Hartford's Crackdown On Unpaid Parking Violations Nets $98,000 In 3 Months
By JENNA CARLESSO
September 12, 2012
HARTFORD —— Since the Hartford Parking Authority began cracking down on unpaid parking violations in June, it has collected more than three times the money from penalties than it did during the same period last year, parking officials said.
The authority started using a new license plate recognition system on June 7. During the first 90 days of the program, it collected $98,266 from parking scofflaws, authority officials said.
Last year, the authority collected $27,854 during the same time period.
The recognition system is attached to two vehicles, which scan license plates for matches to a database of parking violators. When a match is found, Hartford police are contacted and the vehicle may be towed, even if it is parked legally at the time, parking authority Chief Executive Officer Mark McGovern has said.
The program is contracted through the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Republic Parking System and costs $942,000 a year, McGovern has said.
When the program was launched, the city said it was due more than $18 million from about 280,000 unpaid parking citations.
During the past year, about 70,000 citations were issued, of which about 75 percent were collected. The unpaid citations this year total about $1.5 million, city officials said.
"To collect nearly $100,000 in the first 90 days greatly exceeded expectations," Mayor Pedro Segarra said in a prepared statement. "Efficient collection of parking citations by the Hartford Parking Authority benefits residents and visitors by keeping meter and garage fees as low as possible."
McGovern has said that a goal of the program is to boost the collection rate to 80 percent in the first year and 85 percent or higher in subsequent years.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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