Booting's up, Ticketing's Down

License plate recognition system makes it easier to boot cars, says city

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 2:31 PM CDT
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Fewer orange parking tickets are sitting on windshields, but more yellow boots are locked to tires.

That's the trend with Chicago's parking enforcement, according to records released by the city of Chicago. 

Parking enforcement officials and Chicago police officers combined to dole out almost 1.7 million tickets between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, a number that's down 11.6 percent compared with last year, the Sun-Times reports.

Chicago Police officers are focusing more time on crime, which pushed their numbers down, the report states.

But the department still writes more tickets than the revenue department. Cops filled out 747,648,  Revenue Department agents tallied 631,170 tickets and a private contractor employed by the city had 227,740.

While ticketing is down by  more than11 percent, the use of the Denver Boot, those yellow discs that hold cars in place, have increased.

Parking officials have used the boot about 7 percent more this year for a total of 44, 581 applications.

Revenue Director Bea Reyna-Hickey credited technology for boosting the number of boots on cars whose drivers have three tickets of any age or two tickets a year or older.

"Our Auto-Views - the license plate recognition system that we purchased some time ago - is very, very productive," Reyna-Hickey said. "They drive down the streets. There's not any additional staff. There's no overtime. We're covering the same shifts. It's just that they're more productive out there on the street."

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