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Parking enforcers fear new ordinance will cost jobs, result in more towed cars

By Miranda Tilley 
Oct. 14, 2016

Parking enforcement companies in Logan are worried a new ordinance regulating the time in which boots must be removed from cars could kill business and result in more towed cars.

The regulation, passed by the Logan City Council on Tuesday, gives parking enforcers 90 minutes to remove boots from vehicles. It came in response to citizen complaints about excessive response times.

The council had considered punishing enforcers with a class C misdemeanor for long responses. After hearing feedback from local parking enforcement companies, however, councilors voted to force the companies to offer free boot removal instead.

Sam Bateman, a driver for Cache Auto Booting Services, fears the new ordinance will negatively affect his paycheck.

“This job has been my primary source of everything except groceries, which we pay for with plasma money,” Bateman said. “I would be very thankful if this did not go through.”

When a car is booted a notice is left on the window with a number to call. The average response time for those calls is anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes, Bateman said. But when there are many people calling at the same time, he added, it can take longer.

At Utah State University football games, Bateman said, it is common for multiple individuals to want boots off at the same time. The change of code will make it difficult to respond to everyone within the time limit, he said.

“We make our paycheck from commission on people we boot,” Bateman said. If he couldn’t get to all of the cars he booted in time, he said, “then I would be in trouble over something I can’t control.”

Logan City Police Chief Gary Jensen said the new ordinance was based on codes currently used in Provo, Orem and Boise. 

“We’ve done our homework on booting practices throughout the state,” Jensen said. “Booting companies are alive and well in these cities.”

But Dennis Shaw, the owner of Cache Auto Booting, said he contacted companies located in Provo and believes the new ordinance will change how parking violations are handled.

“They have told me that after the new ordinance was passed, they began using towing as their primary parking enforcement methods,” Shaw said. “The real losers in this will be those who suffer the consequence of having their vehicle towed.”

Councilwoman Holly Daines said the council will monitor the impact of the change over the coming year and adjust the ordinance as needed after that.