Council bills HB160, HB161 aim to clean up the streets

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island file

    An abandoned vehicle has been stripped on Kokee Road last month. Police said it was scheduled to be removed a few days after this picture was taken.

LIHU‘E — Nothing is more of an eyesore for residents and visitors than driving around Kaua‘i on the weekends, taking in its beauty and seeing an abandoned car in almost every town of the island.

The county Abandoned Vehicles Task Force is currently lobbying the state Legislature to pass HB160 and HB161, actions that would help boost owner accountability.

“Our task force continues to work diligently on this effort, and is dedicated to addressing each of its multi-faceted needs,” a representative from AVTF said.

The proposed HB160 would add a fee to the driver’s certificate of registration annual payment that would be used by the county to take care of abandoned vehicles and beautification of highways. The bill establishes a $2 fee that can be increased to a maximum of $10 per vehicle.

HB161 would allow the director of finance of a county to require payment of outstanding charges owed to the county for the towing, removal or disposal of an abandoned or derelict vehicle within the county before issuing a motor-vehicle certificate of registration, except when the motor vehicle was stolen or taken without permission or authorization.

On Thursday, during a County Council budget session, Department of Parks and Recreation Director Pat Porter said his department is proposing to add $60,000 to a towing contract for abandoned and derelict vehicles from parks facilities for the next fiscal year, starting July 1.

County park rangers have also been trained by the Kaua‘i Police Department to issue abandoned-vehicle stickers to speed up the process of removing these vehicles.​​

According to the KPD and the county Finance Department, from March 2020 to February 2021 over 400 abandoned vehicles were towed. During that same period, over 220 derelict vehicles were towed.

For fiscal year 2020, the county said the estimated cost for the abandoned- and derelict-vehicle program is around $551,000.


Stephanie Shinno, education, business, and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or

  1. Gordo April 2, 2021 6:40 am Reply

    Who is on this Abandoned Vehicle Task Force, and how do we contact them? Why aren’t they proposing to hold the owners accountable?!?! C’mon, man!

    1. Doug April 2, 2021 9:41 am Reply

      You are totally correct Gordo. And the way the registration transfer is outlined on the website, the seller has no excuse, as the seller is required to tell the county of the vehicle transfer when it is sold, so the last registered owner should be nailed for the costs of removal of derelict vehicles. No more protesting that you sold the car, if you did not notify the county of the transfer as required, then you are stuck with the charges. Period.

  2. Kauaidoug April 2, 2021 10:37 am Reply

    $1.377.50 per car!!!! Why don’t we offer people a ride back to their home after they drop off their car?
    Make this easy and as painless as possible to junk their cars where they are supposed to be junked. Think outside the box a little but these cars are an eyesore and an embarrassment! Or what about having a couple junk center around the island to make it easier than driving all the way or towing all the way to Lihue? wouldn’t it be easier to tow several cars from once place than from all the roadside pick ups we are burdened with now? There is a $551,000 “budget” for this, put it out to bid!
    If you want to solve the problem you have to make it easier for folks. Once it is easier then start throwing the book at these people who just drive their cars into the bushes.

  3. RGLadder37 April 2, 2021 3:42 pm Reply

    They’re strange. No reliable way to look up from the data base. No insurance and different owners many times and eye witness is impossible. You are looking plantation homes and family. Everyone knows, but not accurate names or owners.

  4. Joshua Beadle April 3, 2021 9:03 am Reply

    Perhaps explain in this article why it is people can dump their cars (hazmat) in any stream or the side of the road, without legal consequences? It’s not FBI level work to run the VIN / Plates to see who the owner is and fine them and prevent them from registering another car, before picking up their old one.

    The proposed law levies a fee to all of us who were raised by parents and a culture which taught us to not litter. Much less dump toxic materials into the local waterways.

    Are there not laws on the books now which allow enforcement of anti dumping. This is basic stuff. Dumping cars near or into streams is a Federal Offense btw

    $500,000 per year to clean up after people who don’t mahalo i ka ʻāina?!? Teach them perhaps

  5. Gill April 3, 2021 11:46 am Reply

    They do not want to hold the owners of abandoned vehicles accountable, because it is easier to collect a fee from everyone of us and nobody knows where and how many of that money is going. This problem exist for so many years and the bureaucrats did nothing – their Task is just to collect more money from law-abiding people. If they are not capable of resolving one so simple administrative problem, what do you expect from them to achieve in more complicated situations.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.