Hotspots are starting to appear!

Thanks to everyone who has downloaded the TowIt app and started reporting disability parking offences. I’ve already been able to identify two hotspots in Queensland and potentially more beginning to develop in other areas.

Why TowIt over reporting apps like Snap Send Solve?
Towit logs the data onto a map. This data we can then use to identify ‘hotspots’. Areas where offences are occurring at a high rate. We can then use this data to discuss with local councils and police in that area options to reduce the offences and keep the spaces open for those who need them. Reporting apps are mostly used by councils to gain information on things that need to be fixed or maintained in the area from it’s residents. Unfortunately it’s not feasible for them to use the information provided on offences to issue infringements. The main reason being, when a person receives an infringement notice, they are entitled to the option of taking it to court. This would then require the person who provided the evidence to appear as a witness. This becomes a very long, arduous and expensive process and thus, not one that our law enforcement agencies like to spend taxpayers money on.

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Comments (5)

  1. lauredhel

    Reply

    My council (Joondalup, WA) very happily issues infringement notices now based on good SnapSendSolve reports – multiple photographs, clear evidence of violation, geotagged, timestamped, and with the submitter’s details.

    • nopermitnopark

      Reply

      Joondalup might be a rare (and possibly foolish) case in this regard. There has been some considerable research done in legal circles about using evidence from these kinds of applications and many issues were highlighted. One being that many of these apps don’t require the person to send their details. Even if they do, there’s no real knowledge that the submitter’s details are legitimate unless contact is made to verify prior to issuing the infringement. This is a time consuming and costly process in itself (especially considering the fine according to the latest Joondalup Council Local Parking Law policy is a mere $120). There is also the potential when using these apps to modify (or dare we say legitimatise) the evidence by saving details to send the report later. The location and even photos can be modified which is why they don’t hold up in a court of law as strong enough evidence.

      The difference with Towit is that photos cannot be uploaded from the user’s photo gallery. The GPS location is taken from the point that the user submits the report. Keep in mind there are many times and reasons when GPS is not 100% accurate. We’re not looking to be infringement reporters by using this app but rather to assist local law enforcement agencies with identifying areas that have high offender rates so that they can then employ driver education programs in those areas and potentially free up the spaces faster for those who need them.

      • lauredhel

        Reply

        I guess Joondalup isn’t convinced that contact with the submitter is terribly time-consuming and costly – you’re comparing a ranger having to attend an infringement in person (the other way of issuing one) with an exchange of email or a phone call. I’m not sure how altering a datestamp would falsely legitimise a DPB-abuse submission: it’s always illegal to park in a DPB, not just at certain times.

        If it came to court, I’d be more than happy to attend as an eyewitness and provide access to the original unaltered photos. So far no-one has pushed it to that, or bothered paying expert witnesses to attempt to demonstrate photograph tampering or falsification of reports – it’s possible that the possibility of a fine escalating to $2000 (plus court costs!) puts them off, when they know they’re guilty and have seen the evidence of same.

        • nopermitnopark

          Reply

          I’ve already had to forfeit a number of cases with police over people appealing infringements because of the issues given in the explanation. Of course it’s possibly that the demographics are quite different. I imagine they have more time to deal with these things in Joondalup with a population of around 150 000. It’s a little harder to manage when I’m dealing with a population of four and a half million. Good on Joondalup for doing it. Meanwhile the rest of the country are trying different methods that work for them. Which is why we found an alternative to snap send solve.

  2. V

    Reply

    Downloaded the Towit app. It did not ask for permission to use GPS at the time (for geocoding photos, I have that camera app set to not geocoding by default) but now Towit app is asking for an account. I’ve looked for a way to create a Towit account using my desktop – as my security policy is to never create accounts over WiFi nor 4G.

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