Dude where’s my car?

2 Oct 2006 | Lance Cpl. Patrick M. Fleischman

A foreboding notice covered in brilliant orange publicizes “WARNING This Vehicle WILL be impounded if it is not removed within 72 hours.” This is not a polite suggestion it’s a reality. The towing of privately owned vehicles is a daily occurrence aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune due to illegal parking, abandonment, inoperable vehicles and lack of proper vehicle paperwork, according to PMO. “We see so many cars on this base that are towed because of sheer irresponsibility,” said Edward Williams, retired master sergeant, police officer of special enforcement for the Provost Marshal Office here.One of the most irresponsible acts that the office witness is - illegal parking, said Willaims“I have seen cars parked in some of the most bizarre places that people have no excuse parking. It’s mostly people parking on the grass or in areas that they know are not authorized for parking,” commented Williams.Sometimes illegal parking can be mistaken for abandonment when Marines take their plates off of their vehicles when going on temporary additional duty. “They do this to save money on their insurance, but PMO will consider that vehicle abandoned, said Williams.PMO understands that there is a difference between abandonment and an immobilized or broken down vehicle and will provide 72 hours from the time the sticker is adhered for the owner to move the vehicle from the road, said Williams. “The owner of the vehicle is required to call the PMO desk sergeant to inform them about a disabled vehicle. Usually if they need more time to organize a tow or to fix a small problem PMO can arrange that, but a lot of the time people never even call to let us know that their vehicle is even stuck on the road,” mentioned Williams.Owners of vehicles also need to know that if there is a break down it must be at least three feet from the roadway otherwise it will be towed sooner, added Williams. “Most of these problems stem from the lack of responsibility with the requirements to keep up a base parking permit,” said WilliamsTo retain a permit, the owner is required to have the vehicle properly registered, a valid state inspection, and that it is insured, said Williams.“It’s important to go down to the Department of Motor Vehicles when you change your insurance to have a new copy of your state registration printed with your updated policy. If you do not and the car is checked in a police officers computer it will come up showing no insurance and the car will be tagged with a ‘warning to be towed’ sticker,” added Williams.It’ll always be cheaper for an owner to park in approved area, to let PMO know about broken down vehicles and to keep the vehicles paperwork current than possibly paying $60 to $70 for towing plus a $7 to $12 daily storage fee as well as other possible fees depending on how your vehicle has to be towed, concluded Williams.