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A man in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada was sentenced to serve 32 days in jail after being convicted of curbstoning, or curbsiding as it is referred to in Canada. The man had been previously convicted twice--in 2001 and 2004. His current conviction consisted of 16 counts of curbsiding.
The Santa Maria Times reports that the city of Santa Maria, Calif. is losing thousands in tax revenue each year due to curbstoning and that the problem continues to worsen. The city council is working with police and code enforcers as well as California Department of Motor vehicles investigators to crack down on curbstoners.
The Clayton County (GA) Board of Commissioners recently amended a previously passed anti-curbstoning law that banned people from parking cars for sale on public streets. Now licensed used car dealers will be exempted from the law, which brings enforcement in line with an existing exemption for new car dealers.
The city of Salisbury, MA limits the number of used car business licenses it issues to 17. As a result, many essentially defunct dealerships refuse to give up their licenses, leaving others "trying to get around the limit in creative ways." One of those creative ways, no doubt, is curbstoning.
Shopkeepers in parts of Los Angeles are finding it hard to combat "pop-up" car markets that take up parking spaces for days. Some of these unlicensed dealers dropped off vehicles two or three at a time. And when one vehicle goes out for a test drive, they quickly pull another vehicle into the space so as not to lose valuable turf. Meanwhile, customers for those shops can't find parking.
In most retail businesses, the amount of your inventory depends mostly on the amount of your capital. But the used car business is different. Most legitimate used car dealerships are licensed to stock only a certain number of vehicles on their lots. And some municipalities, like Abingdon in Massachusetts, are attempting to ferret out dealers who exceed those limits by requiring painted spaces on dealership lots. This would presumably make it easier to spot-check whether or not a dealer's inventory exceeds what it is allowed on its license.
The following feature article on the used car industry, from the Vancouver Sun, focuses on the MVSA (Motor Vehicle Sales Authority), an independent, quasi-governmental trade organization that oversees car dealers. The MVSA represents a focused effort by licensed auto dealers to improve business practices and consumer protections in their industry.
Cars, trucks, and SUVs stolen in border states often find their way into the hands of violent drug cartels and other organized crime syndicates, who use the vehicles to transport guns, drugs, bodies, and conduct drive-by shootings.
Curbstoners are curbstoners. Unless you're in the UK, where they're called "rogue motor traders," a term at once elegant and piratical.
City staff have identified a new problem in Great Falls and will be working to address it in the coming months.It's illegal to sell used cars on vacant lots, without the propery owner's permission, or on city property or on business property that isn't licensed to sell cars.The Planning and Community Development Department just got the go ahead from city commissioners to start addressing the issue.Department Director Mike Haynes said, "We consider it a visual blight on the community and we've had a lot of complaints from both elected officials and from the public."Concerns include private sellers leaving cars on vacant property without the owner's permission and "curbstoning", which describes sellers who act as a private entity but sell multiple cars around town without a business license.Great Falls Resident Chris Upchurch tried to sell using the newspaper, but thought a busy street corner could get the word out faster.Upchurch said, "We had it in the paper for a week, just last week. Before that we just had it in front of our house on Central. Then, I got my father-in-law to ask permission from the gentleman who owns the business next door to put it up on the corner of 10th. Figured: more traffic, more flow, Why not?"Even if the seller has the owner's permission, that still doesn't make it OK. The car has to be in a properly zoned area, with posted permission from the owner and the business or resident has to have proper licensing to sell cars.According to the city, most people are probably unaware the practice violates state law.So, at least at first, enforcement efforts will most likely be lenient.Haynes said, "Certainly we're hoping for voluntary compliance."Education will be the city's top priority.If necessary, officials will move to either a ticketing system or look at towing cars away.Read the full article here.
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