The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday March 26th

Smartphone app might help curb parking tickets

A new smartphone application might help students reduce their likelihood of getting parking tickets.

The Parking Ticket Terminator app, which was designed by the Long Island-based TimeMight Corporation and will be released in the fall, will help users become more familiar with town parking regulations, said Brian Pollack, the software developer for the app.

Users will be able to search by ZIP code and view parking regulations and the hours when some lots are unregulated. The app will help drivers avoid receiving tickets and help prevent their vehicles from being booted or towed, said John Stan, founder of TimeMight.

“The app is geared toward educating people — helping people know the law, respect the law and follow the law. So it’s not anything more than that, really. And hopefully it will do that,” Stan said.

Hannah Burris, a senior psychology major, said she thinks the app would be helpful for parking on Franklin Street, if it showed parking availability. She said she thinks the app is a good idea.

“It certainly sounds like there is a market for a parking app like this that lets people know which lots are most frequently towed and ticketed,” Burris said.

Stan said the app will initially be offered to iPhone users at no charge, and that TimeMight plans to release a version for Androids in the coming months.

The app was originally designed, in part, to combat ticketing in large metropolitan centers such as New York, Boston and Philadelphia, said Paul Schell, the graphic designer for the app.

The app will use the GPS function built into a user’s phone to provide parking information based on data users have entered, Pollack said.

“The neat thing about it is, once you program in your parking regulations, whenever other people go to that spot, they could just click on (the) ‘map search’ feature to find what you put in,” Stan said.

Burris said she thinks the app would be helpful when she travels to less familiar cities.

“For example, I don’t drive to Raleigh that often, and parking is especially intimidating there,” Burris said.

The app will help drivers navigate parking situations when multiple contradictory signs are posted, Schell said.

“What’s cool is (that) you can log the beginning time and the ending time. So if you’re waiting for a spot to be unregulated, you’ll know that as well. It’s very easily done with the app,” Stan said.

Stan said the idea for a parking assistant was created about 10 years ago as part of a key-ring model and was accepted into the Polytechnic Institute of New York University’s business incubator.

He said the emergence of smartphones convinced him to create a parking application for them.

Stan said his company is also offering a program called “Parking Ticket Game Arcade,” which allows drivers to improve their awareness of parking regulations in a question-and-answer format.

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