Council continues to consider booting booters

The practice of placing a metal clamp on a tire to immobilize a vehicle falls back into the lap of Atlanta City Council members. And members of the public safety panel are calling for a cease-fire between angry motorists and booting companies.

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All sides attended a public hearing Tuesday afternoon. One citizen told officials she did what she was supposed to do when she drove onto a Buckhead parking lot. And yet, she said, a booter still placed the clamp on her vehicle even though she patronized three shops. Those included getting a massage last Friday afternoon, which she said was ruined due to her stress level shooting up when she came out and saw the orange clamp.

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But booting owners also told war stories about unpleasant encounters with irate motorists. Spence Beck, the owner of Boot King, said his equipment comes under attack by motorists who don't want to pay the $75 fee.

"I had an individual use a grinder [to cut the clamp]," Beck said, explaining the move cost him money.

City leaders are trying to figure out how to amend the law and meet all sides somewhere in the middle.

Among the items under discussion are establishing a brief grace period before the boot can be put on. They also said the fee may be too high. Would a $45 fee work better?

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