Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
A growing number of folks have parked in unattended lots, left their money in a steel box as instructed and returned to their cars to find a boot on the tire. The men in bulletproof vests who arrive to remove the boot will only set vehicles free for a large fee. Assertions that they paid to park get car owners nowhere, leaving them stranded with an immobile vehicle.
Finally, though, the city of Dallas is cracking down on booters gone bad.
Former reserve cop pleads guilty to forgery in scheme that made thousands from booting cars.
Brian Hanhart pleaded no contest on September 11 to forgery after being accused of running an extortion scheme while serving as a reserve sheriff's deputy in Marina del Rey, California. Hanhart runs Municipal Parking Services, a company that placed boots on vehicles parked in private lots in Lawndale and El Camino Village in 2004. Hanhart sought payment of $80-100 for the release of each car.
An August 2004 opinion by the state attorney general made it clear that police officers may only boot cars located on public streets. Hanhart must now perform ninety days worth of community service and pay $18,000 to charity -- an amount designed to deprive him of the profits gained from his illegal booting scheme."
Posted by Mike O."Source: http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2010/jan/02/how-combat-parking-lot-fraud/
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Barry Annino, President of the Deep Ellum Foundation says "...the new ordinance was more than a year in the making. “It’s taken thousands of emails, complaints and hours at City Hall.”
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Total Parking Solutions, a Seattle-area company, has been operating without a city business permit, according to officials with the Treasurer's Office in San Diego. Lot attendants have been demanding that vehicle owners pay $280 to remove boots from cars parked in business parking lots."SOURCE: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/220385_clamping16.html
Friday, January 1, 2010
"...car clamping is now just an end in itself, an easy way to rake in cash from motorists who have to pay whatever outrageous sum is demanded of them."
"The AA says the industry is 'totally immoral' and has clamped one in every 17 drivers.
Home Office Minister Alan Campbell admits clampers are 'indulging in unacceptable behaviour including unclear signage and excessive fees', and is planning legislation in this year's Queen's Speech."
"WHAT THE NEW LAWS SHOULD SAY
FULL RIGHT OF APPEAL
Motorists who receive penalties on public roads have a legal right to an independent appeal. Motorists clamped on private land are at the mercy of a completely unregulated regime.
At best, firms offer a right of appeal only to themselves, and are obliged only to send a letter explaining why the penalty is being upheld.
AN INDEPENDENT TRIBUNAL SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED TO HEAR APPEALS BY MOTORISTS WHO ARE CLAMPED ON PRIVATE LAND.
STRICT LIMITS ON PENALTIES
For parking offences on public land, maximum penalties are fixed by the Department for Transport. Outside of London, the upper limit is £70. Inside the capital, it increases to £120.
The charge for recovering a vehicle which has been towed away is £105, with a storage charge of £12 per day. The maximum charge for removing a clamp is £40.
On private land, clampers can charge whatever they want. Drivers regularly receive demands for £500.
THE MAXIMUM PENALTIES FOR INFRINGEMENTS ON PRIVATE LAND SHOULD BE IDENTICAL TO THOSE ON PUBLIC ROADS.
RESTRICTIONS ON TOWING
Councils are advised to remove a vehicle only if it is causing a danger, blocking access or if it appears to have been abandoned.
Private clampers routinely tow vehicles away within minutes of a parking offence taking place. This allows them to maximise profits by charging for both the removal of the vehicle and the original penalty.
NO VEHICLE SHOULD BE TOWED AWAY UNLESS IT IS POSING A DANGER, BLOCKING ACCESS OR HAS BEEN ABANDONED.
INCENTIVES FOR CLAMPING
Councils are instructed not to offer incentives to traffic wardens to penalise as many motorists as possible. Because private car parks are unregulated, no such arrangements exist.
Deals can be struck between clampers and landowners to pay a commission for each motorist who is forced to pay a penalty.
THE USE OF INCENTIVES SHOULD BE BANNED. CLAMPING FIRMS SHOULD RECEIVE A FIXED SUM FOR POLICING PRIVATE LAND, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY MOTORISTS ARE ISSUED WITH PENALTIES."
Alasdair Baxter, Nottingham Discusses Clampers in His Area:
Why does England and Wales not get in line with Scotland where private clamping is totally illegal."
Alasdair Baxter, Nottingham, UK.Tel +44 115 9705100; Fax +44 115 9423263
"Fred" from www.LegalBanter.com :
"The present legal position of clampers is a scandal and amounts to barely legal extortion in many cases. There is absolutely no excuse for failing to bring in a system of licensing that will regulate them.
We have all heard the horror stories, up to and including the deliberate setting up of tempting-looking sites to entrap the unwary. At up to £300 per victim the costs are easy to recoup.
I recently heard a case in court where the driver of a clamper truck was seen by the police to clamp a vehicle, whereupon they checked him over. It turns out that he has no licence, and his truck is uninsured. He then tried to give the officers false details, and only adjusted his attitude when they handcuffed him and put him in the police vehicle. He then failed to turn up to court, and I issued a warrant for his arrest.
The Government needs to find time for a short Bill bringing in licensing of clampers, with a proper code of practice. Perhaps a private member will oblige?"
"My point has nothing to do whether clamping is legal - it obviously is. What has happened though is that some clamping firms are in the extortion business rather than that of parking control.
In my area a car was towed away within four minutes of being left and the owner was told that it would cost him £385 to get his car (which was in an adjacent street) back.
Clampers have threatened and intimidated old and vulnerable people. All I am asking is that clampers are properly licensed, checked for criminal backgrounds, and that their behaviour be subject to a code of practice.
My story about the unlicensed and uninsured clamper who then tried to get arsy with the police was to illustrate what some of the clampers are like. They should be controlled."
Krissie Labanauskas "Car-Boot Racket; Old Navy Chicago, 60290"
"No Savings Here!""...Had a terrible experience here. Parked with intention of using coupon at Old Navy but had to use the restroom before shopping so ran across street to Starbucks....On way to shop at Old Navy, saw boot on my car! Store managers claim their hands are tied and cannot do anything regarding their customers being booted.
Car next to me was booted as well, when they had already shopped at Old Navy, one person was still in Old Navy at time of boot, and three others ran to Starbucks for a drink.
All in all, I paid $115 to remove boot...terrible experience, did not use coupon or shop at store after being rudely dismissed by manager.
No discretion to help out customers regarding boots sounds like a bunch of b*** s*** OR terrible corporate management/policy. Either way, avoid this store and certainly avoid the lot. Global Parking Management Inc. supposedly runs the lot.
March 17, 2009 by Krissie Labanauskas in Chicago, IL