Addressing abandoned vehicles

  • Ryan Evans / Special to The Garden Island

    A van sits abandoned in Puhi.

  • Ryan Evans / Special to The Garden Island

    Police mark vehicles for disposal with a yellow sticker, then, after a prescribed number of days, the vehicle is towed away.

  • Ryan Evans / Special to The Garden Island

    A white van is abandoned in Puhi.

LIHU‘E — With the help of a special task force moderated by County Councilmember Mason Chock, the county is hoping for a low report on abandoned vehicles on Kaua‘i this year.

The task force is made up of Puhi Metals, Kaua‘i Police Department and County of Kauai departments of Public Works (Division of Solid Waste), Finance (divisions of Motor Vehicle Licensing and Procurement).

Chock said the task force has already had lengthy discussions on the number of abandoned and derelict vehicles on Kaua‘i, particularly with the towing industry, and has formed a list of recommendations to tackle the ongoing and longstanding problem.

Those recommendations haven’t yet been finalized, according to Chock, and need to be approved by the administration before being released to the public.

“I will say that that issue is multifaceted, (and) includes preemption issues at the state level as well as integrity issues by our car owners and our tow companies,” Chock said.

According to KPD, there are currently a total of 40 reported derelict and abandoned vehicles on their list to address.

KPD said that, as of May 18, there are a total of 31 reports by community members involving 38 abandoned or derelict vehicles that have been sent to the district commanders for assignment to patrol officers. Approximately 10 of these are currently in the process of being towed.

In a TGI article last year, it said, “In fiscal year 2019, the Kaua‘i Police Department had 653 vehicles towed, and currently has more than 270 pending complaints. Kaua‘i taxpayers paid more than $411,000 for the handling and disposal of these abandoned and derelict vehicles in 2017, and around $423,000 in 2018. This year, the county has already spent some $491,000.”

It costs the county anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to $2,000 to get rid of an abandoned vehicle.

KPD continues to process vehicles as it did prior to COVID-19. KPD and the county are working together and continue to look for ways to improve the abandoned or derelict vehicle problem on the island.

“The county already offers three free junk cars (towed) per year, but we hope to be able to streamline the process and help the abandoned/derelict vehicles get towed. The task force aims to present the final recommendations to the mayor by the end of month,” said Chock.

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  1. BoHuntR May 20, 2020 3:30 am Reply

    Some of those cars at Anini have been there for over a year. Can’t believe it takes so long to tow a abandoned car.

  2. rand kansas May 20, 2020 5:03 am Reply

    FORD….fix or repair daily…

    how about line them all up near city hall and let the homeless live in them ?
    fill the tires up with air and ship them all out to sea, like China does…

    gimme shelter… you mean you can track me using my airline ticket and throw me in jail for being out and about…but you cannot use the state database to find and fine the owners of cars and throw them in jail…

    does not sound like they are looking that hard…

  3. Major Lee Hung May 20, 2020 6:15 am Reply

    Third world.

  4. James May 20, 2020 7:49 am Reply

    Maybe Kauai county could buy a tow truck.At over $400,000 you could buy a tow truck and pay a six figure salary for a driver.Doesn’t seem like rocket science.!

    1. Anahola Paul May 20, 2020 4:16 pm Reply

      Excellent thinking James….you could buy 2 tow trucks…for the county and employ 4…and still be ahead. Have the seller of the car be financially responsible until buyer takes over title….

    2. Don May 20, 2020 10:56 pm Reply

      Excellent idea James.

  5. alohakauai May 20, 2020 11:45 am Reply

    I’ve seen many abandoned vehicles with those tags but the cars are still in the area till those tags eventually weathered away off the cars.

  6. Everythingisawesome May 20, 2020 4:21 pm Reply

    Dude, where’s my van?

  7. Randy Wolfshagen May 20, 2020 7:48 pm Reply

    Hey, how about billing the current registered owner based on the VIN#?
    That person cannot register another vehicle until they pay for the disposal fees.
    Simple, efficient, fair.
    Also a reward program for reporting abandoned vehicles?
    So tired of the trash people leave around…

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