The NYPD will start to use handheld computers to issue parking tickets, a move the Police Department believes will lower the number of instances people are able to get out of paying tickets due to errors. According to the Post, the handheld will scan a car's registration and then print a summons, and will first be rolled out in Queens, with the rest of the city's 18 parking-enforcing precincts following by February 2004. While the NYPD collects about $430 million in parking tickets, they expect the computers to save $2.5 million the first year as they are phased in and more in future years. A Queens police chief says, "The significant advantage is that we will go from a 13 percent error rate to a less than 1 percent error rate." Gothamist wonders if some police officers will put the handhelds in the cargo pocket of the NYPD's new cargo pants. If anyone knows what model the NYPD is getting, let us know and we'll ask Peter at Gizmodo if the NYPD made a wise choice. The NYPD's scanner model costs $2100 a pop.

The Times has more background on the earlier attempt to use computers for ticketing - which turned into scandal.

Gothamist on an odd case of a woman being ticketed for speeding twice during the same drive, at two different locations; however, the tickets were at the same time. We're sure that this is what the police department is hoping to avoid - offenders taking advantage of police error.