Los Angeles Department of Transportation giving scofflaws the boot

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The new Smart Boot, ready to be used by LADOT's Scofflaw Unit, will allow drivers to unlock the device themselves. (KABC)

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation is bringing back the boot.

The tire-locking device hasn't been used by Los Angeles traffic officers since 2009. The new Smart Boot, ready to be used by LADOT's Scofflaw Unit, will allow drivers to unlock the device themselves.

A scofflaw, according to LADOT, is a motorist with five or more unpaid traffic citations. Once booted, motorists can call the phone number provided, pay by phone, receive a code and enter it to release the device.

"People value their time and they're on the move... If they're going to their car, they're going somewhere," said Paylock's Matthew Silverman, the company contracting with Los Angeles to provide the Smart Boot.

LADOT believes the self-releasing boot is fast, fair and convenient. "We found that it was labor intensive (before)," said Deputy Chief of Parking Enforcement Brian Hale.

"Traffic officers not only had to install the boot but upon payment, had to return to the location to remove the boot," said Hale.

"It's amazing how many people don't pay their citations," said traffic officer Carolina Melgar.

Melgar uses the license plate recognition device on her vehicle to locate scofflaw motorists parked on city streets.

LADOT officers also believe the new Smart Boot will make the job safer. "It cuts down on the time we do encounter hostile citizens," said Melgar.

LADOT will use 300 boots during a one-year pilot program.

They hope this updated technology will generate at least $10 million a year in overdue fines.

Related Topics:
traffictrafficparkingLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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