Pittsburgh Tries To Publicly Shame You Into Paying Your Parking Tickets

Reader Uri says:

In a recent attempt to resolve it’s financial woes, the city of Pittsburgh decided to try and collect on all unpaid parking tickets and other traffic violations since 2003.

They announced a short grace period before which they’ll “call the cops”, and urged everyone in the city to check on their status.

The means: a website where you can enter any street address or any last name, and it pops up a list of all people with tickets, in some case with their date of birth.

Three days after paying, your name will be purged off the list.

Of course, you can check everybody’s status. According to the Pittsburgh post-gazette, Pittsburgh Steelers linesmen had a few tickets, and they contacted his employer, the team…

I’m guessing that dockets are public in some way so there’s nothing illegal about this, but it’s still an interesting form of social pressure.

There are sexual offender lists available, but I wasn’t aware of a ticket offender list as well.

Uri

Not only can you see your neighbor’s tickets, you can see what they’re charged with. Scandalous.

Let the public shaming begin! We only know one guy in Pittsburgh (seen above wearing last year’s Halloween costume). He didn’t have any tickets. Good job, Brian. You are a hero of safe driving.

YOU MAY HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A SUMMARY OFFENSE IN PITTSBURGH MUNICIPAL COURT [5th Judicial District of Pennsylvania]

Comments

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  1. ry81984 says:

    This is a good idea.

    I am sure many people are not even aware they have tickets due to others removing them from their cars or it blowing off their cars.

    Now they can periodically check to see if they have been ticketed.

    I see nothing wrong with this, but if people do complain they could remove the street search and only allow searching by full names.
    The street search is not necessary, but it is public record and thus OK.

  2. protest says:

    the city of pittsburgh will give you a parking ticket for parking to close to the curb! anything to squeeze more money out of its citizens! i hated having a car there more than i hate dead kittens.

  3. protest says:

    ha, sorry to=too.

  4. HunterJoules says:

    I don’t really have a problem with this. The State of Maryland does something similar with individuals who don’t pay their taxes. To get on the list at all you would have to have a ruling against you from the courts. I think this is a far more reasonable solution for the city of Pittsburg to get people to pay than to spend tax dollars on further litigation.

  5. Chazon says:

    Mobile, AL ran the same sort of deal about 6 months ago. Offered a “Get out of Jail free” promotion – canceling arrest warrants for people who pay fines and court costs in full. It netted them about a couple of million dollars in unpaid fees if I remember right. Worked well for them so I guess it’s catching on elsewhere.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Who cares? They’re grasping straws here. Its not like people are going to point and laugh at you when they find out you have unpaid parking tickets.

  7. aparsons says:

    I have a few unpaid parking tickets that aren’t showing up on here… awesome! One of my professors’ names was on here though, I sent him a quick email :)

  8. gniterobot says:

    This could create a contest of sorts.

    Like a leader board for unpaid tickets…and by the way. If Mass did this I would be toward the top. Living in towns that meter every sq inch on the downtown doesn’t help.

  9. Crim Law Geek says:

    Maybe Pittsburgh could save some money by not giving tickets with a $0.00 amount. I must have gotten at least 5 of them in the two years I had an apartment in the city. I assume they were “warning” tickets for street cleaning (they can only fine you if street cleaning actually occurred, but the city is too broke to ever clean the streets. I’m sure the cost of paying someone to give out bullshit tickets adds up.

    By the way, when I say the city is “broke”, I don’t mean “can’t go out till I get paid on Friday”, I mean “no money, starving Ethiopian” broke.

  10. Mary says:

    You can look up all this information in Virginia. I can’t remember the website at all, but everything like this is public information. When I worked for the paper, I would pour through the dockets and stuff all the time, and sometimes I caught familiar names. I actually went in and looked at all the warrants in a particular case where a minor was being charged with murder, and their names were all over the information. We just didn’t publish it, despite having the info.

    But yeah, I’ve looked up all my family and friends. It was enlightening. This stuff is easy to find, I bet the website had been there and they’re just now advertising it.

  11. aparsons says:

    You can look up all court cases in PA [here]

  12. howie_in_az says:

    This could open up the door to scammers — there’s nothing stopping them from calling up the person and claiming to be from The City and would you mind paying your parking ticket right now over the phone.

    I’m so glad to have moved away from there; everything was a hill, a bridge, or a tunnel and it was always under construction. 376 was a nightmare in the morning.

  13. backbroken says:

    I killed a good 45 minutes at work yesterday looking up all my friends, local celebrities, and athletes.

    Who knew Plaxico Burress likes to park on the sidewalk?

  14. BrockBrockman says:

    @howie_in_az: Nice scam, there! I hadn’t even thought that through. I’m setting up an 800 number and a fake website right now. Finally all those books I read on social engineering will pay off!

  15. arkisman says:

    HA! Since I live in Pittsburgh I’m searching all of my friends to see if they have any parking tickets so I can make fun of them.

  16. aerdin says:

    It actually seems to be only for traffic violations, not parking violations (with some exceptions for egregious parking offenses – the article lists a couple Steelers, for example, who parked on sidewalks. Not your typical overdue meter). Most of the examples tend to be “relatively minor” offenses – their words – like running red lights or stop signs.

    I do know that I have several outstanding parking tickets (of the normal, non-sidewalk parking variety) but I’m not listed on the scofflaw list.

  17. edrebber says:

    This will be a great tool for stalkers and folks with restraining orders against them to find their victims.

  18. Lynn12 says:

    Sorry, couldn’t get past the creepy BK guy pictured with this article. :)

  19. FLConsumer says:

    let’s see… address, name, date of birth? Just about enough there to do some good identity theft. I hope Pittsburgh has good liability insurance when the first bank goes after them for revealing this information.

  20. chalicechick says:

    Start here for Virginia Case Information.

  21. riggs says:

    Why is it I couldn’t read the rest of the story without being bothered by this…

    “In a recent attempt to resolve it’s financial woes…”

    That should be “its,” dammit. “It’s” is a contraction-“it is.”

    /grammar Nazi

  22. nardo218 says:

    Who cares about other people’s parking tickets?