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Here's how many cars are 'boot eligible' in DC

Vehicles with two or more unpaid parking or camera tickets, that are at least 60 days old, can be booted by parking enforcement crews.

WASHINGTON — In a tweet that is now getting a lot of attention, D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh claims that there are hundreds of thousands of drivers from D.C., Maryland and Virginia with enough unpaid tickets that their cars should be booted. 

"There are several residents who regularly report dangerous drivers who owe $$$ in unpaid violations, seemingly without consequences," Cheh tweeted. "Based on data I received last week, that perception is entirely accurate:

She went on to claim a lack of workers is to blame for keeping "dangerous drivers" on the road. 

“It would take more than 25 years to get all of those cars booted!” the councilmember tweeted. 

So the Verify team is taking Cheh's observations to the experts, to see how many drivers on our roads should be getting the boot (literally). 

THE QUESTION:

What makes a car boot-eligible in D.C?

THE SOURCES:

The DC Department of Public Works
Lucinda Babers: Deputy Mayor of Operations and Infrastructure
Councilmember Mary Cheh: Chair of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment 

THE ANSWER:

According to the DPW’s website, vehicles with two or more unpaid parking or camera tickets that are 60 days old can be booted by parking enforcement crews. 

WHAT WE FOUND:

According to a DPW report here are the number of boot-eligible vehicles registered to drivers in the DMV: 

  • DC: 43,868
  • VA: 167,937
  • MD: 335,908  

The DPW report cites more than $213M is owed by those vehicles.

“It's not a matter of money," Cheh said. "It's a matter of having them change their behavior. People are being run down in the street  - that has to stop.”

The data also verified that there are in fact two crews made up of six people assigned to boot vehicles throughout the city. According to a DPW schedule, staffers regularly patrol 1 to 2 wards a day.

Not on their list? Wards 7 and 8.

“When you have folks from other jurisdictions, speeding, going through red lights, getting citations, but not having any consequences to actually pay them, they continue to engage in unsafe behavior," Cheh said. "I want them to understand their consequences to driving unsafely in the District of Columbia." 

Cheh said she believes part of the problem could be because DPW is underfunded. The councilwoman is planning a council hearing by the end of the year to figure out a solution that will help keep dangerous drivers off D.C. roads.

RELATED: Maryland and Virginia drivers owe $373M in DC traffic fines

RELATED: Is DC tracking dangerous driving by its workers? Well, sort of