“This transition to an in-house booting operation will not only make our parking enforcement operations more efficient, it will also result in substantial savings that can be allocated to other priorities,” said Keith LaGrange, Director of the Department of Public Works.
Currently, 295,026 vehicles are boot-eligible representing $35,403,000 in unpaid fees owed the City, or roughly $470 per vehicle. Owners of these vehicles have been sent an average of three to six warning notices before being added to the boot eligibility list. Once a vehicle has accumulated three or more unpaid parking citations and/or one or more unpaid traffic camera citation, it becomes eligible for immobilization or towing and a $121 boot fee is applied. If booted vehicles are left unclaimed for more than 48 hours, they will be towed and will be charged an additional tow fee of $161.25.
City vehicles will be equipped with MLPR units that include roof-mounted cameras and laptop computers designed to easily read and match license plate numbers to onboard plate listings. The MLPR system uses character recognition software to read license plates at speeds roughly seven times faster than manual operation that was used by boot officers in the past. In addition to identifying vehicles with unpaid parking citations, the MLPR system can also be used to find stolen vehicles and those wanted in connection to Amber alerts.
Motorists can pay unpaid parking and traffic camera fines online or over the phone using a credit card, debit card or check by phone. Once payment is authorized, citizens will receive a six-digit code that can be used to unlock the SmartBoot. For those that cannot remove the boot, an assisted release will be dispatched to release the vehicle for them. Assisted releases are available Monday through Saturday, from 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Motorists who wish to pay with cash need to visit the Department of Public Works Administrative Hearing Center, at 1300 Perdido St., Room 1W09, or the City tow lot, located at 400 N. Claiborne Ave. to make the payment.
Boots that have been self-released must be returned within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to the Parking Division Immobilization Office at 200 N. Claiborne Ave., or face a late fee of $25 for every 24 hours not returned.
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