I note that reality shows ( like Parking Wars ) where there is no script and thus no writers to strike, plus no leading actors to get outrageous salaries are very popular with the networks. They are very inexpensive to make and there seems to be no end of people willing to make complete fools of themselves. Having now actually seen "Parking Wars" I will update you on the plot.
First we meet the enforcement officers and find out a bit about them. Then we hit the streets, either as a citation writer or a "booting team." The officers tell you about the neighborhood, wave a people, and deal with nuttos who have parked their cars illegally for weeks. Some of the citizens take their medicine with aplomb. others cry, threaten, and otherwise mug for the camera.
Back in the office, folks line up to pay their fines and collect their cars that have been towed. This is where the average IQ of parking scofflaws comes to the top of the list. THey are here to pick up their car. They are ready to pay a $200 fine. They find they need to show proof of insurance, and that the car is registered to them. One guy was irate because his insurance was lapsed, and a woman had to gain access to her vehicle to get the registration. One more problem — the registration was lapsed.
So, she called her gramma in Florida who went on line and paid the Pennsylvania vehicle’s registration. As soon as the payment showed up at the parking office computer, the car was released.
That was it — people who think that they are above the law, think that because they were ‘just inside" that the no parking rules didn’t apply to them, people who simply disregard the tickets and drive off, leaving the ticket in the street. IN most cases its not just the parking citation, but the onion peels back and we find unregistered, uninsured, and many times unsafe vehicles. If people ignore the smallest of rules, and most easy to follow, why not ignore the rest.
Frankly, after the first ten minutes, I was bored. It was the same old same old, same complaints, same dumb reasons, same epithets.
Most of these folks were poor. Most of them grew up in a society where they weren’t expected to take responsibility for their actions. For those that aren’t drug dealers, this is probably the closest they come to regularly dealing with the legal system. And they hate it. The problems are all those of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, the Mayor, the poor signage, but certainly there is no conceivable way that the problem is theirs.
Remember, 90% of the cars that are parked illegally are never given a ticket. That means we are training the citizenry to "roll the dice". The chances are that you will get buy with it. Think about the number of times you have returned to an expired meter and there was no ticket on your car or overstayed the two hour limit – 9 out of 10. Its worth "giving it a shot."
Personally I think we should boot every car that has one or more outstanding tickets and tow them if there are two. It won’t stop the complaining, won’t stop the catterwallering, but it will get a lot of cars off the streets. That would be a good thing.
THe booting crew has the most contentious job, particularly in rough .neighborhoods. In one incident, they found a offending car, and felt fairly comfortable soothing it since a dozen US marshals armed with M16s were nearby taking down a miscreant for some infraction or other.
As for Parking Wars — I don’t see it having the popularity of say "Survivor, "The Great Race," or "Are you smarter than a fifth grader". You can see yourself in these shows. Its difficult for people, I think, to completely relate to the nincompoops who act like idiots when they obviously have stepped over the line.
My guess, it will be gone by Summer.