- Posted On: April 14, 2015
To See Improvements in Abandoned Vehicle Management: Shorten Time Span Between Reporting and Removal
Abandoned vehicles can obstruct regular city services, become objects of criminal or unwanted activity, result in environmental hazards or promote an atmosphere of decline and neglect. Cities and towns need an abandoned vehicle management plan to keep their communities safe. Prompt action is key to preventing these attenuating issues from taking hold.
Abandoned vehicle management is an issue of concern in all locations, not only metropolitan areas. Vehicles may be left in airport garages, in business parking lots, in fields near industrial areas, even in cemeteries. Sometimes, run-down vehicles are left wherever they happen to “die”. Normally, authorities rely on citizens to report these vehicles. Typically, vehicles are tagged while authorities attempt to contact the last owner. This can be difficult if identification numbers have been defaced or if the vehicle itself is stolen. When contact fails, authorities look to tow the vehicle and then normally will store it for a set period before seeing that the vehicle is properly destroyed.
When vehicles are not dealt with promptly, several problems may result. When left unattended for long they send a message of neglect. This invites criminal activity such as vandalism, theft (stripping the car of usable parts) or arson. Abandoned cars wind up serving as landmarks for illicit drug deals or prostitution. In some parts of the country, neglected abandoned vehicles have polluted groundwater. At best, they interfere with regular services like street cleaning or waste disposal.
City officials have a strong interest in dealing with this issue in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, this can be a costly process but the costs of not dealing swiftly with the issue are even greater. A few available statistics will give an idea of the large number of abandoned vehicles cities are dealing with:
- In one year, police in Philadelphia, PA had to tow over 32,000 automobiles in a 40 day time frame
- Seattle, WA police received an average of 4,200 reports of abandoned vehicles each month over the course of one year
- In one year, NYC sanitation officers had to move over 9,000 orphaned vehicles
There are aspects of abandoned vehicle management which are beyond your control. The value of scrap metal, for instance, has gone down. Towing costs may be out of your hands. But, when you shorten the span between abandonment, reporting and removal many other problems can be avoided. The trick is finding a way to narrow the time lag at each step.
Fortunately, here at Comcate, we understand the importance of improving each of those phases. Our Municipal Code Enforcement software has a special application specifically for abandoned vehicle management. We can help engage citizens in the reporting process. We can also help you to more efficiently respond to reports, keep track of cases, time frames and costs. Call us today to get started.