SHARJAH // Nearly a third of cars that Sharjah Municipality impounded this year were taken because they had no licence plates.
From January to August, 2,700 such vehicles were seized. A total of 8,000 vehicles were impounded during that period, more than seven times the number of vehicles towed all of last year.
Statistics showed that 280 heavy vehicles and lorries were taken away this year.
An official said vehicles found without licence plates could be hauled away immediately. The municipality serves notice to owners of cars found without licence plates in residential areas, but vehicles found in industrial areas are towed away immediately.
“Cars found abandoned and dirty are an eyesore and is illegal to keep them dumped and dirty inside the emirate,” said Ali Hasan Ali, head of the car impound division at Sharjah Municipality.
“Although we do awareness campaigns all the time, we are seeing more cars abandoned on the streets for extended amounts of time, which distort the look and feel of the city.”
In 2014, the municipality impounded 6,500 vehicles, while last year the number fell to 1,055.
“Vehicles found abandoned in residential areas are given a warning for a period of 72 hours while in commercial areas, the warning is for 48 hours. Cars found abandoned on main roads are impounded after 24 hours,” said Mr Ali.
Mr Ali said that owners of abandoned cars sometimes block inspectors while impounding their cars.
“In these cases, we call the police to intervene and help the inspectors carry on their job. While others remove the warning sticker on the car and put it on other veichles to trick the the inspectors.
“Other residents would park their cars in empty land plots, and leave them there, which accumulates dirt and sand and
This year, on average, 1,000 cars are being toed and impounded in the emirate, he said.
“Cars that are not cleared from the impound within six months are sold at a public auction, which is held twice a month in the emirate,” said Mr Ali, adding that about 150 to 180 cars are sold at each auction on average.
Sharjah Municipality urged residents to park their cars in regulated parking spaces, and keep them clean to avoid them being impounded