Abandoned vehicles can be towed at owner’s expense

  • Mar. 2, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Owners of abandoned vehicles parked on Town of Smithers roads may have their vehicle towed, stored, and potentially sold at their expense following the adoption of a traffic bylaw last week.

Before adoption, there was no way to recover costs to the town from hauling uninsured vehicles from the side of the road, Mayor Cress Farrow said, so this newly minted bylaw is one that will make it feasible for the town to enforce their traffic bylaws on an as needed basis.

“It’s to recover whatever dollar value that would be in an abandoned vehicle, and help cover some of the costs of cleaning up the streets and roadways,” Farrow said.

It’s strictly for uninsured vehicles that have been abandoned for more than 24 hours within town boundaries, and is not a common occurrence within Smithers.

Over the last five years they’ve had four, maybe five instances where they’ve had to deal with an abandoned vehicle, at their cost.

Fines set out by the bylaw state that upon conviction, the owner of the abandoned vehicle would be susceptible to pay $10 if paid within 24 hours, $15 within seven days, after final demand by before information is sworn it’s $30, and if sworn in then they would be $50. After 30 days the town can sell the vehicle in a public auction, and any proceeds once costs are covered would be held for one year for the owner, after that funds would become general revenue funds.

Councillors Frank Wray and Mark Bandstra opposed the bylaw.