The Los Angeles Department of Transportation launched a high-tech smart boot pilot today, which it hopes will facilitate the collection of the $21 million of unpaid parking tickets L.A. drivers have racked up. The city stopped using car boots in 2009 and began towing cars instead.
The project will deploy 300 smart boots over the next year. If it is successful, LADOT will increase the number of smart boots deployed citywide.
The boot will be put on cars that have five or more unpaid parking tickets. To remove it, drivers will have to pay all tickets and fees. This can be done over the phone, in person or by scanning a QR code and paying from their phones.
After paying, drivers will receive a six-digit code to unlock the boot. The boot can take up to 10 minutes to remove after the fines are paid. Drivers will be responsible for returning the boot within 24 hours after removal or face a $25 fine per day up to $500.
Because the boot is very light — just 16 pounds — and efficient to use, it is also expected to increase the safety of parking enforcement officers by making it faster to put on.
L.A. isn’t the first California city to implement this technology. Oakland has been using smart boots since November 2009, and Berkeley has been using them since 2011.
This story was originally published by TechWire.
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