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Halifax considers stricter regulations on car booting

Lisa Blackburn says residents complained about ‘predatory’ companies

2 min read
caption A no parking sign warns drivers about car booting.
Michael Trombetta

Halifax’s transportation standing committee discussed adding stricter regulations to vehicle immobilization — also known as car booting — at a meeting Thursday afternoon.

Car booting is when a mechanism is locked onto a car violating parking bylaws in order to prevent the car from leaving.

Deputy mayor Lisa Blackburn voiced her support of enacting municipal bylaws on vehicle booting.

“Definitely there is a need for a regulation or a framework to rein in what is now the Wild West when it comes to vehicle booting,” she said.

Booting services in Halifax are currently enforced by privately owned companies. Some residents are dissatisfied with their experience with them.

During the meeting, Blackburn recounted her own negative experience with having her vehicle booted.

“Since my experience a couple summers ago, I have heard from a number of residents who felt that they were being extorted by these companies, and referred to them as predatory,” she said.

“The method of payment is a credit or debit card that is scanned through a square that’s attached to the company representative’s cellphone. That goes against every safety warning I’ve ever been told about digital safety in this era.”

In 2018, Moncton passed a bylaw requiring annual licensing for businesses providing the enforcement service. It also passed bylaws regulating signage at parking lots and created a limit of $45 to get a booting device removed.

Halifax council members are interested in implementing similar bylaws.

Some of the proposed regulations include enforcing that companies have licenses to boot vehicles, having uniformed employees, establishing a maximum rate, regulating signage at private parking lots, and having different types of payment options offered.

Coun. Waye Mason also lent his support for regulations on booting companies.

“The intention isn’t to have giant licensing fees or an onerous amount of regulation on this,” he said.

“You have to be licensed and registered to do business, and if you fail to do these things that are driving people crazy, we’ll take away your license and you won’t be able to operate.”

The committee will request a staff report on developing a bylaw for parking and booting on private property late next month.

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About the author

Michael Trombetta

Michael is a student writer at King's College. He's an English literature graduate of Ryerson University. Interested in people, our environment,...

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  1. P


    I work for a delivery company. The people who park illegally in loading zones or any other place should be ticketed and towed, skip the boot. It's because of you people there are trucks blocking the street when trying to get a job done. Don't park where you shouldn't and there are no issues.
  2. C

    Covis top

    It should be totally illegal to attach anything to my car without my consent. How is this even allowed. Halifax is century behind when it comes to regulations. Instead, we like to implement new bylaws for smoking which no one respects and no one enforce. Yet the tax payer paid a bunch of money to install sign and other that nobody uses. Good job Halifax council for your common sense.
  3. J


    I have a solution: stop parking where you're not supposed to instead of crying when your car gets booted.
  4. D


    I work for one of these companies for a very short period of time one girl asked to do a smoke dope and the guy I worked with drove around because he lost his license for drinking and driving you were all right these people are rude and very aggressive and a smirk on your face as you just wanna wipe it off
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