New rules governing the use of immobilizing boots on the cars of parking violators in Louisville have not led to the increase in fee collection that city officials had hoped.
Since May, a change in city law has allowed parking attendants to scan every vehicle parked at a metered space and place an immobilizing boot on any cars with three or more unpaid fines. The parking authority had hoped scofflaws would pay up before using meters again, but Assistant Director Tiffany Smith says the increase in fines paid was modest.
“I don’t know if disappointed is the right word. We were obviously encouraged when we thought people would come in to avoid the boot,” she says. “It’s not our ultimate goal to inconvenience someone, our ultimate goal is for people to pay money that is due to Metro as a result of them violating parking rules.”
The authority collected 40,000 more dollars and issued more citations in May, June and July of 2011 than it did in the same months this year, after the new parking rules took effect.
Many more boots have been used since May, though, and all fines must be paid before the boot is removed. Smith says the law change has been successful in catching scofflaws who continue to park on the street. But not all drivers who got violations for parking on the street are still doing so. Smith says some drivers have moved to private lots, where PARC cannot boot cars. To further crack down on unpaid fines, Smith says the authority is now contemplating pushing for a change to state law to require drivers to pay unpaid parking fees before they can renew their license tags.
“When you’re ready to renew your tags, you will not be able to renew until you pay in full any outstanding citations. That’s a mandate,” she says. “You must do that to be allowed to drive on our city streets. That would obviously increase the collection rate.”