Letters are easier, anyway

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Due process too much hassle for DC dept. of motor vehicles - Boing Boing

Washington DC’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will no longer allow citizens to protest parking tickets in person, reports Thenewspaper.com. Instead, they’ll offer mail-in and e-mail adjudication.

What kind of crazy person would go to the DMV to protest a ticket in person, anyway?  As many of you have found via Google, I have a bit of experience protesting tickets via the mail.  It actually works.  They really do look at your letter, and they really do respond.  It sometimes takes a letter to your councilmember to get it all worked out, but the statement in the article to which Boing Boing has linked:

Under the DMV’s plan, motorists will only be able to object to a ticket by email or letter where city employees can ignore or reject letters in bulk without affected motorists having any realistic recourse.

Just isn’t true.  Does DC give out too many ridiculous parking tickets?  Probably.  Is the city too financially dependent on this revenue source?  I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me.  Should it be easier to contest an erroneous ticket?  Sure, but we have to weigh the cost/benefit analysis here.  The reason you can’t contest a ticket in person anymore is probably NOT so the DMV can deny you due process (Does the DMV even owe you due process?  I’m not sure.  Maybe some lawyer can answer.).  It is probably to save the DMV some money.  If they don’t have to employ someone to sit and listen to how you know it said no parking, but you only had to run in for a minute, and it’s not your fault that your manicurist had a line and you had to wait and the kids were running around and it’s really not fair and you normally park in a regular spot and take the other car that you can usually park but this time you had the big car and gosh don’t you have kids then you understand, right?  Then maybe they could put some of that saved money to use for education or increased police patrols or any of the million other things the city could be spending its money on.

Anyway, I know I only link to BoingBoing when they piss me off, so I want to state here that I read and enjoy the site every day.  And I really don’t just read it waiting for them to say something that bugs me.  I really recommend the site.  They usually have smart, interesting things to say.  Sometimes they say ridiculous things, but don’t we all?

Posted in: Cars , complaint , dc , dmv , parking