Booting Up

You should always try to park legally, feed the meter, and be responsible about where you put your car. If you do get a ticket, just pay it promptly and avoid further aggravation. I haven’t always been perfect on every one of these counts, but we’re all a work in progress, are we not?

However,  if you spend any time in Albany, you should closely follow my advice.

Writing parking tickets in downtown Albany has become a big, huge deal. An army of parking enforcement officers roam around hunting for expired meters and cars parked where they don’t belong. I have even see them pull out a measuring tape and check how far vehicles are from the curb. Just doing their jobs — and it’s not a job that makes you any friends.

But in case you have neglected tickets, you must see this: parking agents now drive around with license plate scanners like the ones on police cars.

boot patrol

Note the scanners on the roof.

This means if you’re on the naughty list — or more accurately, the naughty database — you’ll get caught more easily than ever before. And unpaid fines may get you booted. Pretty soon, they’ll probably use the technology to enforce the new residential parking permit system.

Not making excuses for people with outstanding tickets here, but this is certainly another example of how we’re being monitored in our everyday lives. Some people say that being watched all the time makes for a safer and more orderly society. I say it’s a slippery slope.

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