Texas: Pay Up, My Dear Brother

Pay Up, My Dear Brother

Still reeling from the oil bust, financially strapped Texas cities are tapping revenue from a lucrative but neglected source: unpaid traffic tickets. Houston may reap more than $1 million this year by using the "Denver Boot," a device that immobilizes cars whose owners have three or more delinquent tickets. In Dallas the payment of nearly 140,000 fines could bring $18 million to its coffers, and a telecomputer is dunning scofflaws at a rate of 150 calls an hour.

The Texas sweep cuts a wide swath. Earlier this month, in a roundup of 80 motorists, San Antonio police nabbed George Cisneros, a...

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