Skip to Content
Morning Spew

It’s Wednesday and These Boots Were Made for Bootin’

You might have noticed a few more immobilized cars lately, and other links to start your beautiful fall day.

5:42 AM EDT on October 12, 2022

(Blazing Furby? / Hell Gate)

Cars—they’re just like us. Sometimes, they just love to accessorize. In the case of thousands of cars with delinquent ticket payments in New York City, they’re now sporting some shiny green boots. 

According to The City, the NYC Sheriff’s Office, which is in charge of the city’s “booting” program, has been quickly ramping back up its fine collection for tickets racked up by drivers during the pandemic. So far, the city has collected $80 million in delinquent payments owed by drivers after threatening to boot their cars for late payments on parking violations, speeding, and blowing red lights.

But with an estimated $310 million still owed to the city, the leniency has ended, and the city has begun to give them the boot. In August and September, more than 20,000 cars ended up with boots. The median amount that people end up doling out to pay off their tickets, and get their boots off, has ticked up from the amount it was before the pandemic—to $964, The City found. 

While the boots might raise some money for a city convinced it’s already in a fiscal crisis, they might not have that much of an impact on deterring reckless driving and drivers who flout the city’s speed and red light cameras. As Hell Gate found last month, many speeding drivers in the city simply skirt enforcement by using fake or expired license plates. The Sheriff’s Office has recently begun to crack down on some people using these fake license plates, although as Gothamist noted over the summer,  the perpetrators are often the ones supposed to be doing the policing. Amidst these efforts (or lack thereof), low-income people who need cars for work find themselves squeezed on all sides—they have to live in the least transit-served parts of the city, paying more of their income in rent than ever, with sky-high insurance premiums standing between them and a legal license plate. That doesn’t mean fake plates are the answer, but for some people, it is their reality, and more fines probably aren’t going to solve it. 

C’mon links, get linking!

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Hell Gate

Locked Up

NYC Will Pay Millions for Locking Up People Who Had Already Paid Bail, But It’s Still Doing That

As the City settles a major class-action lawsuit, it’s still dragging its feet releasing people who have posted bail.

December 1, 2022

Prepare Yourself for Sagittarius December Doldrums

It's December at last, which means New York's indisputable worst month (November) is over.

Morning Spew

It’s Thursday and the MTA Is Yet Again Staring Into the Abyss

Albany to NYC Subways, Drop Dead? And other links to start your day.

December 1, 2022
Eternal City

Henry Hill Slept Here: My Journey Through the ‘Goodfellas’ Locations of NYC

The tour’s locations capture a relatively ungentrified slice of deep Brooklyn and Queens, where mobsters once reigned like kings, hijacking and stealing and paying off the cops...And now it’s all over.

November 30, 2022
Eternal City

Let’s All Marvel at the Giant Tree We Murdered And Dragged Into Midtown Manhattan

A Norway spruce might live 300 years or longer, but this one would have to die.

See all posts