Legislation would impose 10 day time limit for abandoned cars to be removed

Legislation would impose 10 day time limit for abandoned cars to be removed

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Abandoned cars have been a problem in many communities, making some look like junk yards.

State lawmakers are looking to impose stricter time limits to get the eyesores removed faster.

House Bill 2442 would require counties to pick up junked vehicles within 10 business days of them being reported abandoned.

State Representative Cedric Gates, representing Waianae, Maili, Makua, and Makaha, introduced the bill.

"Right now there hasn't been any timeline for the removal of these vehicles and that's why we see the massive amount of abandoned vehicles across our communities."

Gates says state lawmakers are even working to ease restrictions on the county leaders to get the junked cars off the streets.

Current requirements include efforts to track down the owner, which can sometimes be impossible.

Gates points out that not all sales slips require a car buyer's information.  He cites military members leaving Hawaii saying their forms don't always have the buyer's information and if the service member is deployed, contacting them is difficult. That leaves the county in limbo, unable to find new owner.

Another issue, ample time has to be provided in case an owner wants to reclaim the car.  HB 2442 would cut that grace period.

The bill also waives a current rule that forces counties to use public auctions to get rid of abandoned cars in the tow lots.  Most are stripped, burned, even stacked on top of each other and therefore, no one wants to buy many of them, so they just take up space.

The legislation would allow the counties to declare those that can't be sold, 'derelict' so they can be disposed of.

Abandoned vehicles have been a big problem for Kalihi businesses.

"If you look you've got one, two, three, four, five, six, probably just right here where we can count, at least 10 vehicles, and this is everyday," says Spencer Nash who says the junked cars take up valuable parking spaces for employees.

Residents in Kakaako, Kaneohe, and along the Waianae coast have all reported dozens of abandoned vehicles for months.

HB 2442 passed a third reading in the House and is being sent to the Senate.

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