PROVO — It's still unpleasant to get a parking ticket in Provo, but it's easier to pay the fine or file an appeal.
Thanks to a system that uses a digital pen to write the citation and send the information to a Web site at the same time, people can pay that pesky fine from the comfort of their home.
Provo's four parking cadets now write tickets with an Anoto digital pen, which also sends the information to the cadets' cell phones. The cell phones transfer the information, along with photographic evidence taken by the cadets, to the city's online payment Web site, www.payprovo.com, where the ticket can be paid or appealed.
"The photographic evidence helps them decide whether to appeal," said Provo City Justice Court administrator Jody Meyer. If those cited choose to appeal, a hearings examiner responds with a decision by e-mail, usually within days.
The net result is good for the city and saves the ticket recipient the trouble of making a trip to City Hall.
"It saves us money and is more convenient for the public," Meyer said.
The system, called vCitePlus and developed by Utah-based Velosum Inc., streamlines the process and reduces the number of employees needed to deal with the tickets.
Since the system was put in place, about 45 percent of parking tickets are paid online. The city's collection rate has increased to 88 percent from 67 percent, partly because automated delinquency notices are sent to the registered owners of the car.
The city is now considering the system for other applications, such as gang tracking.