For many Washingtonians who think delivery trucks get by with murder (or, at least, without parking tickets), this item should evoke cheers.
On Wednesday, a United Parcel Service truck that had parked in a "No Parking at Any Time" zone on the northeast corner of Vermont Avenue and K Street NW, was immobilized by a boot. A sharp-eyed parking enforcement officer had spotted the truck's license number -- Maryland MF 3876 -- on the list of persistent violators. He issued the necessary document, called a tow truck and was waiting for its arrival.
Though I've seen countless passenger automobiles immobilized by boots (and generally applauded their use, since scofflaws deserve certain, severe treatment), it was the first time in my Washington years that I've seen a fleet truck so treated! It was the talk among lunchers at a nearby restaurant.
How many tickets had the truck run up? Fred Caponiti, head of parking enforcement for the D.C. Public Works Department, checked at Metro Scene's request, and found 15 unpaid tickets, with a total $1,070 in fines and penalties.
The booting of the UPS truck was unusual, he acknowledged, since fleet operators are afflicted with drivers who too often ignore or throw away tickets.
So fleet operators are permitted to list all their vehicles with the traffic enforcement bureau, receive a monthly computer printout of unpaid tickets, and settle up. But the truck with license MF 3876 wasn't on the list, and it got hauled away, cargo included. It was retrieved from the impoundment lot later the same day.
One thing that has suppressed many violations by the fleet operators, Caponiti said, is the current $100 fine for parking on the service road medians along K Street NW. After the fine recently reached that level, he said, violations have been sharply reduced.