Parking Tickets…found an oops




I noticed that it’s possible to MIStype your parking tag, and still get a valid ticket ID. Why is this an issue?

A friend of mine paid a ticket for me last fall…it was the result of parking near a friendly meeting I was invited to and the consequences were unavoidable due to the meeting running over the time budgeted. So I thought “great!” That takes care of that, right?

He ended up making a numerical typo on his phone, someone else’s ticket got paid and not mine.

It appears that the ticketing system will prevent you from paying a ticket already paid, but it will not stop you from looking up another ticket and paying that one. In fact the ticket numbers appear to be assigned sequentially. This only increases the likelihood a number type in the last three or four digits will result in the lookup of a valid unpaid ticket.

We tried getting the charge looked up, but that was made doubly difficult since I was not the card owner making the payment. I hold the infraction, I cannot request payment transfer. My friend can request payment transfer but must provide all my personal info as it pertains to the license plate. Strong deterrent made even stronger by the fact that both of us are very busy IT professionals and could only try calling in. I think the total time on hold amounted to 4 hours. We only ever spoke to one live body.

I think the business process needs a serious rethink, but it could all be fixed with the addition of a random text string at the beginning or end of the parking ticket number.

But for now it’s fun looking up all the parking ticket infractions if only to see what the parking infraction staff are charging motorists.

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