Being a traffic enforcement official can’t be the easiest of professions. But in the UK, one parking firm wants people to do the job themselves, and is even offering cash rewards to those who report illegally parked cars.
UK Car Park Management (CPM) will hand over £10 (around $12.50) to anyone who downloads its i-Ticket app and takes a photo of the offending vehicle and its number plate. Once the driver is tracked down, they will receive a ticket demanding they pay £60 ($74), which rises to £100 ($125) if not paid within two weeks. The person who took the photo gets their money once the ticket is settled.
The app is designed for companies who cannot afford to hire guards to monitor their private property. Users who create an account receive free DIY signs to mark areas where parking is prohibited, giving offending drivers little excuse.
CPM says the system offers complete confidentiality. “All correspondence are designed to make the motorist believe they have been caught by a CPM Patrol Warden,” reads the company’s website. But there are obvious concerns, such as the ease with which firms can issue large fines for what can be minor offenses. The potential for violence between drivers and members of the public who are financially rewarded for photographing illegally parked vehicles is also a worry.
"The sharp practices of parking companies are already regularly called into question with paid officials dishing out fines, but with members of the public being financially encouraged to shop motorists who overstay, it’s a recipe for disaster," Simon Williams, from the UK’s Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC), told the Mirror.
CPM’s boss, James Randall, disagrees. He says the problem is not with the app but with drivers that do not respect people’s land.