Seattle releases video educating residents on why waiting to pay parking tickets isn’t a good idea.
SEATTLE— One year after the vehicle booting program launched in July 2011, the City of Seattle has kicked off a new outreach campaign emphasizing the message “the longer you wait to pay a parking ticket, the more you pay.” The City wants residents to understand the benefits of paying parking tickets on time to not only save money, but to avoid the boot as a result.
The average amount owed from a typical boot offender can exceed $400. Not only do drivers have to pay their individual tickets, they must also consider late fees, collection fees, boot removal fees and time wasted in the process. Drivers are better off dealing with tickets promptly by paying the ticket, contesting the ticket, seeking mitigation, arranging for a time payment plan or scheduling community service.
This summer’s outreach features a combination of bus ads, print ads, handouts and public service announcements for television and radio. About seventy-five vehicles are booted weekly in neighborhoods, especially in Belltown, Capitol Hill and the University District. Young, active Seattleites are a priority for the City’s outreach because they typically work, play and go to school in these neighborhoods. Residents from many ethnicities were featured in the outreach reflecting the increasingly diverse population of the city.
Immigrant and refugee communities are also important audiences because 17 percent of Seattle’s population is composed of different groups proficient in languages other than English. The City is working to eliminate barriers that prevent residents from fully understanding parking laws. Materials (including the video PSA) have been translated into the five languages most commonly requested at the Seattle Municipal Court – Amharic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. T.D. Wang Advertising Group was hired to help develop this phase of outreach. The firm brings experience implementing full-service multicultural campaigns.
Highlights of the nine months of data collected and analyzed between July 5, 2011, and March 31, 2012, include:
- Number of vehicles booted 2,713
- Number of vehicles towed is 381 or 14 percent
- About 38 percent of the owners of booted vehicles chose to use time payments
- Amount of revenue collected—$2,217,000
The program’s effect on car campers continues to be minimal due to the collaborative effort among the Ballard Community Taskforce on Homelessness and Hunger, the Interfaith Taskforce on Homelessness and various city departments. No known car campers have lost their vehicles as a result of the Boot Program. To read the Parking Scofflaw Program 2012 1st Quarter Report visit: http://www.seattle.gov/scofflaw/pressMaterials.htm.
The Seattle Police Department, Seattle Municipal Court, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Office of Civil Rights and Seattle Department of Finance and Administrative Services collaborated on this effort.
To view the PSA, outreach materials or obtain more information about the program, visit www.seattle.gov/theboot.