Booting cars appears to be a complex problem. For that reason, City Council delayed a decision on an ordinance that would regulate vehicle immobilization services and operators, until the Oct. 16 Council meeting.
During Tuesday’s meeting Anthony Leete, owner of Atlanta Impound, explained that booting tractor-trailers is necessary in Sandy Springs because some pavements are not strong enough to sustain the weight of the vehicles.
Marietta-based Atlanta Impound is contracted by 15 commercial and residential properties along Roswell Road. Condo associations hire the company to boot cars of owners who do not pay their dues, or with expired tags.
Council members agreed they did not have enough information to pass an ordinance, last night. The measure was suggested by Police Chief Terry Sult during the previous September meeting. He said some boot fees range from $500-$700.
“The whole idea was there were some people that were being take advantage of,” said Councilman John Paulson, on Tuesday. “The intent of this is to not have our citizens get stung…with [high] fees.”
Complaints to the police department over sky-high boot fees led Sult to suggest regulation. In one instance, a truck was booted at North Springs shopping center, where Big Lots is located, when the driver decided to walk to the adjacent gas station to purchase a drink.
Atlanta Impound is contracted by the shopping center and Leete appeared to doubt the driver’s version of the story, when Mayor Eva Galambos told it to him.
“…These truckers will say or do anything, especially when you say, ‘Hey you need to pay $500,’ “ Leete said.
He told Patch,“Tractor-trailer drivers park their vehicles anywhere they can [for periods of time] because their time on the road is regulated. They’re only allowed 10 hours to drive.”
Council members were considering an ordinance with a $40 fee for booted vehicles. Leete suggested $50 for cars and SUVs, but a higher amount for tractor-trailers.
Council member Dianne Fries said she would like to see a cap for tractor-trailer boot fees.
The new ordinance would require signage be posted on the property informing drivers that cars can be booted. The business that applies the device would be required to have a live person answer their phone 24 hours per day/seven days per week. And a person must be at the scene to remove the device within one hour of being contacted.
Tell us what you think of this booting controversy. Have cars been booted where you live over past due homeowner association fees? Have you ever spotted parked tractor-trailers around town?