Toronto cracking down on ‘junked’ vehicles

TORONTO – City Police are beginning a crackdown on “junked” automobiles on city streets, alleys and on property.

The crackdown will include officers giving notices on vehicles that meet the requirements of “junked” as defined by the city’s ordinance, according to City Police Chief Randy Henry.

“We are actively enforcing the ordinance on (junked vehicles) on city streets,” said Henry. “We’re now going to clean up the alleys.”

Henry said by ordinance the definition of a junked vehicle is one that is inoperable, has flat tires, isn’t currently registered or hasn’t moved for a period of time.

“If it’s on the street it has to be moved within 72 hours,” said the chief, adding the city could tow the vehicle at the owners’ expense. “You can’t just move (the vehicle) a couple of feet, either. It has to be operational to be on the street.”

Even owners of junked vehicles on private property can be cited if the vehicle meets the ordinance definition, continued Henry.

“(An owner of a junked vehicle on property) has 30 days to move it after being cited,” Henry said. “The vehicle can stay there only if it’s housed or tarped.”

The chief said junked vehicles can be hazardous, particularly if on city streets and alleyways.

“No one wants to look at them,” he said. “They are an eyesore. Parking on some streets is an issue. It’s also a health issue. (Junked vehicles) can be a home for rodents. They also get in the way of street sweeping, garbage services and snow removal. People need to be courteous of their neighbors.”

Henry said the new enforcement will be ongoing, and an officer has been assigned to the task.

“Patrolman Mike Bauman is in charge of this,” said Henry. “We’re going to give him the assistance of other officers as well. We’re going to be going up and down city streets and alleys. We will give warnings at first. We would rather (owners) deal with the problem than us.”

Henry said some with junked vehicles could turn the problem into cash.

“Actively, there are people out there who will pay cash for junked vehicles,” he said.