The president of the Los Angeles police union, which has been outspoken on issues involving unlicensed drivers, was himself the victim of a collision involving an unlicensed, undocumented driver this week, he said.
Tyler Izen, head of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said he was driving home at about 7:15 p.m, Thursday in the Elysian Valley area when a driver turned left into his driver's side door as he went through an intersection, totalling his Scion TD. Izen said he suffered no major injuries, but is sore from the collision.
Izen thanked LAPD's Northeast Division on his Twitter feed, saying they "handled the whole mess like the pros they are."
"I just thank God it turned out like it did and I'm around to deal with the aggravation on insurance and getting a new car," Izen said in a telephone interview with the Daily News. "It could have been a lot worse."
Izen said he was fortunate that the other driver remained on the scene and traded insurance information.
"He did stop and I asked him if he had a driver's license and he said he didn't," Izen said in an earlier interview that aired on KABC radio (790 AM). "His wife said he didn't need a driver's license because he had insurance. Of course that's wrong, but he is undocumented and cannot get a license."
The PPL has sued the LAPD over Special Order No. 7, issued by Chief Charlie Beck, that eases the city's impound policy on vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers.
Earlier this week, the state Court of Appeals blocked a lower court ruling against the special order pending a hearing.
Izen said he supports offering driver's licenses to everyone, believing it will help reduce the number of hit-and-run cases.
His opposition to the special order, he said, is that it creates confusion for officers over the stops of undocumented drivers.
But Don Rosenberg of Unlicensed to Kill, an organization opposed to the licensing of undocumented immigrants, said he does not believe licensing will change anything.
"A bad driver is a bad driver," Rosenberg said. "Until they become a citizen, they could face deportation and that might scare people away after an accident."