Danville parking tickets go high tech

The chalk slashes used to mark tires for parking enforcement will soon be a thing of the past in Danville.
The city recently purchased software and an electronic system for recording violations that, among other things, records the position of the air valve on the tires of parked vehicles. Parking tickets will now be available online instantaneously once an officer writes them.

The city started using the system, made by the Utah-based company Velosum, last week. It includes an electronic pen with a tiny camera that records the ticket as it writes and a camera phone, which can send pictures of a car that is in violation and immediately posts the ticket on the Web site. People can also view, pay and appeal their citation on the site.

This will save a lot of time on both entering tickets and handling the initial part of the appeals process, said Director of Code Enforcement Bridgette Milby. Once the ticket is generated, it goes up online. Someone can look at the pictures and all of the documentation and if they decide to appeal they can do that in writing instantly right there from the site. That will save us and the citizens a lot of time where they would normally come in and contest something without all the information.

It also will save staff time with paperwork by generating written notices and with determining whether they are dealing with a persistent parking offender. Milby said it already has allowed collection from people on multiple tickets when they came in to pay off one.

The system does come with a price tag. There is a one-time cost of $3,155 for the Internet portal. The pens cost $395 each, and both of the phones cost $390.

Other uses

Milby said they primarily will be used by parking and codes enforcement. However, City Manager Paul Stansbury said the devices also may come in handy for workers in the cemetery.

We see a definite use with grave opening and closing, where you take down detailed information and pictures of the condition of a gravesite before during and after they have been closed, said Stansbury. There could be an electronic checklist to ensure things like basic cleanup and flower placement are taken care of. I think it is tailor-made for that.

Parking enforcement officer Ed Dubravcak said there are still kinks being worked out in the system, but he likes what he sees so far.

It eliminates a lot of things we have to carry, and it puts information straight into the system, Dubravcak said. The biggest thing it does away with is chalking tires. That almost becomes a game with regulars. Now you have to assume that we have recorded the vehicles valve position.
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