After months of delay, the Solvay Police Department's new traffic boot saw action for the first time last week.
Police Chief Rick Cox said the department compiled a list of the village's "top 10" parking violators and a patrol officer found the top offender around 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
The boot was installed, and Cox said the department received a call from the vehicle's owner around 1:30 p.m. to have the device removed. An arrangement was made with the owner and the village court to pay $1,380, one-third of the total owed, by Friday morning to have the boot removed from the vehicle. If the partial fee was not paid, the boot would be removed anyway, said Cox, and the car would be impounded until all fines were satisfied so that the device would be free for the next offender.
The owner of the car owes $4,150 in unpaid parking tickets, Cox said. He estimated the village stands to reap between $120,000 and $130,000 in unpaid parking fines now that the boot is being used. The boot cost less than $500, Cox said.
Are you guilty of unpaid parking tickets in Solvay?
It's probably in your best interest to pay up now, before you are the next boot victim.
"We're not kidding around," Cox said. "I'm tired of people saying our officers are not writing enough tickets."
The tickets are being issued but are not being paid by offenders. But the days of mindlessly stuffing parking tickets in the glove box are over, he added.
Each patrol car would carry the "hot list" of the biggest parking offenders, and all Solvay officers are able to install the boot in about one minute, Cox said.
A bright orange sticker adhered to the driver's side front window announces the boot has been installed -- in case you missed the yellow boot itself, attached to the driver's side front wheel. Instructions for how to have the boot removed are on the sticker, Cox said, along with a warning about the consequences of attempting to drive with the boot installed or remove it yourself.