Oakland Cracks Down on Parking Scofflaws

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Failure to pay your parking tickets is now a lot more expensive in Oakland. Starting this morning, the city plans to affix a "Smart Boot," to the cars of people who fail to pay their parking tickets, making it the first in California to use the device. But getting the boot removed may cost hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars. Motorists not only must pay off their parking tickets, but they have to fork out a $140 fee to the company that owns Smart Boot, along with a $175 processing fee to the city -- plus a credit card processing fee that is based on how many parking tickets you have, the Chron reports.

And if a motorist fails to pay to remove the Smart Boot from his or her car, then the city will tow the vehicle — thereby incurring additional towing and storage fees. The city is using the Smart Boot to raise much-needed revenues, figuring that motorists will pay off their various fines and fees and get the device removed before their cars are towed away. According to the Chron, there are 68,000 cars in the city with more than five unpaid parking tickets, the minimum needed to get the boot.

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