Easton gets tough on parking ticket deadbeats

Stricter policies, better tools in police arsenal

Posted: 10:00 PM EST Nov 26, 2013   Updated: 6:55 AM EST Nov 27, 2013

Easton is clamping down on parking ticket scofflaws with a stricter ordinance and hi-tech equipment that will hit the streets Dec. 3.

At a meeting Tuesday night, Council gave city police the go-ahead to boot, or place a tire lock on vehicles that have 5 unpaid parking tickets, not ten tickets, which was the city's old policy.

To get the boot removed and the car back on the road, the owner must pay a $180 fine plus the cost of the outstanding tickets.

Glenn Steckman, the city administrator, was unable to say how many scofflaws would fall under the tougher "booting" policy other than to say, "It's a large pool of people."

He said the people in the top ten list owe $50,000.

Besides the tougher ordinance, the city's parking enforcement officers will have a better tool, an electronic ticketing device that will read the license plate and determine in real time if the car has a pile of unpaid parking tickets.

Under the old system, parking tickets were written by hand, taken back to the office and entered into a computer system, a process that included the possibility of errors being input from the handwritten tickets.

In addition to the electronic ticket devices, an Easton police cruiser will have a license plate reader that will "ping" when it spots a license plate with too many unpaid parking tickets, Steckman said.

The city has six "booting" devices and might buy four more, Steckman said. "They are always in constant use," he said