Abandoned Cars: Where Do They Go?

By: Victoria Rosa Email
By: Victoria Rosa Email

You may not see too many abandoned vehicles in Dothan but the Police Department is working to get them off the sides of roads; it's an effort officials say keeps the city looking clean.

But if you do have to leave your car on the side of a Dothan road ... Law enforcement officers say they understand sometimes things happen.

"A lot of times when vehicles are broken down, we have to understand that people sometimes leave their vehicles on the side of the road so that they can go get help, assistance, anything like that to do ahead and get it off the side of the road, " says Corporal Maurice Eggleston with the Dothan Police Department.

But if officers continue to notice the same car during their routine patrols, the countdown is on.

"If they notice this vehicle, if it's there for longer than a day or so, then what we'll so is we'll tag the vehicle, giving that owner the option, or letting him know that the vehicle has been there too long. We give him 7 days to remove the vehicle, " says Eggleston.

"We're on a rotation basis, we get two weeks at a time and during that process if the city comes across a car that's been abandoned for some reason, some times people will leave them in the turning lane or they are on the side of the road. We meet a police officer at the scene and we load the car and bring it to our impound yard, " says Joe Evans, owner of Evan's Automotive.

Law enforcement officials say although notice is typically given to those cars left abandoned if the cars position becomes hazardous, it's dealt with immediately.

"Whenever we put the 7 day tag on that vehicle, then it's just because it has become an eye sore now. If it is a hazard to the pedestrians and the regular normal right of way, then we'll move it right a way, " says Eggleston.

And once it's moved...

"The car is actually impounded so they would have to go to the police department and give proof of ownership, proof of insurance and then they would get a release form from the police department, they bring me the police form, pay the tow bill and they get their car, " says Evans.

"I don't think it's become a problem here in Dothan because we don't allow it to. Once we see it we go ahead and address it, once we get it addressed, then it's over, " says Eggleston.

Towing companies say if no one claims the car the company files for an abandoned title.

If the towing company is granted an abandoned title, most say they fix up the and sell it.

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