City Of Tyler Is Booting Cars

The gloves are off, and the boots are going on. For the past few weeks, the City of Tyler has warned citizens to take care of outstanding parking tickets. Today, they began putting boots on cars whose owners haven't paid up.

Some of the cars targeted had hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars in tickets.  Today, officials started looking for the 13 cars on this list. Combined, their owners racked up more than $4,000 in unpaid parking tickets. Now, the boot is a device used to immobilize your vehicle and prevent you from driving off.  Four cars got the boot today.

"We have given everybody a ten day notice to pay there parking tickets down on the square and we are looking for some cars that we are going to boot today," says Cam McCabe, Court Administrator for Smith County.

McCabe says time is up for these 13 citizens.

"Today we are focusing on a list of people we know we gave them a notice on their windshield and they are personally one of the ones we are looking for and they still didn't pay. One of the highest ones today is over $2,000 that we are looking for," says McCabe.

Finally, they spot the vehicle at the top on the list. But it's gone by the time City Marshal arrived with the boot.

"It doesn't matter if they are on the square today there will be another day," says McCabe.

We found out the owner of the car who owes the city more than $2,000 in fines works on the square at Texas Cash Finance.  So we went to talk to her about the unpaid parking tickets.

"I do pay my meter, I try but there are sometimes that I am busy and I don't have time to get up and go and I forget and that is human nature.  I don't think that fair to be targeted when there are so many other things going on besides parking tickets," says Cindi, who owes $2,066 in unpaid parking tickets.

Cindi's car couldn't be found to give it the boot. However, the owners of other cars were not so lucky. They had to pay their tickets in full, which ranged from $74 to $599. Today, the city collected more than a thousand dollars in outstanding parking tickets.

Now, if you do get a parking ticket, there is a drop off box here on the square where you can pay it, without worrying about getting booted.

Karolyn Davis, reporting.