Towing Vehicles for a Special Event

For a special event using a street as part of the event venue, it is often necessary to make sure vehicles will not be parked in the way of the planned event area. Special event permit holders must follow specific procedures to lawfully remove these vehicles. It is important to note a vehicle parked on a public street may only be removed by the order of a police officer whenever the vehicle owner is not present to give consent.


The following instructions are for the private person responsible for a special event (Event Organizer) on how to properly remove vehicles from public property for a special event. For questions or additional information, contact Sgt. Wes Shaffer, Scottsdale Police Department (SPD) Special Events Unit (SEU) Supervisor, at 480-312-4390 or [email protected].

Failure to follow the instruction will result in vehicle(s) not being removed regardless of the impact on the special event.


When the public roadway or a public parking area is to become a special event venue pursuant to a special event permit, and vehicles parked in the roadway or public parking area will create a hazard or will otherwise interfere with the operation of the special event, the Event Organizer may request the Scottsdale Police Department respond to relocate or remove the vehicles. With proper notification and properly posted signs, and due to the exigency of the special event itself, any vehicle on the public roadway or public parking area within the special event venue may be considered as abandoned and thereby removed by the contracted towing company of the Scottsdale Police Department pursuant to ARS § 28-4834.

Only a police officer or police aide may authorize the removal of a vehicle from public property.

Event Organizer Responsibilities

The Event Organizer must complete and adhere to the following:

  1. At least 72 hours prior to your event, e-mail the SPD SEU Supervisor:
    1. A diagram of the restricted parking area
    2. The date and time you want the illegally parked vehicles to be towed
  2. Create and properly post no parking signs. The no parking signs:
    1. Must be identical to the sample on the right (color, font, wording) except the date and time must be changed to correspond to your event. The SPD SEU Supervisor will e-mail a sample sign to the Event Organizer.
    2. Must be printed on a durable material, such as heavyweight paper, laminated paper, plastic or metal no smaller than 11 inches tall and 8.5 inches wide (sign stock may be available for purchase from a barricade company).
    3. Must be posted at least 18 hours prior to the beginning of the event or the time vehicles will be towed, whichever occurs first.
    4. Must be placed on a vertical panel-type barricade in front of EVERY affected parking space (available for rent from barricade company—see sample to the right).
    5. Must be attached near the top of the vertical panel-type barricade so as to be clearly visible to the driver of a vehicle entering the parking space.
  3. The SPD SEU Supervisor will inspect the no parking signs 12-18 hours before vehicles need to be towed. The Event Organizer or designee must be immediately available to fix identified problems. Note: If there is a problem with sign wording or placement, any vehicles already parked prior to correcting the problem CANNOT be towed unless the owner or operator is contacted and informed of the parking restriction.
  4. On the day of the event, if a vehicle is parked in violation of a sign, call 480-312-5000 (unless the SPD SEU Supervisor has already made arrangements for an officer to be present for towing), request a police response, and be present to identify any vehicle needing to be removed. Allow at least two hours between the time towing may begin (the time on the sign) and the time the vehicles must be out of the way of the event. An officer or police aide will respond as soon as practical. If all criteria have been met, the officer or police aide will tow the vehicle(s). The vehicle(s) will be impounded and stored at the SPD contracted towing company lot.
  5. Whenever possible, leave all vertical panel barricades with attached signs in place until the end of the event. This allows for the owner or operator of any towed vehicle to see and read the sign when they return to the area.