Muscat: Muscat Municipality has warned of the growing trend of owners abandoning their vehicles in public and private parking lots and open spaces that pose both environmental and security risks.
The municipality officials have been making field visits to monitor abandoned vehicles, especially near tourist attractions, main streets, workshops, warehouses, and open parking spaces.
“Leaving behind neglected cars deprives some individuals of their right to use public parking, which is considered an infringement of the public right, and it also hinders the flow of traffic at the entrances and exits of some residential neighborhoods,” the municipality said.
When these vehicles are left abandoned for long periods, they become a haven for insects and rodents, and dust and debris accumulate around them. Apart from being used for anti-social activities, neglected vehicles can cause accidental fires for their exposure to the sun for long periods, it added.
According to Municipal Decree 171/2018 on neglected vehicles in public places in the Governorate of Muscat, on the receipt of complaints from citizens and residents,the vehicle’s location is verified, warning sticker is pasted for 14 days. The vehicle’s seizure period is up to 90 days and then it is displayed among the vehicles reserved for public auction. A total of 2,589 neglected vehicles were registered at Seeb until November 30.
An administrative fine is imposed when the owner comes to the municipality to collect the seized vehicle – RO200 for cars, buses (15) passengers or less, and bicycles; RO 400 for trucks and buses designed to transport over 15 passengers, locomotives, trailers, tractors, and equipment, and RO 1, 000 for vehicles to transport dangerous materials.
A fine of RO 5 is imposed on the owner of the neglected vehicle for each day if he is late in receiving the neglected vehicle from the site.