You might have seen abandoned vehicles sitting on the side of the road, but what if your car breaks down and you have to leave it the same way? It is considered an “abandoned automobile that is covered under Florida statutes as well as under local city ordinances and codes.
What happens if a vehicle is left on the side of the road in Miami?
A vehicle is considered to be abandoned in Miami, if left unattended for 35 or more hours. Police are required to get in touch with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to determine the owner and lien holder of an abandoned vehicle. After that a notice is sent for the removal and possession of the automobile. If the department has not received a reply with five days, it is free to retain the automobile for department use. In case the vehicle is unclaimed after a period of 35 days, it can be sold at auctions or donated to charity. If the vehicle is three years old or newer, the waiting period is around 50 days.
What should you do to prevent it from happening?
Getting a flat tire or your car breaking down can happen to anyone. If you are unable to contact roadside assistance, your car has to sit on the side of the road. However, there is a protocol to follow that prevents shelling out hefty fines. Leave a note in the window, explaining the situation briefly. Thus, drivers are given a bit of leeway if they return within an hour or so.
What if your car is towed?
If you get stuck in such situations, it is necessary to reduce the risk of hazards for others on the road. In case the vehicle is in a lane of travel, it will be towed immediately if it constitutes a hazard. When a vehicle is abandoned, it is towed, so you are responsible for picking it up and paying all necessary tow fees. If you don’t do that, the car can be sold or donated as mentioned above. Even private citizens can stake a claim to it, if particular conditions are met. There is no need to panic – the law clearly states that police must make reasonable attempts to contact the owner before selling the vehicle or donating it to charity. Just make sure you follow the required protocol so your car is safely in your possession.