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2/23/2005
Arlington, VA Uses Bootfinder Camera to Tow for Overdue Library Books
Arlington, VA and New Haven, CT are using a new camera technology to tow cars with unpaid parking tickets or overdue library fees.

Towed awayArlington, Virginia has taken the next step in automated camera enforcement. Next month, it will expand its use of "BootFinder," a camera device that scans license plates of parked cars and compares it against a database of unpaid fines. If the car's owner is listed as delinquent, the car can be towed -- and if the owner doesn't pay within 10 days the car is auctioned.

Currently Arlington's program focuses on unpaid car and property taxes, and the city's one camera has collected $90,000. In March, however, any unpaid fine is fair game, "anything from late park and recreation fees to overdue library books."

New Haven, Connecticut has towed 1,800 cars and collected $1,000,000 with its BootFinder. Bridgeport is ready to get on board as well.

The system uses a $25,000 camera mounted in a laptop-equipped minivan and is capable of taking a thousand photos every minute. Arlington County Treasurer Frank O'Leary told the Washington Times, "We're just always looking for new ways to skin the cat."

Update: New Haven, Connecticut used Bootfinder to tow a woman's car out of her driveway for $85 in unpaid parking tickets.

Article Excerpt:
G2 Tactics has sold 17 cameras so far, just 2 to a law enforcement agency. "I was so dense," says Bucholz. "There was money to be made in taxing and parking, and, unlike the police, those departments had money to spend."
Source: If Only Pictures Lied (Forbes, 2/28/2005)

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