New bill would ban booting cars in Georgia

A car with a boot is seen in Chicago, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers has filed legislation to completely ban the booting of vehicles in Georgia.

Democratic State Sen. Josh McLaurin of Sandy Springs, lead sponsor of Senate Bill 247, believes the practice is overused and abused.

“It’s so low cost to the property owners that a lot of times booting companies will put boots on cars that they’re not sure are unauthorized,” McLaurin said. “So you’ve got tons of people who actually pay the fee or their invitees or guests of the property, and they’re still getting booted because it’s much easier for the property owner just let the driver and the booting company figure it out than care about the inconvenience.”

Senate Bill 247 specifically bans towing and storage companies to use immobilization devices on cars that are improperly parked.

“With towing, you got to be sure because it’s expensive for everybody. Right? You got to know that cars are in the wrong place and make that decision.”

If booting is banned, McLaurin believes there are also solutions beyond towing.

McLaurin intends for his legislation to ban anyone from booting, including governments.

Senate Bill 247 has a powerful lineup of co-sponsors including Republican State Sens. Bill Cowsert, Frank Ginn, Chuck Payne and Shawn Still, along with Senate Democratic Leader Gloria Butler.

The bill was filed Thursday and will be assigned to a Senate committee on Monday.