Atlanta/ Politics & Govt
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Published on March 15, 2024
Georgia State Sen. McLaurin Proposes Bill to Overhaul Vehicle Booting OversightSource: Facebook/International Parking and Mobility Institute

In a move targeting the contentious practice of vehicle booting, Georgia State Sen. Josh McLaurin has crafted a bill aiming to revamp the way parking violations are handled. The proposal, arising from McLaurin's dissatisfaction with the current self-monitored booting process, would subject the industry to similar oversight as towing companies face, as reported by FOX 5 Atlanta. The legislation calls for a ban on the practice of booting companies monitoring parking lots independently and the provision of kickbacks to property owners.

With the bill, McLaurin targets an industry that, trying to end the booting of cars across the state, has seen his previous efforts to regulate it thwarted. Presented to the Georgia Senate's Public Safety Committee, the bill passed with a 5-2 vote, according to a statement obtained by 11Alive News. Advocates for the bill highlight the imperative to halt booting companies from patrolling lots without oversight, while detractors emphasize the necessity of on-site management for small parking facilities.

Detractors from within the parking industry voiced their objections during the committee hearing, arguing the essential role of on-site booters in maintaining order. "Us calling the booting company does not really work, allowing the booter access to our electronic systems, so they can monitor who has paid and who hasn't actually works," Jack Hanning, a market asset manager for InterPark, told FOX 5. Critics further claimed that booting was a reversible action, thus insinuating minimal harm and arguing for the status quo.

In documents shared by McLaurin, an email chain obtained by FOX 5 Atlanta reportedly reveals a property owner pressuring a parking enforcement company about declining booting revenues, which raises concerns about possible unethical financial dependencies between property owners and booting companies. "This is not the way we think about property ownership in America as being profitable and hardworking," McLaurin said. "This is property ownership that's just basically like bridge troll activity," he added, taking a strong stance against the current practices.

The bill faces further scrutiny as it advances to a rules committee and eventually the Senate floor. If passed, it could mark a significant overhaul of parking enforcement practices in Georgia, seeking to curb what McLaurin described as “That sets up terrible incentives, perverse incentives, to throw as many boots on cars as possible because it makes the booting company money and it makes the property owner and manager money,” he told 11Alive News. The state senator remains determined to see the bill become law, regardless of the time and effort required.