Suffolk County launches boot, tow program to collect millions in unpaid tickets

SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- A boot and tow program targeting commercial vehicle violations is coming to Long Island.

The Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency announced the Friday soft launch of the county's public safety and enforcement program made to collect unpaid fines from scofflaw vehicles with outstanding parking tickets or red light safety camera citations.

Officials say the new initiative includes self-release booting using a SmartBoot and a new Mobile License Plate Recognition (MLPR) system. The two integrated systems will enable the county to more efficiently identify vehicles with unpaid parking and red-light camera fines and improve customer service for those motorists whose vehicles are immobilized.

Once a vehicle has accumulated a debt to Suffolk County, it becomes eligible for SmartBoot immobilization, according to officials. These vehicles can be immobilized or towed if they are parked legally or illegally. If a vehicle is immobilized (booted), and left unclaimed for more than 48 hours, it will be towed.

Officials say there are currently over 47,816 vehicles considered eligible for boot and/or towing due to unpaid red light camera citations. In addition, there are more than 58,000 unpaid parking tickets, totaling more than $30 million in unpaid fines and fees.

Motorists can pay unpaid red-light camera fines on-line or over the phone using a credit card, debit card or check. Parking tickets must be paid at the agency or online.

The program will be fully launched by June 1, 2020.

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