Abandoned Cars a Problem in El Paso
POSTED: Monday, November 8, 2010 - 6:04pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 12:45pm
EL PASO- Cars, abandoned on the sides of major highways. Live in El Paso, and you're sure to see at least one a day.
NewsChannel 9's Matt Rivers spent a few hours seeing how many he could find.
Seven cars in three hours, all left on the side of the road. I-10 near Executive had one, the top of Transmountain Road another, and a final one near the border on the loop.
"On a daily basis there could be five to ten vehicles out there that are abandoned," said TXDOT Traffic Engineer Edgar Fino.
Flat tires, blown engines...cars end up driverless on the roadside for lots of reasons. But there's only two ways to get them off.
"We have the cameras that we use to find the abandoned vehicles and we try to report, or we do report them, to El Paso Police," Fino told us.
TXDOT used to patrol the highways. But funding for that got cut. So now, police head to the car and tag it.
Then they decide how long the owner has to move it, before they come tow it away. It ranges from 10 hours to five days.
The riskier the spot, the faster it's got to be removed.
Left shoulder, right shoulder, or the median in between; TXDOT calls it a safety issue no matter the location.
"They're only separated by a four-inch stripe, so they are very close to the travel lanes," Fino said.
So far, no accidents involving abandoned cars have been reported. But TXDOT says it's only a matter of time, and urges drivers to stay cautious.