SHOUT OUT: State lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are teaming up to tighten up regulations on “booting” parked cars, amid an outcry by motorists in Hoboken.
Under the measure, municipalities won’t be able to immobilize your vehicle unless there is an outstanding warrant against it.
Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33), a longtime Hoboken resident, says the bill, if passed, will curb overly aggressive public servants who engage in “a predatory practice that is designed to fill [municipal] coffers.”
The cost to retrieve your car after its bee booted can exceed $200.
“That’s a financial hardship for many residents,” Garcia said. “And if you don’t have a credit card to make the payment by phone, you could be stranded.”
If creating more resident parking and not raking in dough is truly is the goal, he said, the city “would be towing vehicles that violate local parking ordinances to free up spaces.”
Instead, visitors “are being deterred from patronizing our local businesses for fear it could prove to be a costly mistake if they park in the wrong spot.”
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), a vocal critic of red light cameras, said it is “really a shame” that new laws were needed to put the brakes on “a blatant abuse of motorists.”
“You’ve got handicapped people, senior citizens returning from dinner, single women — anybody, really,” he said. “The fact that common human decency alone isn’t enough to persuade the people perpetuating this rip off to stop immediately says something sad about the individuals in charge.”
Weekhawken resident Wilson Vega Jr. said his pregnant wife had a troubling experience after her car was recently booted in Hoboken.
“It’s bad enough my pregnant wife had to pay a hefty fine,” he said. “She also had to return the boot or wait several hours until someone could come get it. It’s outrageous.”
According to the Hudson Reporter, Hoboken “pulled in nearly $5.6 million in revenue from parking tickets in 2013, almost $1 million more than in 2012.
“And though the city forks over $11.50 of every ticket to the state, there is still a financial gain for the city – 23.8 percent of this year’s parking utility budget will be funneled into the city’s coffers.” ( SEE: Is Hoboken’s booting policy illegal? )
The bill, A-3225, is expected to considered by a legislative committee in the coming weeks. Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25) joined Garcia and O’Scanlon as a co-sponsor.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.