Editorial: Pittsburgh parking authority to improve ticket citation procedure

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

Students and motorists who have been recipients of parking citations need not dread the process as much as they have in the past. Starting on Oct. 1, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority will launch a website that will allow alleged miscreants to contest their traffic violations with the Pittsburgh Parking Authority. In particular, individuals who were issued a ticket will soon have the ability to bypass the Pittsburgh Parking Court Downtown and submit a form to justify their case, including pictures as evidence and the opportunity to voice why they believe their ticket was unjustly given.

The move to initiate the electronic submission of ticket rebuttals comes in light of the city’s recent shift in replacing outdated coin meters with parking kiosks. These technologically advanced kiosks, which ask for the driver’s license-plate number, have often caused errors as a result of discrepancies. Drivers who input their license-plate numbers incorrectly, despite paying the correct amount to park, have received tickets for mistakenly providing the misinformation.

Additionally, residents of Oakland with issued parking permits for designated zones have often found tickets on their windshields for parking in the incorrect zone. Many residents consider these particular tickets unfair because signs designating the boundaries of specific zones are scarce in certain areas of Oakland, making them difficult to spot when looking for an empty parking space.

Ultimately, the initiative will come as a benefit to residents of Oakland, especially students.

Many students have found the rebuttal process for ticket citations an utter nuisance. For one, traveling Downtown to the parking court is considered more time consuming and annoying than just dealing with a potentially unjust citation by paying the fine attached with it. The busy schedules of students often conflict with the times in which students can have their case heard, further encompassing the inconvenience of the process.

This online channel for dealing with traffic citations has the potential to create a more seamless process to reconcile them, both for those who are issued the violations and those who have to hear each case — namely, judges and court clerks. The website makes the process of fighting tickets much more convenient, which helps individuals who don’t have time to go to court or who don’t live close to the city.

The Parking Authority’s move to make a technologically forward decision is commendable. Law-abiding individuals, students included, can more easily bypass the hassle of deliberating citations in the future and focus on more important things.