Handheld Ticketing Unit Missing In Action
It seems that many Chicago drivers who received parking tickets one morning last week (we have not confirmed an exact date), may have run into a bit of good luck.
It seems a city of Chicago Parking Enforcement Aide (PEA) has misplaced one of the city’s handheld computer ticketing units on Chicago’s north side.
Our friend and resident PEA, Ticketmaster is reporting that it was one of the city’s top ticket writers has inadvertently misplaced one of their handheld ticket writing computers. It seems the PEA put the AutoCITE down in the field, walked away, and forgot to pick it up.
The good news for a decent amount of drivers who received tickets on the north side one morning last week is, this lost hand held means the city does not have a record of your tickets. It also means the city is out perhaps thousands of dollars of violations that were stored on that handheld unit. Ticketmaster recommends you check in regularly with the city’s parking ticket search website if you suspect you were one of these lucky ticket recipients.
Ticketmaster believes these units cost from between $3200-$5000 bucks a pop. While I am not one to question Ticketmaster normally, but earlier in the year, the city put out a press release stating they spent $2 million for 140 of these new units with photographic capabilities.
Using my handy dandy desktop calculator, that comes out to roughly $14,000 per unit. However, it stands to reason that perhaps software, training and other services and support are part of that $2 million price tag. So, I will demur to Ticketmaster’s estimates.
Either way, that’s an expensive piece of equipment to lose.
The Dept. of Revenue has already instituted a policy change in regards to these units according to Ticketmaster saying “managment has instructed all staff to use a holster clip or strap to secure the autocite to our persons when we are not actively using it and to make sure we log out of the system as well.”
As someone who misplaces their car keys and/or cell phone daily, I really have no room to make fun. But, the idea of a random citizen walking around issuing parking tickets as a prank is beyond hilarious to me.
Ticketmaster says this scenario is probably very unlikely.
“The good news if any, is the battery can only hold a charge for a couple of days of use, and it is not like you can plug it into any outlet, so it will be useless relatively quickly,“ explains Ticketmaster. “Assuming somebody got through the security locks on the AutoCITE, any tickets written on it will be voided out (so make sure you check the website everyday in case you have a ticket).“
While I realize this is a long shot, if somehow “accidentally” this handheld ticketing unit has come into your possession, or you somehow stumbled upon it, and would like to return it, either call 312-744-PARK (7275) or drop us an e-mail here at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: While I would love to take credit for coming up with the idea for the milk carton graphic, to be perfectly honest, it was all Ticketmaster’s idea. Brilliant!