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 email@example.com.