Starting July 1, the México state Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) of Metepec will begin using tire clamps, also known as “boots,” on vehicles in violation of traffic rules such as having been illegally parked.
The clamp will be removable only after the offender pays the city a 435-peso fine, payable either in the city’s tax offices, via select businesses that have agreed to collect the payments or with transit officers who will be equipped with mobile electronic payment devices.
If the ticket is not paid within two hours of the clamp being placed on a tire, the vehicle will be towed to a storage facility until the motorist pays to retrieve it, city officials said.
The measure has ignited controversy, even among members of the municipal council, which says the new policy will improve traffic mobility and pedestrian safety and will help the environment by encouraging people not to use motor vehicles.
According to an article in La Jornada, Metepec has in recent years seen one of the highest increases in registered cars among Mexican municipalities. The article estimated that half a million cars are circulating daily in the city.
In Metepec’s commercial zones and frequently traveled thoroughfares, motorists are known to park illegally, sometimes double and triple-parking, obstructing the flow of traffic, a common practice in many Mexican cities.
Tire clamps are already used in other cities with traffic problems such as Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende and Valle de Bravo, México state. Officials in those cities say the measure has helped reduce traffic congestion and illegal parking.
Source: La Jornada (sp)