Seattle to put 'boot' on parking ticket deadbeats

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @NSwabyKing5

KING5.com

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 19 at 4:02 PM

Poll:
Do you think cars with numerous unpaid parking tickets should have boots placed on them?

SEATTLE – Mayor Mike McGinn says more than 25,000 vehicles in the city have four or more unpaid parking tickets. Now, he's proposing a scofflaw program that could really trip up some people who have been skirting the law.

Currently, the city deals with scofflaws by towing and impounding their vehicles, but only if their vehicle is found to be parked illegally. McGinn wants to use license plate recognition technology to scan plates. If the plate comes back with at least four unpaid tickets, whether the vehicle is parked illegally or not, it would get a boot placed on the tire.

The owner would then have 48 hours to call and give their credit card number to pay fines and have the boot removed. If that does not happen, the vehicle would be towed. After 15 days, if the owner still has not paid up, the city would auction off the vehicle.

The city estimates that booting vehicles could allow the city to collect $3 million in unpaid fines over the next couple years.

"I think the boot is a little extreme," says driver Mary Rea.

"Parking in Seattle is already expensive, so I think booting cars is ridiculous," said driver Arlette Fellores.

Driver Jolene Sims sides with the Mayor.

"I think out here parking is a premium," she said. "It is hard enough for us who don't get tickets to find parking."

Right now, Mayor McGinn's scofflaw program is just a proposal.

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