The parking alarm clock app helps tax evasion, believes the municipality of Amsterdam. It tries to enforce a ban by means of interim measures. The developers of the parking app are aware of no harm. “We are there for the decent citizens who like to abide by rules, but who have a benevolent but forgetful moment.”
Parking alarm clock has been in the air since August and things are going well, says creator, developer and owner Luis Roman. “Because of business-sensitive information, I can‘t report how many applications we have since, but it runs in the thousands,” says the director of Vector Wise with a sheen in his eyes.
The system works like this: the dashboard camera in the car is connected to the parking alarm system. It detects scan cars passing by. The owner of the car then receives a text message that he must have paid for parking within five minutes — if the scan car comes by a second time and a fine has been fined — for parking. Cost: €1,50 per message.
The municipality wants to put an end to it. “Parking tax is levied for the public interest. The municipality does not make a profit, but invests the money to improve the local infrastructure. In addition, levying parking tax is an instrument to regulate parking pressure and crowds in general.” Hence all these different rates, the lawyer of the municipality wanted to say: where the pressure is high rates, in quieter places less can be paid.
Collecting parking tax via scan cars does not cause the municipality any winnings. In 2012, at the start of the use of scanning cars, 18.5 million euros were raised in fines. In 2018, that amount increased to 30 million. By the way, this method of working has not led to fewer fines. In 2019, the scan cars handed out 500,000 fines. Remarkable: two-thirds of the 70,000 objections raised by motorists proved justified. These fines were subsequently waived.
‘Big business town‘
For the creators of the parking alarm app reason to show that many people are willing, but accidentally forget to pay for parking. The lawyer on behalf of Parking Alarm: “Parking is increasingly difficult for municipalities to understand and for motorists. Neat citizens who like to comply with rules often have no intention of intent if they do not comply with municipal regulations. Most of the time, they just forget what rules apply. Parking alarm clock has sought a solution for forgetting and not for not wanting to.”
The judge stayed with an important question. “Why is the app linked to the scan car and not to the moment you park your car in the city, where you are supposed to pay? Wouldn’t that be a better memory?”
“ That would have been a possibility,” said Roman.
The judge gives judgment in the proceedings for interim measures on 1 February.