Illegal parking gets ‘the Boot’

Airman Edward Drescher
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Saving two minutes by illegally parking won’t be worthwhile after Wednesday, when Ramstein security forces squadrons unleash “the Boot.”

“The Boot” is a vehicle immobilizer that slips on the wheel of a vehicle and clamps shut. Its main purpose is to deter people from parking illegally, especially in highly-congested areas, such as the base exchange, billeting parking lot, housing areas and other designated parking spots.

“We are just taking the preventive measures to another level,” said Master Sgt. Donald Tubbs, 568th Security Forces Squadron NCOIC of police services.

“The Boot” should be very effective considering what people will have to go through to get it removed, said Sergeant Tubbs.
When “the Boot” is attached to a tire, an orange notice will be placed on the windshield, instructing in English and German how to have “the Boot” removed.

The owner must report to the local police services desk with a list of items: proof of ownership, vehicle registration, a valid European license and proof of insurance.

After giving the owner a citation, officers are sent to remove “the Boot.”

If the owner of the vehicle fails to report to the police services desk with the required information within 24 hours of notice, the vehicle can be towed to an impound off-base.

“It’s not here to be an inconvenience, but to be a deterrent,” said Tech. Sgt. Robert Boddick, 568th SFS assistant flight chief. “It will really make people think twice about parking illegally.”

Drivers can get “booted” for many base violations. The main reasons are illegally parking in handicapped or reserve spaces, expired registration of 30 days or more, parking in timed spots without a parking disk and posting a vehicle for sale in unauthorized places.

“The bottom line is don’t illegally park, and you won’t have to worry about it,” said Sergeant Boddick.