170 Bogus Tickets: Chicago Tests Ticketing Equipment With Your License Plate

When I read the headline for this story (it didn’t mention Chicago), I bet myself a million dollars that the man had an Illinois license plate. I am now a millionaire. Or I will be as soon as I pay myself.

Meet Tom. He is the proud owner of the license plate “0.” His family has had the plate for 40 years. Apparently, it didn’t occur to the City of Chicago to check to see if someone was using the “0” license plate before they decided to use it to test their ticketing equipment.

Since 1997, Tom has been receiving all kinds of tickets. Parking tickets. Expired meter tickets. Street sweeping tickets. Tickets for running stop signs and red lights. He’s even gotten tickets for parking his taxi on a residential street. Though the article doesn’t specifically mention it, he doesn’t seem own a taxi. He also probably doesn’t own a bus, but he has a ticket for parking one illegally.

UPI says that Tom has been trying to clear up the issue, (for 12 years, we assume) but has so far been unable to get anyone to help him. Until now, of course.

“The test violations should have been dismissed in the database. The majority of the cases (Tom) contested successfully. But we are taking steps to rectify the situation so in the future an actual registered plate number will not be used to do the testing,” Revenue Department spokesman Ed Walsh told the Chicago Tribune. He said that the Department of Revenue was unaware that the “0” plate was in circulation.

‘0’ plate gets 170 mistaken tickets [UPI via Fark]