ELIZABETH CITY, NC (WAVY) - For the first time in more than 20 years, Elizabeth City Police will be giving drivers "the parking boot" in an effort to battle unpaid parking tickets.
The crackdown is a result of 800 delinquent parking citations totaling $8,000 in fines.
Elizabeth City Police Department Captain John Young said the lack of parking spots downtown was the final straw.
"If you go downtown between 8:30 in the morning and 6 in the evening, you can forget [about finding a parking spot]," Young said.
Most spots have a 2-hour limit, and drivers who leave their cars longer come back to a $10 ticket.
"I wish the parking was better, but I don't know what the answer is either," restaurant owner Bryon Hickman said.
The department is bringing out an old friend. Young showed WAVY.com the city's single parking boot, purchased approximately 25 years ago.
The boot will go on the worst offenders.
"When somebody pulls in a space and stays there for six or eight hours, it just uses up that space where nobody else could get in," Young said.
The police department has one officer in charge of parking enforcement, who will also be in charge of putting the boot on cars she knows have multiple unpaid tickets.
The booting program is set to kick off Thursday.
Newport News police officers are in the middle of a massive operation to get wanted criminals out of the neighborhoods. They are rounding up everyone who has an outstanding warrant.
Hampton Roads Transit customers could see higher fares to ride the bus, light rail and ferry.
Running a red light could cost you a hefty fine, even if an officer doesn't pull you over. Cameras are going up at intersections across Hampton Roads, and the most recent went live Monday in downtown Norfolk.