RAC Cars News


Could New 'Smart Sticker' Help To Avoid Parking Tickets?

By raccars Published

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If you've ever experienced the frustration of receiving a parking ticket, the new TowStop sticker could be for you. This high tech solution to an age old problem allows traffic wardens to contact drivers before slapping a ticket on the windscreen, with the aim of finding an alternative solution.

The sticker is placed in the corner of a car's windscreen. Traffic wardens thinking of ticketing the car can press the sticker, which relays a text message to the driver, allowing them to reply to queries or return immediately to move the car.

The product is the brainchild of a German IT consultant called Daniel Kalliontzis, who is hoping to put the TowStop sticker into larger scale production by fund raising on website, Indiegogo. The sticker costs €54 in Germany, about £43. Mr Kalliontzis claims to need €50,000 to put his project into action, but has so far raised less than €4,000. Should he achieve his goal, he aims to have the stickers on the market next summer.

Having bought the sticker, car owners input their relevant data including a mobile phone number, and stick it to the windscreen with the integrated suction pads. If a marauding traffic warden presses the sticker, the driver will receive a message, advising him to move his car immediately.

In the meantime, the car owner can send a return message that will be displayed to the traffic warden on the sticker, advising them that they will arrive to move the car within five minutes, for example. The sticker's battery power can be recharged using a USB cable. One potential problem with the system is that anyone can press the sticker, leading car owners to receive a fake warning message.

The Department for Transport regulations state that traffic wardens are not legally obliged to warn car owners before they issue a ticket, but local councils allow discretionary measures to be taken, if they believe a situation warrants some leniency. A change in the law would be required to make it an obligation for traffic wardens to warn car owners before issuing a ticket.

The sticker has been designed for German traffic laws, which stipulate that traffic wardens must find the cheapest and fastest solution to moving an illegally parked car - this usually means contacting the owner before bringing in the tow truck. In theory, there's no reason why such as system could not also be used in the UK, assuming there are traffic wardens here with enough humanity to adopt it.

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