Bayside’s new rules for impounding abandoned or unregistered vehicles

On patrol: A new policy for impounding vehicles aims to free up parking spaces on public roads in the Bayside local government area.
On patrol: A new policy for impounding vehicles aims to free up parking spaces on public roads in the Bayside local government area.

More than 100 vehicles are left abandoned on public roads in the Bayside Council local government area at any one time.

And with a projected population increase of 22 per cent by 2036 in the LGA parking will be at a premium.

In an attempt to free up public roads, Bayside Council has adopted a new policy for the impounding of vehicles abandoned or left unattended on public roads.

Until now, it has been the council’s practice to only impound unclaimed unregistered abandoned vehicles from public roads while claimed unregistered vehicles have not been impounded but allowed to stay where they are.

But recent legal advice said the council can still impound an unregistered vehicle if the owner has claimed the vehicle but not removed it within the specified period and where the impounding officer believes it has been left unattended.

There would be a three-month process from notification to impounding.

The new policy, adopted by Bayside Council on April 11, aims to ensure that unregistered vehicles that are abandoned or left unattended are removed from public roads in an efficient, lawful manner.

The policy does not allow for the impounding of registered vehicles or those parked on private property.

“The management of unregistered abandoned vehicles that have been left unattended on public land is crucial,” the council policy states.

“The long term storage of vehicles on public land,  in addition to becoming unsightly and contributing to a loss of amenity, are a nuisance and may present a safety hazard to the public.

“Parking on public land is not meant for long-term storage of stationary private vehicles which are not being used for transport.

“If they are no longer required for transport, it is appropriate that they store them on private property, or dispose of them.”

More than 100 vehicles are left abandoned across the Bayside local government area at any one time, the council’s director of city life, Debra Dawson told councillors.

This has caused obstruction of street parking and driveways and other problems, causing the council to seek legal advice on how best to deal with the issue.

If the council is aware that a car is potentially abandoned or left unattended, it will investigate which may lead to having the car impounded or destroyed.

The council will take all reasonable steps to contact the owner.

Vehicle registration in itself does not determine if a car is abandoned or left unattended.

If the owner of a registered vehicle under investigation notified the council that they own the vehicle, council will take no further action.

If after due process the vehicle is determined to be abandoned or left unattended on public land and the owner is not forthcoming, the council will impound or destroy the vehicle.

Impounded vehicles less than $500 will be destroyed impounded vehicles greater than $500 will be auctioned with the proceeds being retained by the council.

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