Fubar Scofflaw Brouhaha: Inadequate Parking Citation Enforcement Is Costing The City Millions
In a continuing effort to reduce waste and save money, City Controller Wendy Greuel released the details of a review that examined the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s parking citation scofflaw enforcement activities showing that the department "failed to adhere to its own action plan, resulting in a decline in enforcement and loss of $5.4million in potential revenue," notes Greuel's press release.
The investigation, which was conducted as a result of a tipster’s report to Controller’s Waste, Fraud and Abuse Unit, revealed that by failing to report or impound over 73% of vehicles that already received more than 5 unpaid parking citations, the DOT may have lost as much as another $9.2 million.
The uncollected balance as of September 2010 for vehicles with 5 or more unpaid citations was $86 million, with $18.8 million eligible for scofflaw enforcement, according to the press release. The $5.4 million loss is tied to LADOT opting "not deploy specialized License Plate Recognition (LPR) equipment and essentially disbanding a specialized unit of traffic officers who used LPR technology to focus on scofflaw enforcement."
Using specialized enforcement, officers averaged $1,599 in citations per workday, compared to $927 per day for standard operations. As a result, total scofflaw enforcement declined significantly along with the use of this equipment.
Additionally, LADOT allegedly did not report 73.5% of scofflaw alerts, meaning that, "despite having the technology to indicate that a vehicle had at least 5 - and as many as 20 - outstanding parking violations," a ticket was simply left on a scofflaw's windshield instead of impounding or booting the repeat violator's vehicle.
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