Berkeley parking scofflaws: beware of the the boot

Parking scofflaws who have more than five unpaid parking tickets may soon find an unwelcome visitor on their car: a parking boot. The City Council on Tuesday will consider becoming the 14th city in the United States to use these wheel blockers to recoup unpaid parking fines. But as onerous and unfriendly as these “vehicle immobilizers” may sound, they may actually be less expensive and less inconvenient for parking scofflaws, according to a city report. Currently, those whose cars are towed because of an accumulation of unpaid tickets must 1) go down to the city’s customer service center, pay their fines, and pick up a tow release form; 2) hand-deliver the release form to the Berkeley Police Department, pay a $75 fee and pick up a vehicle release form; 3) Take that form to one of the city’s four tow lots, pay off the storage fees ($65 a day), and then, and only then, they will get back their car. Under the new plan, when a scofflaw returns to his or her car and finds it immobilized by a boot, he or she contacts the PayLock Help Center by phone, pays the parking citations and a $140 boot-release fee with … Continue reading Berkeley parking scofflaws: beware of the the boot