10 February 2014

Parking appeal software?

The next idea has been copied from the Springwise emails that Mr Mustard has signed up to receive.

Outsourcing painful tasks has been made infinitely easier with smartphones, especially through snap-and-send apps such as PaperKarma — which identifies junk mail and automatically unsubscribes users. Working on a similar concept, Fixed enables users to simply take a photo of their parking tickets and have them challenged in court by an expert team.

According to David Hegarty, one of the co-founders of the San Francisco-based service, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency has around “1000 different parking rules [that] are horrifically hard to understand”, which leads to many tickets issued erroneously by under-pressure parking wardens. When drivers appeal, on average 50 percent have the ticket waived, but not everyone has the time or know-how to take their case to court. With Fixed, those with a ticket simply take a snap of the citation, upload it through the app, alongside details of why they think the ticket was wrongly issued — for example ‘meter broken’ or ‘signs unclear’. The app then automatically calculates the chance drivers have of beating their ticket while the team gets to work preparing the case. If they’re successful, users pay 25 percent of their ticket to Fixed. If they’re not, users must pay the fine, but they haven’t lost anything by trying.
Currently available in San Francisco only, could this type of service work in your part of the world?

If anyone wants to do this sort of thing for London, where there are the thick end of 5 million PCN issued every year (well at least until uncle Eric Pickles MP manages to kill off sneaky cctv tickets which will cause issue numbers to fall for a while) Mr Mustard will offer advice (income share acceptable) about how the process works and he can probably row in some other appeal experts as well.

There is a steady increase in people challenging (when you ask the council to cancel) and appealing (the Appeal is when you file a form with PATAS) their PCN but what we need is software to help us which would make us as well equipped as the council are and increase the likelihood of success and minimise the chances of missing a deadline.

Mr Mustard suggests that the appeal app could be called AppApp.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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