Lawmaker proposes change to law on abandoned vehicles

  • A stripped abandoned vehicle sits on the side of Mamalahoa Highway in Honaunau. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

HONOLULU — A state representative has proposed a law that he says would help reduce the islands’ overwhelming number of discarded vehicles.

Rep. Cedric Asuega Gates’ bill would change current language that says counties “may” dispose of abandoned vehicles. The bill would change that to say “shall,” which would increase counties’ responsibilities to dispose of abandoned vehicles, Hawaii News Now reported Tuesday.


Counties would have to remove unsightly vehicles within 10 business days of receiving a complaint.

Gates, D-Maui, has also co-sponsored a bill that would create a fund encouraging the state and county to work together to solve the abandoned vehicles issue.


“I believe these measures are important as more funding and space is needed for storage, but a requirement of having to remove the vehicles must be included in any bill that is passed to see real change,” Gates said. “In the future I would also like to see a state sponsored junk yard where people can deliver their unwanted vehicles and receive money for the scrap value of any material exchanged.”

In May, Honolulu tow company officials said they’re running out of room to store discarded automobiles. The Army in August created a vehicle turn-in service as a way for soldiers to turn in their cars for a $25 fee and discourage them from abandoning them in lots.

  1. Buds4All February 7, 2018 11:16 am Reply

    Ahhhh why not have it go to where the county/state goes back to the last registered owner and bill them plus penalties in lieu of placing the burden on law abiding taxpayers? I know they wont be able to catch all of them but it would be a good way to deter people from this? What about a group that you can call and they can come pick it up at no cost? I am sure you can get salvage yards to get them if they can sell the parts.

    1. KonaRich February 7, 2018 8:07 pm Reply

      It would be nice BUT and there is always a but, we are dealing with the county/state, be they super lazy. By the time the vehicle is pick up most valuable parts are gone. The age of a like kind vehicle and the cost of repair make it cost prohibitive for the parts. Simplest answer to the problem is : drop them into the nearest active Volcano.

      1. Buds4All February 8, 2018 8:08 am Reply

        Now that actually would be awesome.

    2. Do Mo February 9, 2018 6:18 am Reply

      Soooo many people have been saying this since 1973 that I know of.

      Seems it’s impossible to find out who owns a particular car, either by VIN, engine S/N, license plate, description, personal effects left behind, witnesses or tax records.

      1. Buds4All February 9, 2018 7:04 am Reply

        I lke the previous comment of dropping them in the volcano?

        1. Do Mo February 9, 2018 6:44 pm Reply

          I’d pay to watch! Might cover the cost of towing them down there!

          1. Buds4All February 9, 2018 6:52 pm

            Helo Drop?

          2. Do Mo February 10, 2018 4:06 am


            Waipio roll (from the 60’s)?

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