The Boot Van is on the Prowl


Jon Hilkevitch writes:

New city booting van on prowl --
The city is experimenting with three new license-plate recognition vans for future use in booting vehicles with at least three unpaid parking tickets, said Revenue Department spokesman Ed Walsh. No decision has been made to purchase the two-camera vans, which are in the testing phase and not yet being used to boot vehicles, he said.

But, hey, scofflaws, the city says it's all in the spirit of efficiency. The van drivers make only one trip on a street because the paired cameras simultaneously read license plates of vehicles parked along both curbs. A beeping noise is emitted when license recognition software identifies a vehicle plate that is boot-eligible.

The older, one-camera enforcement vans that began operating earlier this year must make two swipes along the street, burning extra gas and wasting precious booting time.

With one camera or two, the automated license-plate readers remove the need for booting crews to manually enter license-plate numbers into devices to flag scofflaws.

“The new cameras are also able to read license plates even if there is only a couple of inches between the cars,” Walsh said.

Walsh advised drivers who are concerned about having their vehicles booted to get on a payment plan. Information is available at

More than 27,000 vehicles have been booted in the city this year through June, Walsh said. Last year, 55,621 vehicles were booted.

Youch. Can we invest the money into public transit and bike lanes at least? and not on more surveillance?

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on July 23, 2007 10:07 PM.

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