‘Boot & Tow’ program won’t leave drivers without wheels under changes led by Legislator Piccirillo of Holbrook

HOLBROOK, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — If your vehicle is at risk of being booted and towed in Suffolk County, you’ll now have an easier time keeping your wheels moving.

Suffolk County Legislator Anthony Piccirillo (R-Holbrook) of the 8th District announced he reached a deal with the office of County Executive Steve Bellone on a payment plan for the Boot and Tow Program that went into effect earlier this year.

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Shortly after the freshman legislator was sworn into office in January, Piccirillo started working on legislation to suspend the Boot and Tow Program until a payment plan could be implemented.

“I began receiving calls in the beginning of my term about residents’ cars being booted and they were forced to pay the full amount to get their vehicles returned,” said Piccirillo. “With Long Island being a vehicle-oriented suburb, it places a greater burden on the struggling middle class when they have to come up with the full payment when their vehicle is booted. How are they going to pay their fines if they cannot even get to work?”

Under the Boot and Tow program, the Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency can boot and tow any car which either has $300 or more in unpaid fines, three or more outstanding parking tickets, or three or more outstanding traffic citations in Suffolk County. The owners of booted vehicles must pay the entire amount owed in addition to a $250 fee within 48 hours of being booted. If the individual does not pay the outstanding fines in full within 48 hours, the car will be towed and the owner will incur an additional $350 fine plus an extra $75 per day that the car remains uncollected.

A vehicle with a boot in Bohemia

A pick-up truck is booted in the parking lot of AutoZone on Sunrise Highway in Bohemia.

Piccirillo said the resolution he sponsored was introduced on March 3 and called for the suspension of the Boot and Tow Program until a payment plan was established. The Boot and Tow Program was suspended a few weeks later, after calls to suspend the program were made to Bellone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Piccirillo then worked with Bellone and his staff to create a payment plan.

“I am elated that we were able to come to this bipartisan agreement for the Suffolk County taxpayers,” Piccirillo said. “I would like to thank the County Executive and his staff for working with my staff and me on this important matter.”

After the payment plan was implemented, Piccirillo withdrew the legislation because no further legislative action was needed since the payment plan took effect immediately.

“This is a win for the forgotten middle class in Suffolk County,” Piccirillo said. ”I am proud to have helped facilitate the resolution to this issue.”

Here are the details of the Boot and Tow Payment Plan:

Prior to being added to the boot and tow list, the registrant/owner will receive notice of impending boot and tow.

  • The notice will include notification of the availability of a payment plan.
  • The payment plan will be on a sliding scale, based upon the amount due and length of time in judgment.
  • All plans will require a 25% initial payment and expanded payments for the remainder of the judgements.
    • Example:
      • Outstanding amount $315 - $400 (3 citations) – remainder monthly over 2 months
      • Outstanding amount $401- $700 – remainder monthly over 5 months.
      • Outstanding amount $701 – $1,500 – remainder monthly over 7 months
      • Outstanding amount $1,501 – $3,000 - remainder monthly over 10 months
      • Outstanding amount over $3,000 – remainder monthly over 12 months
  • During payment plan, if the registrant/owner complies and makes all payments timely and does not receive any new violations, they will not be subjected to boot and tow enforcement. In the instance that a registrant/owner provides sufficient information to the Traffic, Parking and Violations Agency that they received a new violation, subsequent to their existing payment plan, due to extenuating circumstances then they will not be subjected to boot and tow enforcement.

Piccirillo’s 8th Legislative District is located almost entirely within the Town of Islip, with a small part located within Brookhaven Town. It includes Bayport, Blue-Point, Holbrook, Holtsville, Sayville, West Sayville, Oakdale, and parts of Ronkonkoma, Bohemia, and Medford.

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