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Smart Parking Meters and other Photo Violation Technologies

Updated on August 7, 2007

You may not like parking meters, but technology is making them both easier and harder for us to handle. Right now, a company known as Photo Violation Technologies is running a trial run on Photo Violation Meters, advanced parking meters that are in service in Vancouver and even Niagara Falls.

You know how you always have to keep tabs of your parking time and send someone (usually you) to inevitably feed the meter? Fortunately, the Photo Violation Meters make this aggravation a thing of the past. As you can see, the meter has a numeric keypad for you to enter your cell phone number. So when the time on the meter starts to run low, you will receive an automatic phone call on your cell reminding you to run to the meter to pay more.

Not only will this Photo Violation Meter give you a cell phone call, but you can eliminate your trip to the meter. That’s right, you can pay for meter time wirelessly using your credit card information. Of course, if you fail to pay up from a distance, you can also pay using good old fashioned pocket change or your credit card at the meter. This also goes for times when you have ignored the warning and have now acquired a parking fee. You can pay that right there, and forget about going to traffic court. This is assuming that you do not wish to contest it.

By the way, remember how you used to get lucky and pull out before a meter maid or man saw that you were late on your donations? Well, the Photo Violation Technology is designed to snap a picture of your car and its license plate as you are pulling away. One can only assume that the photo has some sort of dating stamp so it is admissible in traffic court.

The meter is completely solar-powered and also can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot to communicate with Photo Violation Technologies as well as the proper authorities for when a car needs to be hauled off for a repair or violation.

Of course, the question of are we becoming a surveillance society always comes into play when an invention like this gets released. After all, if these things have still cameras on them, why not put video cameras on them. You could watch a street really well with this Big-Brother type technology.

I also would have to figure out the cost of these. Your average parking meter is pretty inexpensive technology that is quite simple, but these machines are a lot more complicated. That means they are assuredly more expensive than your average meter. Probably by about a few hundred dollars, I’m sure.

Yes, I’m sure there is a lot of legislation and bureaucratic red tape that has to go down before these Photo Violation Technologies products are officially recognized. Until then, I’m guessing it will not be a pleasant surprise to discover a ticket in the mail from one of these Photo Violation Meters. Better pay up, or the Meter Maids will come for you.


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      Contest Parking Violation 9 years ago

      Contest a parking ticket or dispute a parking violation online with For only $9.99 anyone can contest a ticket, print the letter on your own printer and mail it out. It works great, it only takes 5 minutes and beats paying $50-$100 for a parking ticket!

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      bob 9 years ago

      These meters were literally taken away in the night. The exact reasons are still a bit of a mystery but word around town is that they did not work very well.