The Other side of the Parking Story


The Other side of the Parking Story

All the activity here at Parking Blog Brought on by the NYT publicity is backing off a bit.  Most of the people were non parking types who found an outlet for their frustration. Most were civil, some displayed their lack of cooth and showed how they could only communicate with Anglo Saxon wisdom.

All that having been said, perhaps we should take a moment and reflect on the frustration and anger in the general population. Of course, we are "only doing our jobs" but consider this:

If 95% of the parking citations go unwritten, that mean getting a ticket is like winning(losing) the lotto. Most of the time when you cheat, and you know you cheat, you don’t get the ticket, and one time in 10 you get one. Its like losing a game. You are angry, frustrated, and disappointed.

Obviously folks who are scofflaws don’t think that breaking parking laws is immoral, like murder or robbery. Its a game — Us vs Them. They roll the dice that we won’t come by and catch them. And when we do, they are upset, not only for getting the ticket and being charged the money, but also for losing the game.

Of course, we may also make the process of paying the ticket or getting our car unbated or back from towing difficult which adds insult to injury.

So, I might offer a suggestion —
1. Allow people to pay tickets on line, by phone, by mail, by carrier pigeon, by credit card, debit card, cash, check, and maybe even by "working it off." (I haven’t a clue what that means, but perhaps you could pick up paper in your neighborhood for a couple of hours.)
2. Tow only at the last resort (Those blocking fire hydrants or driveways, or those who simply aren’t going to pay, ever (guy with 20 tickets, etc)
3.  Boot, but ensure people can get the boot removed without tremendous pain — a quick phone call, and rapid removal response.
4.  Train, train, train — allow officers to give warnings if people walk up when they are in the process. That will take the pressure off both. Or if someone walks up, have a way so officers can lower the offense. Give them the ability to adjudicate, sort of, on the street. Make the enforcement officers your friends.


Any ideas —


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. The moderator seems to only post after a stiff drink or 8. The logic is non-sensical many times and the grammar is awful. Parking is a great industry, but many times the public face of it (especially if it accidentally gets quoted by a major news outlet) shows the warts, not the gold in our business. JMHO.

  2. Here in the State of NSW, Australia:
    1. Fines are payable as described – except the pigeons, who don’t want their reputation sullied!
    2. due to the violence it occasioned, liability issues and need for impounding facilities, towing & the impounding of vehicles is illegal for parking offences on private property and most public streets.
    However, vehicles left in ‘Clearways’ on major roads are towed by the State Road Authority’s contractors to the closest legal parking in a side street and the operator informs the local State Police Station (there are no municipal police in Australia). The fine and towing fee are then issued to the owner of the vehicle as a State Recoverable debt – ie. if not paid, then licence or vehicle rego are cancelled.
    3. If an officer, State Police or more likely, a local council official, books a vehicle for a parking offence, then legal avenues for resolving fines are opened. It is not a good idea for the parking officer to usurp a magistrates role. The process used to involve Court attendance, but, now the matter can be resolved ‘on the papers’ so an independent judicial decision is made based on the fine issued, and your statutory declaration to the Court detailing any mitigating circumstances.
    The biggest flaw in any system is when the offender is not forced to take their behaviour into account because they have the income to just pay the fines.
    For serious road fines – issued by Police for ruinning red lights, excessive speeding etc – demerit points are issued against licence holders. Where the person is not identified (ie camera offences cf being pulled over by an officer) this system is open to abuse as Grandma is nominated as driving her 18 yo grandson’s turbo charged WRX at 90mph.
    No system is perfect, especially when you can avoid responsibility for repeated ‘bad’ behaviour

  3. What a coward — He takes pot shots and doesn’t even have the courage to put up his real email address. I guess that’s what blogs are all about. People that don’t have the courage to identify themselves and don’t have anything positive to add can rail on to their hearts content. I was going to offer him a front line forum — he could be a guest blogger. I sincerely doubt if he has anything to add.

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