5/10/2005Annapolis, MD Wrongly Accuses 2000 Motorists
Database error in Annapolis, Maryland causes thousands of innocent motorists to be accused of not paying their parking tickets.
A squabble between parking ticket contractors for the city of Annapolis, Maryland has resulted in thousands of motorists being sent delinquency letters for parking violations that they had already paid. The incident is causing major hassle for accused motorists who must prove their own innocence. As cites are increasingly turning to automated systems to tow away cars with unpaid tickets, database errors like this one can turn a hassle into a nightmare.
Annapolis residents who call city officials to try to clear up the matter are directed to the police. Police are directing callers to Citations Management, the new contractor handling the tickets. Citations Management requires motorists to provide documentation such as canceled checks to prove they paid their fines, although some motorists who have done so have yet to see their problem resolved.
In 2004, Annapolis wrote 31,000 parking tickets worth $15-100 each. The city will add two meter maids this year.
Cheerharan Thakur, co-owner of Treasure Island on Main Street, has received two delinquency notices in the past two months - both more than a week after his check was cashed as payment for a ticket - and said customers have complained of the same problem. "I don't understand why they have passed it in on to someplace else," he said. "It's happening all the time. I never had any problems - never before."Source: Some 2,000 drivers wrongly listed as parking scofflaws (The Capital (Annapolis, MD), 5/10/2005)
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