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Tickets for illegal parked cars improve traffic flow

Date Posted: 2007-07-20

Parking tickets issued to illegally parked vehicles have more than doubled in the year since Okinawa Prefecture began using private companies to cite the offenders.

The program begun in June 2006 assigned private companies to issue traffic citations on Okinawa streets to illegally parked cars, including those parked in no parking zones, and those parked the wrong way on the street. Okinawa Prefecture’s new report says 27,151 tickets were written between June 1, 2006 and June 1st this year. Private companies issued 24% of the tickets, while police assigned 76% of the citations.

Naha City and Okinawa City have the program in effect, with expansion expected to other cities and towns.

Prefecture Police report “Highway 58 has no more wrongly parked cars at all, and it’s good for traffic. Now it runs smoothly.” Aside from assistance from private companies, a policy change now mandates tickets be issued immediately to cars illegally parked. In the past, regulations permitted police to wait 30-40 minutes for a driver to return before issuing a ticket. Police now issue the citations as soon as the illegally parked vehicle is spotted.

Police say the deterrent effect is powerful. With tickets being issued right away, people are thinking before illegally parking because they don’t’ want to pay fines.

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