The city of Hammond, Indiana, is considering an ordinance that would prevent private property owners from booting vehicles because of safety concerns — and because of complaints from truck drivers.
The Common Council of the city of Hammond is currently considering an ordinance that would ban property owners form booting illegally parked vehicles rather than towing them, according to the Chicago Tribune.
City Attorney Kris Kantar says, “We’re saying no more boots. If you don’t want a truck there, you have to get it towed.”
The booting problem has been particularly prominent at a Indianapolis Boulevard shopping plaza, which forbids semi truck parking. City officials say that because of the high fees charged to free the vehicles — often $500 for commercial vehicles with one semi truck driver reporting a $1000 fine — some drivers can’t afford to have to boot removed, so some vehicles remain booted on the lot for an extended period of time, causing potential safety problems.
Council President Janet Venecz notes, “When they boot these vehicles, which, at this point, they have the right to do, it creates a safety issue. If they’ve got a semi parked in the driveway and there was an emergency, how is a fire truck supposed to get in, an ambulance supposed to get in?”
City officials also say that booted vehicles are at an increased risk for vandalism and that they reduce the amount of available parking for businesses.
The city of Hammond does not boot vehicles, so the ordinance would only apply to the private property owners who are currently booting vehicles in their parking lots.
The booting ordinance will be taken up at the Hammond Common Council’s May 29 meeting.