Major Road Block in Abandoned Car Law

Jason Woody
Jason Woody
City Council member Charles Djou
City Council member Charles Djou

(KHNL) - A new law is in place to rid our streets of illegal and unsightly cars.

But now, the tow truck companies who haul them away can't keep up with the high volume. One after another, tow truck drivers drag in cars, trucks and SUVs.

"All of these expired tags coming in it does take up room, and it was just really getting crowded," explains Jason Woody with ACE Towing.

At ACE Towing, the lot is nearly full. The reason: cars come in with expired safety stickers and expired license plates.

The new law gives police the power to immediately tow vehicles with expired tags.  It was designed to quickly get junk cars off our streets.  But the law is quickly becoming a burden for local tow companies.

City Council member Charles Djou feels the new law is working.

"Perhaps on the positive side it is working too well," says Honolulu City Council Member Charles Djou.  "The idea is to clean up city streets, get rid of derelict, abandoned cars."

But several tow companies complain these tows are costing them money.

"We would like a little more parity in this situation," says Jason Woody.  "The first few days after the new ordinance was passed, our lot got really full.  Of course, no one is going to claim these cars so it sits and sits."

The city pays just $55 to tow cars with expired tags.  That doesn't compare to the fee paid for abandoned vehicles.

"If Abe's is getting $180 for his disposal, why couldn't we get the same?" asks Woody.

Something the City Council may consider.

"I think the law is good one, the intent is a good one," says Djou, "They just need to iron out details."