HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Stay in Hawaii long enough and you'll see them on the side of roads, in lots and storage facilities: Abandoned vehicles — and lots of them.
In an effort to reduce the overwhelming number of discarded vehicles on the islands, state Rep. Cedric Asuega Gates, whose district includes Waianae and Makaha, introduced House Bill 2442 on Tuesday.
The bill, if adopted, would change the current language concerning the counties' responsibility from saying that they "may" dispose of abandoned vehicles, to they "shall." This would require that counties remove unsightly vehicles within 10 business days of receiving a complaint.
In addition, Gates co-sponsored HB 2267, a bill that would create a fund encouraging the state and county to work together to solve the abandoned vehicles issue.
The inappropriate disposal of cars and trucks on the island has become a serious problem over the years. In May of last year, city tow companies said that they're running out of room to store the discarded automobiles.
In August, the Army created the Vehicle Turn-In Service as a way for soldiers to turn in their cars for a $25 fee and discourage them from abandoning them in lots.
"I believe these measures are important as more funding and space is needed for storage, but a requirement of having to remove the vehicles must be included in any bill that is passed to see real change," Gates said.
"In the future I would also like to see a state sponsored junk yard where people can deliver their unwanted vehicles and receive money for the scrap value of any material exchanged."