Ever parked on a yellow line for a few minutes and gotten a ticket? Ever gone on holiday and come back to a couple of penalty charge notices? Ever feel a rush of gratitude and relief when someone tells you to get back to your car because the warden is around the corner? Ever feel a pang of sympathy when you see a traffic warden slap a yellow notice on someone else’s car?
When I see a traffic warden eye up a car on a yellow line, taking note of the time, maybe taking pictures, I get sympathy panic. Shortness of breath. Hyper alertness. Quick, where’s the owner? They need to be warned! Wouldn’t you want to be warned? Is it just me or is it human to want to help? But how? Sure, when it’s obvious that the owner must be in a certain shop, you can pop in and declare a general warning. But when it’s not obvious, there’s not much you can do.
But what if there were a watch-program, much like a neighbourhood watch, where people keep an eye out for each other’s homes? Warden Watch. Shouldn’t there be an app for this? Maybe it could work like this. We could register our car license number plates along with our mobile numbers. Anyone walking along and seeing a potential ticket could enter the number plate on the app, which then sends a text to the corresponding mobile number. To make it commercial, perhaps car owners would pay to register their cars and for any text alerts they receive, while it would be free for anyone to send an alert.