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Parking tickets are a brutal reality for many city dwellers. On paper they make sense, keeping people from leaving their car in public spaces forever. However, as anyone who has ever parked in Los Angeles can tell you, the signage letting people know when they’ll be ticketed is often needlessly confusing. Thankfully you now have an advocate; a special little chat bot service called DoNotPay has already challenged $4 million worth of tickets.
Currently the free service is only operating in New York and London, but it’s doing good work. In their first 21 months the service has successfully challenged 160,000 parking tickets out of the 250,000 cases taken. The rate of success is around 64% but, given the devastating impact a surprise ticket can have on someone of limited means, it’s a remarkable feat.
Here’s how it works; with the help of pro-bono traffic lawyers DoNotPay has compiled a list of common reasons tickets get dismissed. The chat bot asks you about the circumstances surrounding your ticket and tries to discover a way out for you. Maybe the sign wasn’t posted clearly. Perhaps the ticket was given a few minutes after parking became free. DoNotPay will help you find a way.
The company currently has plans to expand to other cities, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to start charging. Reportedly DoNotPay has plans to stay free going forward. Keep fighting the good fight.
John-Michael Bond is a tech reporter and culture writer for Daily Dot. A longtime cord-cutter and early adopter, he's an expert on streaming services (Hulu with Live TV), devices (Roku, Amazon Fire), and anime. A former staff writer for TUAW, he's knowledgeable on all things Apple and Android. You can also also find him regularly performing standup comedy in Los Angeles.