Texas Transportation Code
Sec. § 545.305
Removal of Unlawfully Stopped Vehicle


(a)

A peace officer listed under Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, or a license and weight inspector of the department may remove or require the operator or a person in charge of a vehicle to move a vehicle from a highway if the vehicle:

(1)

is unattended on a bridge, viaduct, or causeway or in a tube or tunnel and the vehicle is obstructing traffic;

(2)

is unlawfully parked and blocking the entrance to a private driveway;

(3)

has been reported as stolen;

(4)

is identified as having been stolen in a warrant issued on the filing of a complaint;

(5)

is unattended and the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the vehicle has been abandoned for longer than 48 hours;

(6)

is disabled so that normal operation is impossible or impractical and the owner or person in charge of the vehicle is:

(A)

incapacitated and unable to provide for the vehicles removal or custody; or

(B)

not in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle;

(7)

is disabled so that normal operation is impossible or impractical and the owner or person in charge of the vehicle does not designate a particular towing or storage company;

(8)

is operated by a person an officer arrests for an alleged offense and the officer is required by law to take the person into custody; or

(9)

is, in the opinion of the officer, a hazard, interferes with a normal function of a governmental agency, or because of a catastrophe, emergency, or unusual circumstance is imperiled.

(b)

An officer acting under Subsection (a) may require that the vehicle be taken to:

(1)

the nearest garage or other place of safety;

(2)

a garage designated or maintained by the governmental agency that employs the officer; or

(3)

a position off the paved or main traveled part of the highway.

(c)

A law enforcement agency other than the department that removes an abandoned vehicle in an unincorporated area shall notify the sheriff.

(d)

The owner of a vehicle that is removed or stored under this section is liable for all reasonable towing and storage fees incurred.

(e)

In this section:

(1)

"Towing company" means an individual, corporation, partnership, or other association engaged in the business of towing vehicles on a highway for compensation or with the expectation of compensation for the towing or storage of the vehicles and includes the owner, operator, employee, or agent of a towing company.

(2)

"Storage company" means an individual, corporation, partnership, or other association engaged in the business of storing or repairing vehicles for compensation or with the expectation of compensation for the storage or repair of vehicles and includes the owner, operator, employee, or agent of a storage company.
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Sec. 545.3051. REMOVAL OF PERSONAL PROPERTY FROM ROADWAY OR RIGHT-OF-WAY. (a) In this section:

(1)

"Authority" means:

(A)

a metropolitan rapid transit authority operating under Chapter 451; or

(B)

a regional transportation authority operating under Chapter 452.

(2)

"Law enforcement agency" means:

(A)

the department;

(B)

the police department of a municipality;

(C)

the sheriffs office of a county; or

(D)

a constables office of a county.

(3)

"Personal property" means:

(A)

a vehicle described by Section 545.305;

(B)

spilled cargo;

(C)

a hazardous material as defined by 49 U.S.C. Section 5102 and its subsequent amendments; or

(D)

a hazardous substance as defined by Section 26.263, Water Code.

(b)

An authority or a law enforcement agency may remove personal property from a roadway or right-of-way if the authority or law enforcement agency determines that the property blocks the roadway or endangers public safety.

(c)

Personal property may be removed under this section without the consent of the owner or carrier of the property.

(d)

The owner and any carrier of personal property removed under this section shall reimburse the authority or law enforcement agency for any reasonable cost of removal and disposition of the property.

(e)

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an authority or a law enforcement agency is not liable for:

(1)

any damage to personal property removed from a roadway or right-of-way under this section, unless the removal is carried out recklessly or in a grossly negligent manner; or

(2)

any damage resulting from the failure to exercise the authority granted by this section.
Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 803, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.
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Jun. 17, 2019