The DOT announced this week that it is now possible to contest a parking ticket online. The plan is you can present your defense online and have it reviewed by the same Administrative Law Judges that hear cases in person. The site enables you to state your case and even upload pictures and other evidence for your defense assuming you have and understand that kind of technology. Of course, many are skeptical of a nameless, faceless web personality with the authority to discharge or claim your debt by showing less emotion than a slot machine, but the truth is this is probably a very good thing and a logical step in the continuing transmigration of our lives onto the internet.
With this new tool you can contest a ticket that either because of a fear of hostile PVB judges, even more hostile postal workers, or losing half a day’s work, you might other wise just pay. And if you’re wondering if this kind of internet gambling is legal in this state, why worry? Is it really gambling if you never had much of chance of beating the ticket anyway? Fact is unless your evidence is irrefutable, and even when it is, your chances are not that good.
We all know this and no matter how loud we raise our voices, no one is going to officially acknowledge it. At least with this online service you have another, faster way to put up a fight against a bad ticket and, moving on, better live with yourself. Maybe, along with enough others, you will bring attention to a shady ticket agent, or, if no one’s really even listening, join up with a few hundred thousand others and crash the system.
You can still fight tickets in person which is usually the most convincing defense, or in the mail. This is just another, more convenient way to cast your vote against the injustice and still show up at work on time.
The scary part of the times article (paper version) is the merging of this announcement with news that the Parking Fines Reduction Program is going to come to an end as if somehow this spanking new online hearing system (really only a postage stamp away from the existing mail system) would render a good old fashioned fine reduction unnecessary.
The online fine reduction which everyone has read about here has been a staple of this unlegislated, municipal taxation the city calls "parking fines" for about 5 years and is an important option for people who are seriously looking for a financial break or who just happen to read this blog. No one but city government wants this last dollop of forgiveness to go away, so please click on the Contact the Mayor link to the right and make your opinion count in favor of continuing fine reductions.