NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The city of New Orleans recently switched its method of writing tickets, using a series of pictures to make the case.
The cameras are in handheld units that meter attendants use, and it appears that the new photo evidence is helping to bring more money to the city's bottom line.
"A town that's so reliant on tourism, and people from out of town, it's unusual that it would be that high," said Dallas tourist Clint Ogilvie.
There never seems to be enough curbside parking spaces, forcing drivers to pay top dollar to paid lots.
"Twenty-seven bucks for 24 hours, and that's very expensive," said Ogilvie.
Now attendants have gone high tech. Each day, nearly 35 enforcement officers go out armed with ticket writing computers that take pictures of your car, your license plate, and the sign or meter, you're being cited for ignoring.
"The new, handheld devices allow you to take multiple pictures of the violations," said Lt. Col Mark Nigerian with New Orleans Public Works.
With the new cameras, parking officials are borrowing a page from the same people who brought you the school zone and red light cameras for the last several years. In many cases, the pictures offer clear evidence, that convinces offenders not to challenge the citation. Early indications are that challenges are down.
"In some cases, a citizen will look at a pic and say, 'yes you're right, I was stopped in front of the stop sign, the picture clearly shows it, I should pay the citation," said Jernigan.
The parking division said that aside from meter violations, some of the more common offenses are parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or within 20 feet of a curb or crosswalk.
"The 20 feet starts at the radius ends," said Jernigan.
With photographic evidence to back up a control officer's word, those who might skirt parking rules should think again.
"It's a little tricky, but we want to support all we can," said Ogilvie.
Parking officials are urging citizens to get the new Parkmobile app. It allows you to pay for a meter online and saves drivers from having to go feed a meter every hour or two when they're out and about.