MEMPHIS, TN - Drivers who don't pay their parking tickets in Memphis have been eligible to get boots on their cars since July 1st, 2011. But the program got off to a sluggish start as the details of who gets booted and who does the booting were worked out.
In order to get booted, you have to have three unpaid parking tickets. Each ticket costs $20. Memphis City Court Clerk Thomas Long wants to increase the cost of a parking ticket.
"We're going to try and change that ticket price from $20 to $40," he tells abc24.com. "If you don't pay it after 30 days, it goes up to $80. If you don't pay after 120 days, we're going to outsource it to a collection agency."
Long says even though his office was given the green light to boot and tow cars starting July 1st, they had to work through some issues.
"Once the council approved the initiative," he says, "we got with legal because there were some ordinances that had to be tweaked and changed and modified. We are just about complete."
One of the questions raised involved who's going to pay for the program.
"We're looking to see if the city will purchase the boots," says Long, "or if we have to work out an arrangement with a vendor to split the costs."
He also tells abc24.com that Memphis Police officers will be the ones who apply the boots to cars, since security and safety is a top concern.
Long's office will start airing t.v. and radio spots to warn the public the tow and boot program is about to start.