway within the city limits of any city in this state during the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. if the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds;

(C) Of any freeway within 1,000 feet of the area where a freeway exit or entrance ramp meets the freeway; or

(D) Of any highway during or into the period between sunset and sunrise if the vehicle presents a clear danger.

(3) As used in this section, "hazard or obstruction" does not include parking in a designated parking area along any highway or, except as described in subsection (2) of this section, parking temporarily on the shoulder of the highway as indicated by a short passage of time and by the operation of the hazard lights of the vehicle, the raised hood of the vehicle, or advance warning with emergency flares or emergency signs.

(4) An authority taking custody of a vehicle under this section must give the notice described under ORS 819.180 (Notice after taking into custody and towing) and, if requested, a hearing described under ORS 819.190 (Hearing to contest validity of custody and towing).

(5) The power to take vehicles into custody under this section is in addition to any power to take vehicles into custody under ORS 819.110 (Custody, towing and sale or disposal of abandoned vehicle).

(6) Subject to ORS 819.150 (Rights and liabilities of owner), vehicles and the contents of vehicles taken into custody under this section are subject to a lien as provided under ORS 819.160 (Lien for towing).

(7) The person that tows a vehicle under this section shall have the vehicle appraised within a reasonable time by a person authorized to perform such appraisals under ORS 819.480 (Vehicle appraiser certificate).

(8) Vehicles taken into custody under this section are subject to sale or disposal under ORS 819.210 (Sale or disposal of vehicle not reclaimed) or 819.215 (Disposal of vehicle appraised at $500 or less) if the vehicles are not reclaimed under ORS 819.150 (Rights and liabilities of owner) or returned to the owner or person entitled thereto under ORS 819.190 (Hearing to contest validity of custody and towing).

(9) The Oregon Transportation Commission, by rule, shall establish additional criteria for determining when vehicles on state highways, interstate highways and state property are subject to being taken into immediate custody under this section. [1983 c.338 §418; 1985 c.77 §1; 1991 c.464 §1; 1995 c.758 §9; 2007 c.509 §1; 2009 c.371 §7]

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Under Former Similar Statute

Due process require­ments of pro­ce­dures for removal by State Police of abandoned and illegally parked vehicles from right of way of state or interstate highway or from state prop­erty, (1981) Vol 41, p 474


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 819—Destroyed, Totaled, Abandoned, Low-Value and Stolen Vehicles; Vehicle Identification Numbers; Vehicle Appraisers, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors819.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 819, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano819.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.