Some vehicle owners who've chosen to ignore Binghamton parking tickets are learning the city does have a way to encourage payment.

Cars with three or more unpaid parking tickets may wind up getting the boot. The device city police use is a Rhino vehicle immobilizer.

When the boot's locked onto a front wheel, a car isn't going to be very useful. The vehicle could be damaged if an attempt is made to drive it with the boot in place.

Officer William Lescault of the Binghamton police traffic division says people with at least three unpaid parking tickets could wind up with a booted car. People who've accumulated more than $300 in parking fines also are eligible for a boot.

Lescault says the police department will leave a booted vehicle for three days. If the owner hasn't contacted authorities, the vehicle will be taken to an impound lot. The owner then would be responsible for towing and storage charges before the car would be returned.

The owner of a car that was booted on Water Street near Boscov's late last week paid more than $500 in parking fines and got her car back.