Winnipeg group launching cellphone app to report illegal parking
Published Wednesday, June 12, 2013 6:19AM CST
Last Updated Sunday, November 24, 2013 7:11PM CST
A new cellphone app could soon let Winnipeggers inform officials about illegal parking.
The SpotSquad app was created by local entrepreneurs.
It lets the public snap a picture of a parking violation and alert authorities, who could then dispatch a parking warden to issue a ticket.
Developers are suggesting users could get a finders’ fee from fines deposited into their bank accounts or directed to their favourite charities.
Co-founder Chris Johnson said several private parking lot operators are interested.
Johnson said the bounty offered to people who report illegal parking would likely be between 10 and 20 per cent of a parking fine.
Some Winnipeggers who spoke with CTV News on Wednesday liked the idea of being rewarded for spotting illegal parking, while others viewed it as ratting on drivers.
Some lawyers question the legality of the concept. Brian Bowman said public sector workers who do similar work are bound by privacy laws.
“If you are empowering citizens and you’re paying them to arguably act as agent for you, whether they need to (also) comply with that legislation or not,” said Bowman.
He said Crime Stoppers is a similar program that exists within the law.
The app isn’t available yet, but a pilot program will be tested in some private Winnipeg parking lots this summer. Its creators said there’s interest from operators in other provinces as well.
- with a report from Alesia Fieldberg
The SpotSquad app was created by Winnipeg entrepreneurs.