The city plans to give drivers racked up with outstanding parking tickets the boot – literally.
Starting Monday, June 25, in northern Brooklyn, cars with $350 worth of parking tickets that have been outstanding for more than 100 days beyond their pay date will not be towed, but instead will get an electronic boot on one of its wheels.
The new practice applies to motorists who didn’t respond to their parking ticket at all, who challenged the fine and did not succeed or who made a payment agreement and did not follow through. The program will eventually be rolled out citywide.
“Sheriffs will go out and put an electronic self-release boot on the vehicle. Drivers will call a toll-free number and pay [their outstanding tickets] by debit or credit card. They give you a code, you enter the code and the boot comes off,” explained Owen Stone, a spokesperson for the Department of Finance, which is responsible for the program. “[Drivers] can put the boot in your trunk and drop it off at a collection center at their convenience.”
Stone explained that although the boot may sound a bit extreme, it actually saves the city – and motorists – time and money. If a car is towed, drivers have to locate the car, get to the impound location, which is often in a remote spot and pay execution and impoundage fees.
“The basic idea is that it allows enforcement to take action, but people don’t have to miss work or appointments or show up somewhere without a car,” Stone explained. “It will be more efficient for the city.”