A year and a half after the Department of Environmental Health stepped up enforcement on derelict vehicles and removed almost 200 abandoned cars from Cayman’s streets in the first quarter of 2019 alone, government is attempting to tackle the problem once again.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has directed the creation of a ‘cross-government innovation team’ to tackle the issue.
The team includes the Department of Environmental Health, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the Department of Vehicles and Drivers’ Licensing.
Acknowledging there are a “large number“ of derelict vehicles in Cayman, Manderson said in a press release the team has “set a goal to reduce the number of derelict vehicles to zero by early 2021.
“However, it’s an opportune time to remind the public that derelict vehicles are a community problem and every member of our community can help by doing their part. In other countries success rates were highest when both government agencies and the community worked together,” he said.
The DEH has already removed more than 300 abandoned vehicles since July.
It is estimated there are still between 300 and 350 derelict cars on island, stated the release.
The government said the abandoned vehicles pose a wide range of problems including the violation of motor vehicle regulations, the attraction of rodents that can spread disease, and the illegal dumping of bulky hazardous waste.
Under the Litter Law people who dump litter in a public place commit an offence and are liable upon conviction to a fine of $500 or imprisonment for six months.
DEH Director Richard Simms reminded the public that section 8 of the Litter Law (1997 Revision) states, “where a derelict vehicle is left… in a public place in such circumstances as to cause, contribute to or tend to the defacement thereof, an officer shall give notice [requiring] the person… within twenty-four hours of such notice, to remove the derelict vehicle so as to restore the public place to a condition satisfactory to the officer”.
In other words, stated the release, a derelict vehicle must be in a public place, have signs of damage or missing parts including windows, tyres, etc. and must be expired in registration for at least six months.
Winston Sutherland, director of the Management Support Unit, who is heading up the team, noted it is safer and cheaper to have a car that has reached the end of its serviceable life properly removed from the community, adding DEH will remove a derelict vehicle for $75.
“That cost is very low in comparison to the dangers that these vehicles cause to our environment and to our health; especially the most vulnerable,” Sutherland said.
To report a derelict vehicle call: 949-6696 or email [email protected]