This just in from Slashdot: Parkingticket.com is now compatible with Safari on iPhone, so if you live in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia or Washington, D.C., you can immediately contest a parking ticket as soon as it's issued.
At first, I thought it sounded like the usual silly hype with little substance to back it up, but the site actually does put its money where its mouth is ? to the tune of $10 a pop if the service doesn't work.
Here's the catch: You have to pay a deposit equal to 50% of the ticket's fine. If you follow the instructions and the violation still stands, you get the deposit back plus a $10 bonus. If it works, Parkingticket.com keeps the cash. (If the fine's reduced, the service fee works on a sliding scale.)
As if to remind iPhone users that their handsets include a very handy camera for these types of situations, the site suggests immediately snapping pics of the actual parking sign, the street and the address where the ticket was issued.
Even though this isn't a free service, the satisfaction of not having to pay the city for a malicious fine would be enough reason for me to give this service a go. When I think of all the bogus tickets I got over the course of my driving life, my blood pressure goes up again. Mostly, it had to do with the indignation of getting a bum rap (like getting mistakenly tagged because the meter behind mine was expired) or dealing with a ticket-happy meter maid looking for an excuse. (I just know she saw me running down the street with change in my hand. She was staring at me as she pulled out her pen, and started writing the instant the meter clicked to yellow, which was 8 seconds before I got there.)
I don't drive much anymore since I moved to New York City*, which means I can't test this out! Bummer, because I?m really curious to know if this actually works. If you have been unfortunate enough to have reason to test this, please write back and let us know how it worked out.
*Special Note: If you live in NYC, but don't have an iPhone, Parkingticket.com created a special phone number so you can still fight your ticket on the spot: 1-888-NYC-PARK. It handles calls in English or Spanish, 24/7. Good luck!