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California Cities Blocking Parking Ticket App For Being Way Too Useful

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posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:24 AM
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Looks like technology cannot solve basic corruption issues and justly enforcing laws when you impact the revenue. I doubt anyone is surprised by this but it is another example of keeping the red tape and hassle level high in order to milk the citizens for revenue.

www.techdirt.com...



And what's really crazy about this? The app had as much to do with getting people to pay their valid tickets on time as it did contesting the incorrectly filled out tickets. It's almost like the city knows it's collecting money it might not deserve and doesn't want to let a simple piece of technology stop that gravy train...



There's an app for just about everything it seems, including apps for parking tickets, apparently. One of these apps, called Fixed, is specifically designed to do several things with parking and/or traffic tickets.

When you get a ticket, you take a picture of it with your camera on your phone. From there, the app allows you to automate the process of paying the ticket or disputing it. Specifically, by scanning the picture of the ticket you've taken, the app will automatically scan the ticket for common mistakes that are made that might invalidate the ticket entirely, at which point you can use the app to lodge your dispute. Sounds incredibly useful, right?

Well, three California cities think it's so useful that they've done everything in their power to block people from using it to dispute or pay their tickets, because that's apparently easier than getting officers to simply write tickets correctly.

Of course, the cities haven’t been welcoming to an app that was aimed at helping locals not pay their tickets by automating the process of jumping through legal loopholes. When Fixed began faxing its submissions to SFMTA last year, the agency emailed the startup to stop using their fax machine. When Fixed pointed out that it was legal to do so, the agency simply shut off their fax.

Keep it classy, San Francisco. It turns out that Los Angeles and Oakland all behaved similarly with respect to Fixed, harrassing and blocking the app and the people using it to the point where the makers of the app simply shut down the parking ticket part of the software in those three cities. This despite the app successfully contesting something like a third of the tickets that users had chosen to dispute using it. Drink that in for a moment.

A sizable percentage of parking tickets were found to have errors on them using this app and, rather than address this by having tickets be properly filled out, the cities in question decided instead to keep people from using the app to contest these error-ridden tickets. It's hard to imagine how a city might be able to display more contempt for its own citizens than this.




posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:31 AM
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a reply to: infolurker

I love how technology disrupts government bureaucracy to the point where they want to ban it. This is similar to Mayor McNanny in New York City trying to ban Uber because it cut into their livery cab medallion money scam.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:31 AM
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So instead of making sure officers are writing the ticket right they take the route of killing the app. Man happy I don't live in CA anymore it's getting crazier over there, and the cost of living is just getting nuts as well.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:33 AM
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Sounds like people breaking the law just want to get out of paying the penalty.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:36 AM
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And people wonder why some of us don't like government bureaucracies. They overspend and then try to tax the little guy to make up for their shortfalls.

The fact they are even trying to defend this is even more hilarious. We see the same thing with red light cameras. Chicago got busted for reducing the yellow time on red lights by like .25 seconds below the recommended amount which dramatically increased the fines for running red lights. Fortunately, the lost the lawsuit.

Despite mounds of evidence showing the cameras may stop people from running red lights, they often increase rear end crashes at the same intersections, these govt lackies still try to justify them by claiming "safety" when everyone knows it is just a revenue grab.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:38 AM
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a reply to: infolurker

Classic institutionalized legal plunder.

Mind you, cities are about as local as you can get. Does anyone think that government at larger scales (state and federal) is any less self interested and premeditatively corrupt?

It would not be the end of the world if we were to revisit our erstwhile tradition of smaller less intrusive government.
edit on 15-10-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:39 AM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
Sounds like people breaking the law just want to get out of paying the penalty.


lol



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

No. Officers frequently write bad parking tickets. I've gotten parking tickets for being "double parked" when I wasn't. Fortunately, I was able to take a picture. I've gotten tickets claiming over stayed meter when it wasn't. Heck, I got a ticket once on my car, but it was for an entirely different vehicle.

Last year I got a ticket for my motorcycle being parked during street cleaning. The problem was my motorcycle was parked in my garage at home on the other side of town during the time the ticket claimed. Despite contesting the ticket with a letter, they wanted me to come to court. It would have cost me more in time (time is money and I make a heck of a lot more than $75/hr) gathering up all the evidence and sitting in traffic court than it was worth, so I just paid the $75 ticket even though I knew it was BS.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:45 AM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

I agree with you, but if I have to follow the rules 100% or get a ticket then surely those handing out the tickets should be following their own rules 100% as well, that includes properly filling out their paperwork. If they do not then they should face repercussions (In this case the tickets being thrown out) as well.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:48 AM
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a reply to: infolurker




California Cities Blocking Parking Ticket App For Being Way Too Useful


I'm confused?

Wasn't this the intent of Obama singing a law to use behavioural science (manipulation) tactics and experiments on the public within gov't agencies?





“Adopting the insights of behavioral science will help bring our government into the 21st century in a wide range of ways - from delivering services more efficiently and effectively; "

— President Barack Obama

www.whitehouse.gov...

edit on 511031America/ChicagoThu, 15 Oct 2015 09:51:15 -0500000000p3142 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Correct, the fines are carefully calculated to not exceed a person's estimated daily income in order to discourage potential contest.

What makes it even worse is that, even with the abuse and exorbitant fines, meter maids do not generate enough "revenue" to even pay for themselves.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: Edumakated


I can understand that, but from reading the op it sounds the app looks for errors in the paperwork. I don't see how that helps the situations you described. Maybe I missed something. Sure wouldn't be the first time.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 12:13 PM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
a reply to: Edumakated


I can understand that, but from reading the op it sounds the app looks for errors in the paperwork. I don't see how that helps the situations you described. Maybe I missed something. Sure wouldn't be the first time.

It looks for errors in the paperwork, just as a lawyer would if you took the ticket to one of them in an effort to fight it.
If I take the ticket to a lawyer to find an error, is that acceptable?
If someone fills out their application for a concealed carry permit incorrectly, should they be denied their permit?
What's good for the goose is good for the gander.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 01:28 PM
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a reply to: infolurker
From your source:
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The app also cleverly tapped into Google Street View to check to see if the city had the proper signage in place in the area a ticket was received.
That's another way they get you. They write tickets for disobeying the signs, yet the signs are either too confusing to understand, or don't exist.



“It’s unfortunate that the SFMTA decided to block our service. Over 60,000 parking tickets had been submitted to Fixed. Not only were we helping people beat their unfair parking tickets, but the alerts on our app were helping people pay their parking fines on time and avoid late fees,” [Founder David Hegarty] continues. “Parking Ticket Fines account for 15% of the SFMTA operating budget, and it looks like they objected to us providing some accountability to their process,” Hegarty adds.
So, it's not just helping people get out of illegal parking tickets, it's also helping them pay the valid ones on-time. Which is causing these cities to loose more money from their bureaucratic money stream.

I don't know how it is in California, but in Washington, DC, the meter maids have a quota to meet. I remember reading about an emergency vehicle getting a parking ticket while it was responding to a life-and-death emergency situation. And most of the time it doesn't help to try to contest a bad ticket.

After getting a few too many of these things, I decided to never drive downtown ever again. The nice thing is that the metro train can pretty much get you within a couple of blocks of your destination. I'd rather pay 5 or 10 dollars for someone else to do the driving than pay for a 50 dollar parking ticket that I didn't deserve.

-dex



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 05:01 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: Edumakated

Correct, the fines are carefully calculated to not exceed a person's estimated daily income in order to discourage potential contest.

What makes it even worse is that, even with the abuse and exorbitant fines, meter maids do not generate enough "revenue" to even pay for themselves.


This is where Fixed could get creative. Basically they should start giving "inducements" to a certain percentage of their customers asking them to show up to court, ALL on the same day, being paid the difference in lost salary. Fixed, as a company, has the data needed to coordinate something like this. Using this strategy the company could log jam a local traffic court any time they wanted to. If the app had people start entering their yearly income, the company could target people that would require the smallest "inducement" relative to salary, encouraging a large percentage to show up to court.

Imagine if 1000+ extra people showed up to contest their ticket, in front of a judge, at any given court on a single day. It would cause chaos, then do this same thing for 30 days straight and judicial budgets would implode as a result.

Also, whats stopping Fixed from "snail mailing" in the disputes and/or payments via "envelope & paper". I'm sure there are a number of local law firms in each city that would be willing to do the service for them on a contract basis, yet still be able to keep the cost low enough to keep the operation profitable for Fixed. The goal should be to break that back of the judicial system quickly and early on, not to just quit without a fight when profit margins become too low.
edit on 15-10-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 05:11 PM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
Sounds like people breaking the law just want to get out of paying the penalty.

One of the rare times we agree. If a person is getting so many tickets they feel they need an app for it then maybe they should start learning where to park.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 08:13 PM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
Sounds like people breaking the law just want to get out of paying the penalty.
the law also states tickets must be filled out properly or else they are void, so you have it backwards, its the officers that are trying get away with something here.

if its ok for an officer to skip steps in the writing of tickets because he was in a hurry or whatever excuse, then its ok to double park because your in a hurry or whatever excuse.... see how that works? accountability is supposed to go both ways,
edit on 10/15/15 by pryingopen3rdeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 08:25 PM
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If they hired smarter cops maybe they wouldn't be so ignorant when it came to the law. Then again this is over statutes and city codes which are in fact not a 'law' or else it would be named a law and not a statue or city code. Something the ignorant fail to realize when it comes to legal definitions, but that's why it's such a cash cow.



posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 11:17 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: infolurker

Classic institutionalized legal plunder.

Mind you, cities are about as local as you can get. Does anyone think that government at larger scales (state and federal) is any less self interested and premeditatively corrupt?

It would not be the end of the world if we were to revisit our erstwhile tradition of smaller less intrusive government.


I think of it as an example of why I am unlikely to be more trusting of a smaller federal government. When you break government down into localities the people have less power as any issue can only get the attention of the local residents.

The fix to this app of course would have been easy for the cities to come out with. Build an app for the cops, a piece of hardware on a tablet with a small ribbon printer attached. Input the information to the app making sure each field is filled in then have the app print out the ticket for you correctly. If they're not capable of doing that much, then they deserve to lose the ticket revenue due to incompetence.



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 12:22 AM
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Are police officers ridiculously lazy when it comes to following the rules or something? This isn't the only situation where the people suffer when the police don't do their jobs correctly. People should have every right to dispute parking tickets that have errors on them and the correct course of action would have been to train the police officers to fill out the tickets correctly.
edit on 16amFri, 16 Oct 2015 00:23:10 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



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