ANSAN, Oct. 10 (Korea Bizwire) — Local governments have been suffering from long-term, unauthorized vehicles that foreign workers have used and then abandoned when they were deported.
In Danwon District, Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, 299 cars were found in the first half of this year alone. All the vehicles were either voluntarily disposed of or scrapped. About 10 of them were abandoned by foreigners.
On average, about 20 out of the 450 to 560 unauthorized vehicles that are found each year within the district are abandoned by foreigners, according to the district office.
In the case of some vehicles, it has been confirmed that they were registered by a foreigner who did not leave Korea, but the local government was not able to locate the owner and had to scrap the car.
Furthermore, the nearby city of Siheung, home to many foreign workers just like Ansan, is also having trouble with cars that are abandoned by foreigners.
“About 100 cars are towed each year, about 15 to 20 percent of which are abandoned by foreign workers,” a city official said.
There are 86,000 foreign residents in Ansan and 54,000 in Siheung.
Long-term neglected vehicles, often found on residential side roads, in street parking lots and on quiet forest roads, are not only eyesores, but are also raising safety concerns.
Ordinary neglected vehicles are typically scrapped after local governments use vehicle numbers or license plates to track the owners and ask the owners to voluntarily dispose of them, often imposing fines if they refuse to do so.
However, if a foreigner returns to their home country or goes into hiding, the local government has to dispose of the car after an investigation into whether he or she is involved in a crime.
The law on car management carries a fine of up to 10 million won (US$8,360) or a year in prison if a car is left unattended.
Local governments reported that there are a lot of difficulties in handling cars that are neglected by foreigners.
They have no choice but to mobilize significant administrative power to track down the location of the owner and do a criminal check.
In particular, local governments say that vehicles that have been left at free parking lots and public parking lots for a long period of time, which do not fall under the automobile management law because these parking lots are not roads, are a bigger headache because they cannot be towed away.
M. H. Lee (email@example.com)