PROVO, Utah – Parking enforcement in Provo has gone digital and wireless.
Officers are using a high-tech pen to record and transmit data from the ticket to a justice court computer system within 90 seconds. Made by the Sandy-based Velosum, the pen is equipped with a camera and a Bluetooth connection.
"By the time they walk out to the car, the ticket's online," enforcement officer Brad Croff said.
The $25,000 electronic system has allowed officers to dump the notebook computers and digital cameras they used to use when writing parking tickets. The city pays a $100 monthly operations fee for each electronic pen and a 35-cent processing fee for each citation.
The Velosum system uses specially coded ticket papers that are printed over a microdot pattern. The pen's camera reads the dot pattern and knows which violation box is being checked. It then enters that information into the court's computers. The pen's camera can also read an officer's handwriting.
Velosum sales associate Suzanne E. Viehweg said the system is being used in 12 cities around the country.
Provo issues about 1,200 parking tickets monthly.
Court administrator Jody Meyer said the system helps the city more easily collect parking fines and has increased revenues. Provo is now collecting on 87 percent of its citations, compared with 67 percent two years ago. And Meyer said the system is connected to a national database that lets the city track down out-of-state drivers, eliminating their ability to skip out on parking fines.
The electronic system can notify an officer if someone has four outstanding tickets, which means the car must be towed. It also allows people to pay fines or file an appeal with a hearing officer online.