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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Real-time parking tickets can carry photographic evidence

By The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY-Parking officers will start issuing digital tickets with photographic evidence of infractions later this month

The handwritten tickets will be accompanied by photos and sometimes audio recordings that are digitally linked to municipal computers, said Gary Griffiths, manager of the city’s compliance division.

“The ticket will be more valid,” he said. “There’ll be less reductions and dismissals,”

The tickets currently left on vehicle windshields are printed out from handheld computers.

The new technology will give parking officers more time to find violators because taking photos will be easier _ and required in some cases _ than the current ticketing method, he said. The new tickets also will automatically include location and time.

The tickets, called digital or real-time tickets, are being tested now and should be in regular use by mid-July, Griffiths said.

The tickets are written on special paper with use of a reader pen that’s wirelessly connected to a cell phone. When the pen marks the “send” box on the paper, the information is transmitted to the phone, which transfers the information to the court system.

The vehicle’s license plates will then be run through various databases to see if the owner is wanted by police and whether the car is stolen, unregistered or should be booted because of excess parking tickets.

The cell phones can be used to photograph violations. Griffiths will require officers to take photos of vehicles parked in handicap or red no-parking zones. If they want, officers can take photos of other violations.

The digital handwriting system was created by the Swedish company Anoto and has been used to process forms in the health-care industry. The city system was developed in partnership with the Sandy-based software company Velosum.

Griffiths said his is the first parking-enforcement agency to use it.

He was seeking an alternative to the 2.5-pound handheld ticket computers, which were blamed for stress injuries among at least three staffers, and the $250,000 system is being phased out by the manufacturer.

The new system costs $140,128, plus $900 a month.

The new system also will mean that information from Justice Court about the violation will be available the same day the ticket is written. Under the current system, there is a 24-hour wait.

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