Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Those with unpaid tickets in St. Petersburg may get the 'boot'

ST. PETERSBURG — By Jan. 1, it could get more expensive — and inconvenient — to ignore city parking tickets.

The City Council gave initial approval Thursday to devices that can immobilize cars owned by people with certain ticket violations. A car could get the "boot," as the devices are known, if the owner has three or more unpaid city parking tickets or one unpaid ticket for unlawfully parking in a handicapped space. The board will take a final vote Nov. 4. If approved then, the devices would begin to be used by the new year.

"This is the only way to get some people to pay up," said council member Bill Dudley. "Unfortunately, it's a necessary evil."

The metal boots are typically attached to the front wheel of a car, rendering it useless. The ordinance allows cars in city-owned parking garages and spaces to get booted. A notice would be attached to the windshield of the car or the left front window listing the total amount of fines the registered owner of the car owes.

It would also list a $25 boot removal fee and a warning that the car could be damaged if the motorist tries to operate the vehicle with the device on the tire. The note will have a location where the owner can pay the fines and get the boot removed.

If the fines haven't been paid within 24 hours of the boot, the car can be towed.

When Foster announced the boot program this summer, he said it was intended to target those with 10 or more tickets. The proposed ordinance, however, says those with only three unpaid tickets are subject to having their cars booted.

"Early on, we may be passing on those with three tickets," said Richard Bulger, the city's director of billing and collections. "There's just too many."

Bulger wouldn't say how many tickets one would need to get the boot.

"I just want people to pay their unpaid tickets," he said. "I don't want them to think, 'Well, I have fewer tickets than what they're targeting.' "

The city is owed $2 million in unpaid tickets since 2003, he said.

Michael Van Sickler can be reached at

Those with unpaid tickets in St. Petersburg may get the 'boot' 10/21/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 22, 2010 12:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.