NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers are once again dealing with an age-old problem in Middle Tennessee – abandoned cars.
“They leave them and sometimes they have no choice to where they leave them,” said Lt. Charlie Caplinger with the Nashville District of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Lt. Caplinger’s jurisdiction oversees and responds to roadway issues on state roads and interstates across 12 counties. Under normal circumstances, drivers are given 48 hours to move their cars from interstate shoulders. However, in preparation of severe winter weather, troopers got ahead of the game and decided to tow away cars at the start of the storm.
“It’s for public safety ,” said Lt. Caplinger. “[and so]t he snowplows can have access to the roadways and make travel safer.”
Just this week the agency has towed more abandoned cars than they do in a typical month’s time.
“We towed over 40 vehicles,” said Caplinger. “In a regular month, we tow 30!”
If THP tows a car, they contact the person who the car is registered to.
“There is not a fine for an abandoned vehicle,” Caplinger said. “Although, you do forfeit the vehicle if you leave it at the wrecker service that comes and gets it. They will forfeit that vehicle after a certain period of time.”
Metro police will also tow abandoned cars if they are a safety hazard or if they are impeding traffic. Otherwise, they are giving owners a little extra time during the storm to move their cars, and will not issue citations.