New App Pays for Snitching on Illegal Parkers

“What a jack a**!”

Admit it, those or other similar choice words have escaped your mouth upon seeing a car parked in a disabled spot without a permit or by any other illegal parking zone.

We understand the annoyance. It can be irritating to see people breaking those rules and down right frustrating when they get away with it.

Now there’s an app in the works that might offer some solace. SpotSquad allows users to snap a picture of inconsiderately parked cars and send it over to the police, private parking operators or city warden, resulting in a parking ticket.

If the photo does result in the fine, the whistle-blower gets a small portion of cash directed to his bank account or favorite charity, according to Edmonton Journal.

Co-founder Chris Johnson said of the idea behind the app: “If you can snap a picture and make $8, who’s not going to do that? Especially when you already wish that guy wasn’t getting away with (breaking) the law when you’re staying within the lines.”

It should be noted however that the app is intended to be used for those parking in disabled zones or in front of fire hydrants. If you see someone parked a couple of inches into the red zone in an otherwise appropriate spot, control the urge to report it (seriously, don’t be THAT guy).

Johnson and his team have received some flak for their idea with some saying the idea of private individuals profiting from telling on violators is a violation in itself.

“There is not a city in the world that would allow that because what you create then is vigilantism” says Mack Marsh, project director of Parking mobility — a Texas organization that works in a similar way but with trained, deputized volunteers reporting violations.

“When the individual who reports a crime profits from the reporting of that crime, then that crime is no longer enforceable” he says. “There is not a court in the world that would uphold that type of violation.”

Johnson’s response to that is “People look at it the wrong way (like) we’re building an army of snitches. But if you look at it the right way, just don’t park illegally and we won’t have a problem.”

We see both sides of the issue. What is your view? If the app goes live, would you consider using it? Share your thoughts.

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