July 15, 2002
New rules for abandoned cars
Effective this summer, the King County Sheriff's office is now authorized to immediately impound vehicles considered to be "wrecked, dismantled or inoperative."
Under a revision to the King County Code, deputies are no longer required to provide 24-hour warning to vehicle owners.
According to Sheriff's Office Sgt. Cameron Webster, "This statute revision also means that people cannot simply move a car 20 feet down the road and be in compliance with the law. It must be completely removed from the public right of way."
This new law was sponsored by King County Councilmembers Dwight Pelz and Jane Hague in response to community concerns about junk vehicles and vehicle parts left on the street.
According to the new statute,"(W)recked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle means a motor vehicle or the remains or remnant parts of a motor vehicle, or an extensively damaged recreational vehicle or boat, that is clearly inoperative and either cannot be made operative without the addition of vital parts or mechanisms or is damaged to the extent that it prevents normal operation of the vehicle, or both."