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Stamford's Leone Announces New Law That Cuts Down On Use Of 'The Boot'

Sen. Carlo Leone, left, announced a new law to crack down on unreasonable use of "the boot" by towing companies
Sen. Carlo Leone, left, announced a new law to crack down on unreasonable use of "the boot" by towing companies Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. -- State Sen. Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) announced a new law to crack down on the overuse of "the boot" on Stamford residents.

“The over-zealous use of “the boot” by out-of-state towing companies operating in Stamford has gotten out of hand and ultimately become a safety issue,” said Leone. “I have heard from too many Stamford residents who returned to their vehicles in the evening to find they had been locked in place without any kind of warning, and the only way to free them was to pay a steep fine to a towing business that operated without transparency."

"Property owners should be able to enforce rules on their private parking lots, but there is a right way to do it, and this excessive booting is not it," said Leone. "The new law will bring fairness and transparency to this practice, while also supporting our local police officers.”

According to the new law, which became effective Oct. 1, property owners must install signage warning that vehicles parked on private commercial property may be towed or rendered immovable. The signs must be conspicuous and detail where towed vehicles will be stored, how they can be retrieved and any costs or fees that may be charged. Tow companies can no longer "boot" a vehicle without express instruction to do so by the property owner.

Vehicles can still be towed without signage if illegally parked in a handicapped space or emergency vehicle area, and if it blocks entry or exit to a building. A vehicle that has been left for more than 48 hours without authorization can also be towed.

Residents have complained that their vehicles were "booted" without warning and were forced to pay steep fines without knowing whether the amount was appropriate or not. Many were women returning to their vehicles at night and paid out of concern for safety.

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