If the Boot Fits - NBC Southern California

If the Boot Fits

The transportation department calls currect policy "overly lenient"

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    If the Boot Fits
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    A "Denver Boot" wheel lock is seen attached to a car in a parking lot August 1, 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Scofflaws with three unpaid parking tickets would be eligible for the boot under an ordinance passed July 31 by the Chicago City Council. Also, Chicago's 500 "most wanted" parking ticket scofflaws - those owing from $7,000 to $42,000 - will be hit with lawsuits while amnesty is extended to those who owe $5,000 or less, under a compromise disclosed today. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley originally proposed permitting people with nine or fewer tickets issued before January 1, 2000, to pay them off at face value, without penalties, but under pressure from aldermen, he backed the measure that permits scofflaws with up to $5,000 worth of pre-2000 tickets to pay at face value.

    City officials want to reduce the number of tickets required to slap on a wheel clamp.

    Currently, five outstanding unpaid tickets are enough to warrant a boot in LA. The boot, aka the Denver boot or wheel clamp, locks the car in place. The city also can impound a car until the ticket is paid.

    A proposal on the mayor's desk would reduce the number of tickets required before a can can be clamped to three or four.

    The plan is among the items included in the city's proposed 2009-10 State Legislative Program. It's the city's way of telling the Legislature that LA supports a bill that would reduce the number of tickets necessary before a vehicle can be impounded.

    According to the LA Department of Transportation, the five-ticket requirement is an "overly lenient policy that discourages vehicle owners from paying their parking citations in a timely manner."

    The LA Times reported that the city bring in $19 million through enforcement of its parking code. That figure would increase by $26 if the number of citations was reduced to four, and an additional $61 million if the cutoff was at three tickets.