NYC Turns from Towing To Booting

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Wheel-locking Device To Replace Some Recovery Work


NEW YORK CITY  l  Having effectively angered everyone from smokers to soda drinkers, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration is now upsetting the nature of city-ordered towing around the Big Apple.

Suddenly and quietly, the administration has shifted policy away from removing violation vehicles and instead slapping a boot on them. On Monday, wheel-locking devices began being attached to vehicles city-wide, based on an earlier test of the policy in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island so far.

The policy would only apply to certain violation vehicles, specifically those not blocking traffic or parking. Drivers with outstanding fines of $350 or more will also be subject to booting. The aim is giving these drivers more of an incentive to correct their behavior beyond an invoice in the mail.

“Our goal is to collect money that is owed to the city of New York,”  said Finance Commissioner David Frankel, “and we will aggressively track down every dollar we can, but that does not mean we have to inconvenience people at the same time.”

“Booting is cheaper, faster and vastly more convenient than towing,” he adds. “You know where your car is, you have access to your possessions inside the car and you can pay your fines and be back on the road and going about your business in just minutes.”

Local law enforcement has been tasked with patrolling the city and identifying errant vehicles.

For drivers with outstanding fines, agents will be made available to remove the boot in person upon payment. Some of the devices also have a combination lock that can be used to disengage the boot.

On Monday, the city booted 185 vehicles from drivers with outstanding fines, nearly a third more than the typical amount towed on a Monday.


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