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Parking violator gets the boot

A driver who owes more than $4,000 in parking fines and fees got the dubious honor today of being the first parking violator in Spokane to have their car immobilized by a parking “boot” that locks a car’s wheel.

The Ford Expedition sporting the yellow device is parked across the street from the Spokane County Courthouse on Broadway Avenue. “It’s one that’s well over the criteria of four or more citations in collections,” said city spokesman Brian Coddington. “When the parking meter folks showed up today, the meter was expired.”

The car is taking up a parking spot in a busy area, but Coddington said if the tickets are paid it will be more revenue for the city than the day or two of parking fees that may be lost. “That’s one of the drawback of the boot system,” he said.

The city has a parking enforcement vehicle with a license plate recognition system that scans parked cars throughout the downtown area. If a car eligible for the boot is scanned, it alerts the employee. If the car’s registered owner matches the person who received the unpaid parking tickets, the boot can be placed on the car.

The Expedition’s owner has 48 hours to pay the fines in full or the car will be impounded, Coddington said.

The city has more than 18,000 citations worth about $900,000 that have been sent to collections.

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